Weigh-Ins are on MONDAYS - Updated July 3, 2017

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

How Did You Know That the Lap Band Would Work For You?

Amanda is researching the possibility of getting a band.  She is self-pay.  

She's been asking some pretty awesome questions over on the Facebook page.  They're so awesome, that I was hoping that other bandsters could also comment and respond to her questions:

Here's what Amanda wrote:

How did you decide, I mean, where did you come up with the idea that you should do the lap band? How did you decide you COULD do it and do it well? How did you decide you could spend that kind of money? If I do it, I am self pay. I know I could stick to the diet and exercise and it wouldn't even kill me. It's just the money that hurts so bad at this point. I keep thinking, if I know I could do it with the band, then couldn't I do it without the band and save the 
bucks....but that doesn't make me feel hopeful....

My answer:

I decided that the Lap Band was for me when I failed at every other way of dieting and losing weight. I would lose and gain the same 30 lbs over and over and over again.  I learned that by attending a gastric bypass support group, that gastric bypass wasn't for me. I was relieved that there was another option: the Lap Band.  I then researched the Lap Band on every online source that I could find.

I was and am VERY determined to make the band work for me because I feel like this is my last chance to "get it right" and lose/keep the weight off long term.

I recommend that you attend a Lap Band support group if you can.  Attend a few.  Take all the time you need to gather all the information that you need to make the best decision for you

If you are thinking that you can do it without surgery, how about you give that a try? Honestly, see how it goes.  

When you are having episodes of hunger between meals, that is when the Lap Band would be there and quiet that hunger.  

When you are eating large volumes of food, that is when the Lap Band would be there to remind you to eat less (not always, but usually).

The band will not be there to make good food choices for you. You will have to do that.  Always.

If you do decide to get a Lap Band, please make sure that you are 100% comfortable with your decision.  

I too was self-pay and paid over $16K for my band.  Would I do it again? Absolutely.

Your turn...

Why did you choose to get a Lap Band?  Were you a self-pay patient?

How did you know that the Lap Band would work for you?


  1. Great post! I am going to copy your questions and answer over at my blog.
    I was the same as you (and so many others who turn to WLS: all other diets failed me.. so I went to the next level, so to speak.)

  2. I chose the Lapland because I was at rock bottom and had lost 80 pounds at least five times over my life and always gained the weight back. I had failed at every other diet and this was my hail mary move. I would absolutely do it again. It doesn't make the decisions for you but sure makes those weak moments a lot more bearable and less damaging. I'm down 83 pounds and not going back this time.

  3. I was also self pay with my band. I was at rock bottom when i started to research WLS options. When I started to research my options I realized that Gastric Bypass was not for me and I chose the band. Unfortunately, after losing 50 lbs with my band, I had it removed due to complications. I knew that if I didn't do something else, I would most likely regain some or all of the weight back so I researched another WLS option, Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. This option is more invasive than the band but less than Gastric Bypass. I again was self pay. I woke up from surgery with restriction. Something I was never able to have for long with my band. If I had known about VSG in the first place, I never would have gotten the band. It was very expensive to have to have 2 WLS but it was the best decision I could have made for me. Please research this option also. The cost for VSG is only slightly higher than band surgery. Actually, if you are self pay, it may be less in the long run because there are no fills or unfills. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them for you.

  4. Also, within 2 months I had lost 25 lbs and I have been maintaining and actually let a few more lbs since!

  5. I also had the VSG like Jacquie (but never the band) and I am quite sure that in the beginning if I were self-pay I would have doubted long and hard about spending money I didn't have to have WLS. My insurance did pay for most of my surgery (I had a high-deductible and paid probably $6K out of my own pocket before insurance kicked in.) But now being 15 months post-op and feeling so great after losing almost -100lbs, I would self-pay in a heartbeat to feel this good. Do all your research and most of all whatever TOOL (i.e. surgery) you pick, make it work for you! Learn the rules, follow the rules and you will be on your way in no time at all!

  6. I choose for many of the same reasons and my self was $8000.00 but worth every single penny! Would I do it again? Absofreakinglutely!

  7. Your post is SPOT ON! I too was a self pay and paid over $15,000! I was SO TIRED of diets! I wanted to change my life but I always failed at diets. The band is the slap on the back of the head saying "HEY stupid, your full!" I'm not climbing the walls with hunger at night. I don't feel deprived of anything. I am almost 9 weeks into this journey, don't regret a thing except not doing it sooner! I'm 41 lbs. lighter and my kids have a happier mom and a much more energenic mom!

  8. I was also self pay. I'd pay again. Double if I needed to. The money is nothing compared to the way my life has changed. I couldn't do it alone, I had tried. I would recommended anyone having doubts to make sure they had tried like heck on their own. The band doesn't make good choices for you, or exercise for you, or kill all the bad habits obese people have. But I can say, it changed my life.

  9. I was self pay as well. I was pretty confident the band would work for me because I am not a compulsive eater. Some people are fat because they need to consume. They consume bags of chips, tins of cookies and pints of ice cream. They inhale entire pizzas and love the drive thru. That wasn't me. I was fat because I always felt hungry. I usually ate the right things, but I was still consuming 2-3x what I should have been eating. I never had to retrain myself on how to eat- as in, choosing salmon over fried chicken. My only difference is choosing a much smaller piece of salmon.

    Would I do this again? YES. I am down 125 lbs!

    My one piece of advice to anyone considering surgery is to really figure out why are you fat to begin with? Do you have an emotional issue that the band is not going to fix? Are you a compulsive eater? The band doesn't change those things. Then make sure you are willing to actually stick with an eating and exercise program. Too many people still want to eat all of the crap and then complain that they aren't losing weight. The band will not police what your hand places into your mouth. This is like drug rehab- it doesn't work if you aren't willing to put your all into and WANT it to work!

  10. I was not self pay. My insurance covered 100% of my surgery and all of my post surgery care and adjustments (fill). I decided to get the band because I learned through a coworker that our insurance covered this procedure and then I began to research in earnest. It seemed the least invasive of the surgeries as there was no cutting of the stomach or rerouting any intestines.

    I knew going in without a doubt that changing my body by permanently adding an appliance to control my appetite that I would succeed. I would do whatever I had to do to get the weight off and keep it off. No, I did not have the out of pocket expense, but if I had to do it again without insurance, knowing what I know now, it was the best thing I ever did for myself and absolutely would pay if I had too.

  11. All of the above answers apply to me. I also had seen my best friends mother be successful with the lap band and something she said to me stuck out...that she didn't think if her mom hadn't been banded that she would still have maintained the weight loss and that was kind of my lightbulb moment. That yes, I have lost weight before but always gained it back as had her mother. I was also terrified of the surgery but once I went to an information session with a surgeon that I clicked with it made me feel confident that I would make it through surgery.

  12. For me, the same as many of the above comments. But I had never looked at weight loss surgery as an option... I thought only really out of control people did it... until I couldn't stand it any more (at almost 300 lbs). And then I went through the process of thinking it through-- and realizing that it was okay if I wasn't able to lose weight permanently without surgery. I had lost almost a hundred pounds previously... it was not a failure to accept a tool, but a great gift. It still requires that I work with it. And though my insurance paid for it, I think it is worth the cost.

  13. Why did you choose to get a Lap Band? I felt the gastric bypass was too anatomy changing for me. Gastric sleeve was too experimental for my insurance company.

    Were you a self-pay patient? No, I have insurance that paid 80%; however, I jumped through hoops for the insurance company to approve the surgery--12 months of supervised diet classes and even at my surgery consult, the doctor felt it would be denied b/c I did not lose 10% of my weight (which would have been 32lbs). Approved within a week due to other health conditions. There was shock and awe at the doctor's office--LOL.

    How did you know that the Lap Band would work for you? I didn't know it would work especially since the other two ladies at my workplace were the same weight as they started. But with any WLS, these are just tools. Just because you have a hammer does not make you a carpenter. Lapband, gastric bypass and gastric sleeve are all tools!! Bypass and sleeve patients can stretch their newly sized pouches and band patients can still eat the wrong foods. So far I have lost 80lbs but I notice what the other ladies eat and talk about the afterwork activities, they are not using their tools properly.
    Good Luck!!

  14. I just knew that is what I wanted in my life. I was not going out being FAT anymore. I was determined. I didnt want gastric bypass. Most of the people that know have gained it back. Ugh. I knew I would suceed. I could "taste it" if you know what I mean. I have never thought I made a mistake. Never ever.

  15. Thank you all for your comments, they were so helpful. I am not battling in my own mind about it, it is my husband who doesn't like the idea. He is all for the surgery, but not spending the money. If I had insurance coverage, he'd be all about it. So I was looking for reasons to explain to him how this would be different than all the thousand of other things I have tried. We have a Carecredit account with enough to do it, and I will have to pick up 6-8 hours a a week of a new part time job to make the payments, which might be hard because I already work full time, am raising three kids, and getting a master's degree, but where there's a will, there's a way right! I am pretty sure I am going to do it. I just know I would do well with it, sometimes you know yourself best. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP!

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