Ok I think before I go any further with my blogging I should make one thing clear these blogs are my own opinions and information I have found or been told. None of this should be considered as absolute or relied on… anyone should consult their own doctor or consultant and what he/she says is fact…. Even if it differs from my observations or bloggs…. Everything I do write is how I see it….. so this is a legal disclaimer from any actions any one takes as a result of my blogs…. If my blogs differ then by all means use them as a point of argument with a doctor… I have found there are some pretty ill informed doctors out there especially when it comes to this type of operation. This is the very reason I started the blog to try and make information more available….
Right it may be time for a little explanation of the different type of Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) available….
Banding (this is my operation)
The Band is placed around the upper part of the stomach creating a small pouch. Above the area of band placement is a small ‘pouch’. The small pouch fills with food once full you experience a feeling of fullness. A person with a well adjusted gastric band is less likely to experience the sensation of hunger. This food slowly falls through the small hole which is created by the band, like and hour glass into the main stomach where the food is eventually digested. There is a nice little video clip on the band manufacturers web site which shows the basic operation of the band the link is http://www.midband.com/a2,gb,-,midband-how-to-fit-the-gastric-band-midband.html please note this is the band I am having fitted, I am not showing any bias as I am sure others out there will be better or worse. It depends on the surgeons preference.
Band adjustment, the band can be adjusted externally to make the hole smaller or larger depending on weight loss and the rate the food goes through. I haven’t experienced this yet I will write my own experiences as they happen. During the operation a valve is placed just below the breast bone under the skin. Adjustment of the band is made via a needle inserted through the skin into the valve. Saline solution is put into the band or removed from the band as required.
Food needs to be chewed very thoroughly before swallowing otherwise it will just block the hole. The surgeon explained to me it is supposed to make you fed up with the process of eating therefore making you less interested in eating if it is too much effort. There are a number of foods which must be avoided, namely bread, pasta, rice and red meat. Skins of things like apples pears even peas are also a problem… ok so I suppose mushy peas are still ok. It is the same old adage you need to eat less food to loose weight having the operation will assist in this but will not completely solve the problem if you want to cheat. You can eat soups chocolate and ice cream but that defeats the object of what you are trying to achieve. Still lots of calories going through the hole. So this isn’t the miracle, eat what you want and still loose weight cure. It is a lifestyle changing (helped by the band) to loose weight cure. I see it as “oooh I cant manage another big mac or even a big Mac cause I’ve got a band fitted” as fact, rather than a usual half hearted attempt at refusal as I devour it….. its much easier to say no when it is not possible, than the normal giving in and saying one more wont do any harm…. By the way another disclosure my blogs are not being sponsored by MacDonalds or any other food company
Problems, there can be several problems which can develop from the band, I will discuss those later, on another blog…. I need to do a bit more research first.
The advantages is the band is completely reversible. It is a relatively minor operation I understand only around 30 minute. In in the morning and, out in the afternoon.
You can obtain funding from your local PCT (I did) provided you meet certain criteria. This varies from area to area. But if you have a BMI of more than 40 plus another “qualifying” illness such as Diabetes you should qualify. In my experience most doctors are unaware of the procedures available so don’t offer any consultation. I originally lived in Essex under 2 different doctors they had no idea and didn’t want to find out. I think this is a sad situation. Still fortunately I moved to Surrey happened to mention it to the first doctor I saw and she knew about it, knew the local surgeon who performs the operations and recommended me for it. 2 weeks later I was seeing my new Diabetic consultant she was excited about me doing this, and thought it was a very good idea, so also recommended it. I sat with my doctor we filled in a couple of forms, he sent them of to the PCT and they approved the application within weeks. I am not suggesting for one moment it is a “post code lottery” type thing at all, I was just lucky to move into an area where the local surgeon performs these operations. Its just that you may have a local doctor who does not know about these things don’t let it put you off…. It put me off for 4 years…. 4 years I could have been healthier. Anyone considering this please find out as much as you can from the web…. If you are prepared to fund the operation yourself then it will cost around £5-7000, again search on the web. This op is available abroad but consider the disadvantages, the band will need adjustments so where will they be done? If there are any problems, will your local doctors or surgeons help? Just questions you need to find out about, or at least think about. How much will you save for potentially more hassle.
I have gone on a bit today and probably bored any one who was interested by now, so I will close for now and talk about the other types of op during my next bollog!!
Bypass and DS (Duodenal Switch)