Lap-band surgery: A New Look at Life

Heath Bravery

I have a longtime friend who has struggled forever with her weight. As hard as she tries, she just can’t seem to get the weight off.

She has tried every diet known to man. She goes to the gym every day or two. She takes dance lessons almost as frequently. She definitely is a woman who keeps moving.

New Barriatric Beginnings

This friend–we’ll call her Janet–has decided to get lap-band surgery.
It sounds pretty drastic. She described the procedure to me. She originally spoke to a gastroenterologist and found that she needed to really take a look at her lifestyle. So began her journey.

I can’t remember exactly what happens to the stomach, but after the surgery, it only has the capacity to hold about a quarter the amount of food that it held before the surgery.

This, of course, requires a major shift in eating habits. Not only will she have to eat a lot less but she’ll have to eat much more frequently. She will also have to eliminate some things she consumes now, like carbonated drinks.

Because her body won’t be getting as many nutrients, she will have to be disciplined about taking vitamins and supplements.

If she doesn’t take the supplements, she will experience serious side effects. One of these will be texture changes to her hair. It could either fall out or take on a wiry, straw-like texture.

A certain percentage of people who get lap-band surgery gain the weight back and this is very bad news. But enough others keep the weight off, and this percentage is what my friend envisions herself being part of.

She is going to have this surgery within the month.
She has two sons. One just wants her to be happy and he is neutral about the procedure.

The other son is angry that she’s getting the surgery. He is convinced that if she ate the right way–like he does –that she could take the weight off naturally.

He’s not angry about the surgery itself. He’s just disgusted that she, in his opinion, lacks the discipline and self-control to lose the weight simply by making better eating choices.

This bothers my friend but she has come to the point of letting his opinion go.

It’s my body, she says. He’s a 23-year-old kid who has never had a weight issue and has no clue what it’s like to be my age and unable to get the weight off regardless of how active or healthy I am.

I personally am mixed. There’s a lot involved in this procedure. It seems a bit risky. I’m afraid she’ll gain the weight back. I’m afraid of complications to her digestive tract and organs.

Also, I know the surgery won’t solve all of her problems. She will have to have a second surgery that will remove all of the excess hanging skin.
But on the other hand, I’m thrilled for her. I’m glad she can afford it and I’m glad her husband is supportive. I’m glad they can also afford the subsequent skin-removal surgery.

So overall I’m happy for her that she has a way out of the weight-loss treadmill that she has been on.