Saturday, April 11, 2015

A weight loss journey with a lap band can be difficult

Melonie on the Rikki Lake show

 Melonie had a lap band in 2012 (approx) and she lost over 100 lbs in about 6-9 months. She loved her band in 2013 when she posted this video, saying it had given her a lot of restriction and was a great tool.  Would she have it again though? - even at that time she said "Probably not". She described it as "high Maintenance" - she had very tight fills (up to 7 cc) although she said she liked how you could adjust it. She also said that when she had lost her weight, she could feel her port (where a lap bander gets their "fills" to tighten or loosen the band) and that was uncomfortable - apparently she had a revision surgery to move the port but it still bothered her, she said.  

Unable to afford plastic surgery for all the loose skin, Melonie opted out to go to South America - She appeared on the Rikki Lake show, saying this had been a major mistake - they did several procedures including abdominoplasty, lower body lift and lipo suction in one 8 hour session.  And sent her home to the US with several drains and a lot of pain.

In a later video, made approx January 2014, she described a rather horrendous experience with her lap band when it slipped, causing excruciating pain and finally getting to the point where it prevented her from even drinking water.  She finally, went to the ER and they removed the band, saying that her stomach had begun to erode and that she'd made it to removal just in time...  She admitted that during her weight loss process and maintenance, she vomited a lot which is a "no no" with any weight loss surgery and especially with the lap band - vomiting can do a lot of damage including rip out internal stitches or in the case of the lap band, cause slippage.  As my weight loss surgery surgeon friend says "Measure twice, eat once, vomit never!

She did keep most of her weight off without her band although having to have it removed caused her a lot of emotional pain and in an update video, showed a body shot where she looked really good.

What folks don't understand about any weight loss surgery, is that the patient does most of the work (90% of the work, says one weight loss surgery surgeon). And that even the safer procedures can bite in the long run.