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My lap band experience from start till finish

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Hi guys, well I just got back to the Marriot after having my surgery yesterday. I thought I'd tell you my story from start to finish so you know what to expect.

First, let me say, I am doing this entire journey on my own. None of my family or friends know of this decision. That may change later, but for now, it is my secret. Therefore, this story is from the single girl's perspective. OK, now back to the story...

I had stayed on the pre-op diet until the day of my flight and lost 10 pounds total. I flew out of Charlotte, NC and decided to take a direct flight to San Diego because I hate lay overs. So as I waited at the airport, I got a Southwest Chicken Cobb salad from Chili's and it was wonderful. Then I waited for my long flight to take off. I was scheduled to land at 8:41 but we got in significantly early- at 8:00. Shocker, right?? Anyway, obviously this meant that the driver was not there to pick me up yet. It wasn't his fault, so I just waited. But it was getting late and I was tried. It was 8:00 here but I'm still on EST time, so it was 11:00 to me. Anyway, the driver (I forgot his name, I'm sorry) was so nice. He was there right at 8:40 like he was scheduled to be. And then we were off to the Marriot.

This hotel was beautiful. The staff is more than willing to bend over backward for whatever you need than anywhere else I've stayed in the US. They were great and the room was lovely. Carolyn (my coordinator) told me I could have one more meal before 12:00 but no more food or drink after that. So I went down to the hotel restaurant and had a very lovely meal. It was grilled chicken with a black sauce over mashed sweet potatoes and mushrooms. It was super yummy and was a perfect "last meal."

Then I headed up to bed. The driver was scheduled to pick me up at 7:00 so I set the alarm and wake up call and my phone (yes, a little overkill) for 5:30. Now- I like to snooze. Every morning I snooze at least 3-5 times. But Friday morning, I popped out of bed with excitement. I took a long relaxing shower, did my hair and makeup, and even put some lotion on. I wanted to do all I could to just feel relaxed and ready. I put on my most comfortable pajamas and headed to the lobby. Now, since I came alone and would be staying the next night at the OCC, I checked out of my room. So I completed checkout with all my luggage and waiting for the van. When the van arrived, I realized I was not the only one on this journey. A nice woman named Christine and her husband were also headed there for Christine's surgery. It was nice to finally meet someone that I could tell about my own personal decision.

So off we go to the Center. When we got there, there were 4-5 lovely ladies waiting in the waiting room and we quickly realized they had had their surgery the day before and were now leaving. Several of them are members on this board. So then we waited. First, we had to sign a couple releases. Then I had my IV put in. I was a bit nervous about this because the most I've ever had is a finger prick. It hurt a little, but then you get used to it.

Then I saw Dr. Juarez. He had me do a lung test, blood pressure test, and heart test. All were A-OK. Then I saw the nutritionist. She was super sweet. She weighed and measured me. 5'4'' 220lbs. And she told me my goal weight should be around 160 although I'd like to get down to 130... baby steps. She basically just reaffirmed what we should all already know about our post op diet. She also stressed the fact that is is very important to follow it to the T. She says most people that go on to the next step early may not notice any problems digesting but overall, their success level is a bit lower because they are stretching out their band. After spending Over $7000 for this life changing experience, I will be a fool not to follow it exactly. So I will do my best.

Then I was prepped for surgery. I put a gown and silly paper panties on. Then a very nice lady who kept trying to tell me how much she loved my eyes put on my stockings. She was so so cute. Then one of the nurses gave me several drugs through my IV. She gave me a pain killer, a anti-nausea, and one other thing...hmm... Then she put a pill under my tongue and said "this is like 1 tequila, 2 tequila." Hahaha! I definitely laughed.

Then after I was very woozy, Dr Ortiz came in. I'll be honest, I wish I had seen him before I was all loopy, but it was fine. We briefly chatted, he told me what to expect, and then I was off in a wheelchair to the surgery. Here's what I remember from that. They wheeled me in and I laid down on the bed. They pushed my arms across and that's it. I remember nothing else except waking up again in my room in my bed. I was very disoriented and woozy and in pain. The nice lady that helped me with my stalkings came in and took those off and helped me get dressed back in my pajamas. She gave me a popsicle and told me to rest. And I did. Oh I did.

Later on a new nurse came in and started giving bottle water along with ice cubes and popsicles. Before bed we also got some chicken broth. I have certainly been feeling lots of pain that goes in and out. I brought Gas-X with me and have been using that and it certainly helps. I'm really not in too much pain unless I am getting up or down. Walking around certainly helps to move the gas but sometimes you just need to lay all the way down. Before leaving the hospital they gave me pain killers to last the next couple days. I also brought some liquid Tylenol with me if I need it.

So here I am, back in the hotel just relaxing. I've taken a shower and will lay down for a nap soon. Overall, this has been a wonderful experience and I hope it helps anyone who it concerned about the procedure. I hope I brought you some peace of mind. :)


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Hi Mandy,

That was my group leaving. Everything happened so fast on our way out of the door I wish I could have said hi.

You basically detailed my entire experience too. :D I felt so good the next day that we came home.

I haven't told many people either. So we are hear for each other. Great job!


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Same experience here except when I woke up my mom told me I kept pouting about not having pants... yeah... I dont know what that is about.

Also for a long time I had trouble telling if I had gas or if I was hungry... they kind of felt the same to me!

Good luck on your journey! You are going to do great!

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Hi Mandy, thanks so much for the info. I have been so blessed to hear all of the information that you ladies have shared of your experiences. I fly out in the morning for my procedure on Monday the 18th Whooo Hooooo! It seems like this day took a while to get here but now that it is here it seems to have come so fast. I will be posting my progress also and will keep in touch with yours. I too have kept my surgery a secret except for my husband who will be coming with me for support and my son and daughter. I have 5 kids but they are the only ones that know. I just want people to experience the metamorphis that I am about to go through without any judgments or opinions. This is my life and a very personal experience for me. I am soooooo excited. My sister is also going to do the surgery but is going a different route. I feel that the one I have chosen is indeed one of the best.


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I also had my surgery on the 14th and had a wonderful experience. I have had very little pain, only when I bend over. The

largest incision is a little sore but the others are great. I must admit though, I am very hungry. Broth just doesn't cut it but

it is a small price to pay. There is NO WAY I will cheat. I was also one of the ladies that was getting ready to leave when you

came to the clinic and I'm glad you had a good experience. I did make one mistake and weighed myself. It appears that I've

gained 7 lbs but I am pretty sure it's probably from fluid retention and swelling. It sure the heck isn't from food. Keep us

posted on your success! :lol:

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Congrats to you all!!!!! I am so glad that everything went well and I can't wait to see your progress!!!!!

I'm so jealous for you all that get to meet each other and bond before and after your surgery. When I got there everyone for that day had already gone in and they decided at the last minute to do my surgery that day instead of the next day which was my scheduled date.

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Thank you so much for the fabulously detailed posting of your preop and op experience Mandy. I too am going to embark on this journey so it has given me some insight into what to expect. Like you I'm not telling anyone other than hubby that I'm having this done. I gave up smoking 6 mths ago and found that my smoking friends would try to sabbotage my efforts and my non smoking friends minimalized my efforts. :( I don't want the same thing to happen here. Noone can sabbotage what they don't know....hehehe. I look forward to hearing about your progress on this journey Mandy. May the force be with you!! You go girfriend!!!! :D

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I took the red eye flight home back to Charlotte, NC. I was home by 6:00 AM and slept until 1:00. I have experienced lots of different feelings and pains since then but nothing I can't handle or not prepared for. I am still trying to understand and read my body though. The hunger pains I had pre-op are not the same hunger pains I feel now. So it has been a learning process to say the least. I did my best to stick to the diet exactly as listed but only made it to Day 5 on clear liquids alone. But I think that was pretty good. It's funny. I was feeling so good eating just the plain broth- rotating from chicken, to beef, to vegetable- until Day 5. All of a sudden around noontime, I HAD to eat something else. No one could have stopped me! I went to the store and loaded up in all sorts of yogurts, puddings, jell-o, cream of soups, oatmeal and popsicles. All sugar-free (when possible). I have found one item that I cannot live without. Jell-O brand Dulce De Leche sugar free pudding. SUPERB! 60 calories and a WONDERFUL dessert. Try it, you will love it! Another staple I will keep in my diet is oatmeal. I had oatmeal this morning for breakfast (around 10:00 am) it's 2:44 here and I'm not even close to hungry. That's such a wonderful feeling!

So far I have lost a total of 15 lbs. I started pre-op at 230. At surgery I was 220. I am now down to 215. My goal is 130. I will get there slowly but surely.

I hope this helps anyone considering this surgery. It is life changing- good life changing.

Hey, glad you are feeling better! Sounds like you got lucky with border patrol.. that is great.

As far as food goes, I was under the impression you really had to stick to the liquids for 21 days, otherwise it can mess up your band. Are you sure oatmeal counts as part of the liquid phase? I would check with Dr. Miranda just to make sure, this is a really important time of healing and you don't want to stretch your band out or it can hinder your weight loss later on. I don't know much about what pudding counts for, I just get a little worried hearing that you are eating almost solid foods so early.. just be careful with that band! My mom is a couple weeks in and still on liquids, from what we were told, this is important. Anyway, just wanted to add my 2 cents, good luck with the band!

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Hi Mandy!

I hope you're doing well one week out from surgery. :) I was banded with you that day and I'm doing really well so far. Overall it was a great experience and I loved the staff at OCC. I hope you keep in touch about your weight loss!


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