I post this as a cautionary tale, not to dissuade others from having lapband surgery.
A few years ago, I decided that I needed a lapband. I found a doctor who made me jump through a lot of hoops to "prove" I wanted and needed the surgery. I never found him very personable, he avoided direct questions and kept trying to move my appointments. I should have trusted my gut reaction to this guy.
The day of the surgery, things went wrong. My iv was pulled outduring or right after surgery, and I was getting no painkillers. The nurses told me that I was being transferred to ICU because of my pain. The doctor did not tell my parents the same thing. I was transferred out of ICU when I discovered the iv was not in and I got pain killers.
After the first week, I felt hungrier than I have ever felt in my life. I told the doctor at my first appointment. He said that I was imagining it. At the second appointment, I complained again. This time he said it was because I had not had my band filled on the table (WHICH IS STANDARD PROCEDURE). He couldn't find the port, after four weeks, because it was sewn in incorrectly and had shifted. He had me meet him at the hospital the next day, then he filled it a minimal amount. At that point, I could see the fluroscope and I saw that the band looked to be in the wrong place, so I asked about it. He told me not to worry. There was no third appointment, as he mysteriously left the practice.
I was transferred to another doctor in the practice. I told him my concerns. I was three months after surgery, I had never been correctly filled, I was vomiting almost every day, and I was getting back the weight I had lost prior to the surgery. He poohed poohed me and sent me back to a nutrionist. Then, at appointment five, he told me to ignore the nutrionist. I started asking for an xray at every appointment. I was gaining more weight than I had lost at this point and I was extremely discouraged. Instead of trying to help me, he ignored my concerns and told me that everything was fine with the band, but I was hard to fill, and I should just follow the diet. After a year, I gave up. I gained 70 pounds after surgery.
About six months ago, I couldn't stand it any more. I was still throwing up many times a week and not getting anywhere on my weight. I decided to try a new bariatric practice.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! This new practice has three very supportive doctors. They immediately were concerned about the issues I had had, and one told me these were "red flag" issues that should have been explored. They requested my records, and found that not one of my problems were reflected in the records.
They did an xray and found that my lapband was disconnected from the port and was in the wrong place. This wrong position was confirmed in an upper endoscopy, and both problems were confirmed during surgery when they took my defective band out.
I am having gastric sleeve surgery in two weeks, and I am hoping that I will soon be losing the weight that I have been trying to.
Meanwhile, at the old practice, doctor number two was fired.
I tell you all this, because you may think that you don't need a surgeon with a concerned manner. You may be worried about his skills and schooling. When things go wrong, however, you need doctors who are listening. I should have trusted my instincts about the first doctor and left the practice when I realized he wasn't really interested before the surgery. But I was so desperate to get the surgery, that I told myself it didn't matter. I will never make that mistake again.