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My Doctor Scared Me to Death!


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First I would like to say congratulations to everyone who is making a wonderful commitment to a better life! I admire your strength and ambition. I would also appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise with me as I struggle with the decision to do lap-band surgery.

I met with a doctor yesterday (not from the OCC) to consult on lap-band surgery and he scared me to death about the procedure. First some statistics, I am currently 5'6" and 257 lbs. I have always been heavy even as a child, but active and healthy enough, but would run about 200 lbs and was comfortable enough. In fact, up until about two years ago I was a volunteer firefighter. Now (and some of this stuff before now), I have had a child (this is what slowed me down & I can't get back on track), have a messed up back, bad knees, weak ankles, GERD, PCOS, hiatal hernia, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, the beginning stages of high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. I love food, I'm not a snacker but a big portion eater, and sometimes eat for emotional distress or because it just looks too good to pass up. I am not into sweets, sodas, candies, chips, typical junk food, but I like real food...I just eat too much.

The doctor explained that I would have to loose 10 or 15 lbs pre-op and be on a liquid diet for about six weeks before surgery. That didn't scare me, I could do that. He told me about the adjustments of the band and I thought I could do that. What scared me to death was that he said I would have to cut up my food to 1/8" for the rest of my life. I thought I heard him incorrectly and asked if things would need to be cut down to the size of a pea...and he said no....I would have to cut my peas up.

Now there is every reason in the world for me to do this procedure, but if I had the will power to be on a liquid diet for 8 weeks and spend the rest of my life cutting peas and crushing pills...I don't think I would need the lap-band or even be in the position to need it.

I realize I would have to make a commitment to make this work, that it would be hard, emotionally trying, and would hopefully be the help I need to get back on track with my health. But I like to enjoy my meal and not focus on how big the bites are.

For me, eating is a struggle and I was hoping the lap-band would help me end that relationship with food. If I get the lap-band will I continue to find that eating is a struggle?

I am pretty devastated about this because I am afraid the lap-band will not work for me and I have no other options left. I don't like the idea of gastric bypass as a friend of mine almost died from it. So I need to know how your life is several months after being banded and how "normal" you feel in you life and in your relationship with food.

Thank you in advance, and it is ok to be brutally honest with me.

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First I would like to say congratulations to everyone who is making a wonderful commitment to a better life! I admire your strength and ambition. I would also appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise with me as I struggle with the decision to do lap-band surgery.

I met with a doctor yesterday (not from the OCC) to consult on lap-band surgery and he scared me to death about the procedure. First some statistics, I am currently 5'6" and 257 lbs. I have always been heavy even as a child, but active and healthy enough, but would run about 200 lbs and was comfortable enough. In fact, up until about two years ago I was a volunteer firefighter. Now (and some of this stuff before now), I have had a child (this is what slowed me down & I can't get back on track), have a messed up back, bad knees, weak ankles, GERD, PCOS, hiatal hernia, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, the beginning stages of high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. I love food, I'm not a snacker but a big portion eater, and sometimes eat for emotional distress or because it just looks too good to pass up. I am not into sweets, sodas, candies, chips, typical junk food, but I like real food...I just eat too much.

The doctor explained that I would have to loose 10 or 15 lbs pre-op and be on a liquid diet for about six weeks before surgery. That didn't scare me, I could do that. He told me about the adjustments of the band and I thought I could do that. What scared me to death was that he said I would have to cut up my food to 1/8" for the rest of my life. I thought I heard him incorrectly and asked if things would need to be cut down to the size of a pea...and he said no....I would have to cut my peas up.

Now there is every reason in the world for me to do this procedure, but if I had the will power to be on a liquid diet for 8 weeks and spend the rest of my life cutting peas and crushing pills...I don't think I would need the lap-band or even be in the position to need it.

I realize I would have to make a commitment to make this work, that it would be hard, emotionally trying, and would hopefully be the help I need to get back on track with my health. But I like to enjoy my meal and not focus on how big the bites are.

For me, eating is a struggle and I was hoping the lap-band would help me end that relationship with food. If I get the lap-band will I continue to find that eating is a struggle?

I am pretty devastated about this because I am afraid the lap-band will not work for me and I have no other options left. I don't like the idea of gastric bypass as a friend of mine almost died from it. So I need to know how your life is several months after being banded and how "normal" you feel in you life and in your relationship with food.

Thank you in advance, and it is ok to be brutally honest with me.

I have had the band 10 months and I do not cut anything up smaller than a pea! Thats a bit of an exaggeration if you ask me. You absolutely DO need to eat smaller bites and chew them up very well because they need to fit through the band. But you don't have to get carried away to the point of cutting up peas. Thats crazy. You will feel full much quicker and you will feel satisfied with smaller portions. The point of the lap band procedure is to continue eating the eame things you eat now, but on a much smaller scale. And you WILL feel satisfied with that less amount of food. That being said, there are some adjustments to that. Like, most people can no longer tolerate bread after banding. Tough dry meats are out of the question for some. Pineapple is off limits for others. Everyone is different. Not all pills need to be crushed. Only those smaller than an M&M candy. Lots of them come in liquid form too.

But to be honest from your description of your love affair with food, (I have one too) it doesn't really sound like you are ready. At this point, to still be worried about enjoying your food, sounds to me like you aren't ready to give it up. Yes, I love food too but I am tried of being in love with it and want that affair to end. The lap band is helping to get that other 'love of my life' out of my way! I'm tired of it. I want it over. I don't want food to be the main focus of my day anymore. And the lap band is doing helping me to get over it all. But, you have to be ready and you have to be a willing participant in wanting to end that roller coaster of eating.

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First I would like to say congratulations to everyone who is making a wonderful commitment to a better life! I admire your strength and ambition. I would also appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise with me as I struggle with the decision to do lap-band surgery.

I met with a doctor yesterday (not from the OCC) to consult on lap-band surgery and he scared me to death about the procedure. First some statistics, I am currently 5'6" and 257 lbs. I have always been heavy even as a child, but active and healthy enough, but would run about 200 lbs and was comfortable enough. In fact, up until about two years ago I was a volunteer firefighter. Now (and some of this stuff before now), I have had a child (this is what slowed me down & I can't get back on track), have a messed up back, bad knees, weak ankles, GERD, PCOS, hiatal hernia, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, the beginning stages of high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. I love food, I'm not a snacker but a big portion eater, and sometimes eat for emotional distress or because it just looks too good to pass up. I am not into sweets, sodas, candies, chips, typical junk food, but I like real food...I just eat too much.

The doctor explained that I would have to loose 10 or 15 lbs pre-op and be on a liquid diet for about six weeks before surgery. That didn't scare me, I could do that. He told me about the adjustments of the band and I thought I could do that. What scared me to death was that he said I would have to cut up my food to 1/8" for the rest of my life. I thought I heard him incorrectly and asked if things would need to be cut down to the size of a pea...and he said no....I would have to cut my peas up.

Now there is every reason in the world for me to do this procedure, but if I had the will power to be on a liquid diet for 8 weeks and spend the rest of my life cutting peas and crushing pills...I don't think I would need the lap-band or even be in the position to need it.

I realize I would have to make a commitment to make this work, that it would be hard, emotionally trying, and would hopefully be the help I need to get back on track with my health. But I like to enjoy my meal and not focus on how big the bites are.

For me, eating is a struggle and I was hoping the lap-band would help me end that relationship with food. If I get the lap-band will I continue to find that eating is a struggle?

I am pretty devastated about this because I am afraid the lap-band will not work for me and I have no other options left. I don't like the idea of gastric bypass as a friend of mine almost died from it. So I need to know how your life is several months after being banded and how "normal" you feel in you life and in your relationship with food.

Thank you in advance, and it is ok to be brutally honest with me.

That is a total exaggeration! I never cut things that tiny. Yes, you have to change some eating habits, chew-chew & slow-slow, but you learn and you move forward in success!! And not every doctor makes you be on liquids prior to surgery. I weighed 289 prior to surgery and got down to 276 on surgery day. I had 2 shakes a day and a lean cuisine or healthy choice as a meal everyday. So, it depends on your surgeon. Maybe you should get a second oppinon. I don't like Dr.'s who put fear in people. The fact of the matter is, obesity kills people everyday & if you don't treat it, it will destroy your life one way or the other. By depression, diabetes, heart disease or just stopping you from living!!! You will eat 1/3 of what you used to, so what?! I have had my band 4 months & everyday I wish I would have done it sooner!! I suggest you watch Dr. Ortiz's videos because he is a very realistic surgeon. Even if you don't choose him as your Dr. listen to what he has to say. I wish you the best of luck! Do not live in fear my friend! www.youtube.com/lapbandvideos

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Thank you all for the information, it was helpful. Although I like food, I do want to end my relationship with it, I am ready for that. He scared me because I thought I would have to create another relationship with food, but the whole cutting up peas thing made me fear I would have to develop a "bad" relationship with food, in that it would still control me.

When I was pregnant and the type 2 diabetes was at an all time high of out-of-controll, eating became an absoltue chore....and I wasn't ever hungry! I never craved anything! It was awesome. And I HAD to eat for the baby, in fact the doctors had a hard time getting me to eat! And starting around six months, while the baby growing healthy, I actually starting loosing weight. Now if I could regain that physical and emotional feeling again, it would help me greatly. I ate just enough of the right thing. I was happy to loose all joy of eating. If I wanted something "bad", I did have it, but I only ever took a bite and that was enough.

Now how can I feel pregnant without being pregnant??? :rolleyes:

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Where do you live? There might be some other people on this forum that live in your area and could suggest another doctor.

I can understand a doctor wanting you to see how serious this decision is, but he went way overboard. I am not very good at cutting things up into small enough pieces, but I recognize that and compensate by chewing. Too small of a bite and my teeth have trouble finding what I am supposed to be chewing. I just make sure to only swallow what has been chewed to the correct consistency. In fact, most of my bites are swallowed in two or three portions, not all at once. I do this when I drink as well to make sure that I am not gulping.

One thing I noticed after the band which may be beneficial to you is that after one or two bites of something I absolutely loved, I was satisfied as I had had the opportunity to taste it and I didn't feel the need to finish the entire thing. I think that for once it was nice to be able to "try " a bite or two of something and know that it wouldn't totally mess up my weight loss or cause me to fall off the wagon as a normal diet is expected. I don't "try" things on a regular basis, but if I find something I want to try, I do, especially if it is sitting on a family members plate, that way I am not tempted if I took too much of it. My nephews are still young enough that they are always willing to share a bite with me.

As for my pre-op diet I was told to lose 3 or 4 pounds but I was not given a specific diet to follow. I did have to go on clear liquids the day before surgery, but that was it. After surgery I had 3 days of clear liquids, 4 days of full liquids, a week of pureed and a week of mushy. After those 3 weeks I was able to start eating normal foods, trying only one new food at a time to figure out what did and did not work for me. However, everything did and still does work for me. The longer you are on a liquid diet the faster you seem to lose the weight, but I am happy just losing weight period. I am one week short of a year and have lost 60 pounds. I will take that number and be happy with it.

Let us know what you decide.

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complete fallacy...in fact, you'll be able to live a much fuller and happier life. I've only got my first fill just 2 days ago, and I'm much better for it.

In fact, I haven't had to cut my food smaller. (of course I chew the heck out of it, and only swallow part of the bite at a time...)...but that's how I deal with it. Cutting it up into smaller bites is just to make sure that you don't swallow too much at once. (it's not pleasant.)

Most of those health problems often referred to as "Co-morbidities" will go away with this surgery. I highly recommend it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm afraid that I'm one of those people that has to cut things up to the size of a pea (not smaller than a pea) or I feel it sitting in my chest and can't eat any more....even if I've only had one bite. I don't think this is the norm, though. I'm too early in to feel comfortable saying whether you should or shouldn't make this huge life-decision and I almost didn't post because I didn't want to scare you, but, yes, if I want to eat things that aren't mushy (which you are supposed to) my plate looks the way my kids food looked when I was first introducing solids to them- I even use their old baby plates. Again, this doesn't seem to be the norm. I wish I was the norm. It's a bit embarassing.

Sabrina:)

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First I would like to say congratulations to everyone who is making a wonderful commitment to a better life! I admire your strength and ambition. I would also appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise with me as I struggle with the decision to do lap-band surgery.

I met with a doctor yesterday (not from the OCC) to consult on lap-band surgery and he scared me to death about the procedure. First some statistics, I am currently 5'6" and 257 lbs. I have always been heavy even as a child, but active and healthy enough, but would run about 200 lbs and was comfortable enough. In fact, up until about two years ago I was a volunteer firefighter. Now (and some of this stuff before now), I have had a child (this is what slowed me down & I can't get back on track), have a messed up back, bad knees, weak ankles, GERD, PCOS, hiatal hernia, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, the beginning stages of high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. I love food, I'm not a snacker but a big portion eater, and sometimes eat for emotional distress or because it just looks too good to pass up. I am not into sweets, sodas, candies, chips, typical junk food, but I like real food...I just eat too much.

The doctor explained that I would have to loose 10 or 15 lbs pre-op and be on a liquid diet for about six weeks before surgery. That didn't scare me, I could do that. He told me about the adjustments of the band and I thought I could do that. What scared me to death was that he said I would have to cut up my food to 1/8" for the rest of my life. I thought I heard him incorrectly and asked if things would need to be cut down to the size of a pea...and he said no....I would have to cut my peas up.

Now there is every reason in the world for me to do this procedure, but if I had the will power to be on a liquid diet for 8 weeks and spend the rest of my life cutting peas and crushing pills...I don't think I would need the lap-band or even be in the position to need it.

I realize I would have to make a commitment to make this work, that it would be hard, emotionally trying, and would hopefully be the help I need to get back on track with my health. But I like to enjoy my meal and not focus on how big the bites are.

For me, eating is a struggle and I was hoping the lap-band would help me end that relationship with food. If I get the lap-band will I continue to find that eating is a struggle?

I am pretty devastated about this because I am afraid the lap-band will not work for me and I have no other options left. I don't like the idea of gastric bypass as a friend of mine almost died from it. So I need to know how your life is several months after being banded and how "normal" you feel in you life and in your relationship with food.

Thank you in advance, and it is ok to be brutally honest with me.

I am an emotional eater! I have had my Lap Band for exactly 2 weeks. I can honestly say that it's difficult. Some days are easy, and some are difficult! Trying to overcome the hunger pangs, is very difficult! I can also tell you that I am averaging 1-2lbs a day right now. You will see that as you lose the weight, and your clothes fit better, and people whom haven't seen you in awhile give you compliments , it makes it completely worth it all. It will be difficult, but you really do begin to adjust. I don't eat a quarter of what I used to, but as time goes by I barely notice.

Good luck, You can do this! ;)

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I've been banded a year and a half, and first, he is exaggerating, and second, you will create new eating, chewing, and swallowing habits so that eating slower and taking smaller bites will become second nature. This is not something to worry about. If I go out to eat with friends who are not familiar with my new eating habits they will comment about how I eat, but I don't even notice it any more.

By the way, I could probably take a bite of three or four peas at once, but I might not swallow them all at once. It varies from food to food and from time to time on how much I can eat and how much I can swallow at once. But again, don't worry about it. The whole idea of the band is to reduce your food portions, so of course that means your eating experience will change.

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  • 9 months later...

Hey there...I just signed up today to the website and came across your post. Have you gotten banded yet? If so, how are you doing? If not, what changed your mind. I am very happy with my decision. I have a love affair with food but I am sick of it and I feel this is an opportunity for me to get a grip on this affair. No matter what your decision...hang in there...

First I would like to say congratulations to everyone who is making a wonderful commitment to a better life! I admire your strength and ambition. I would also appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise with me as I struggle with the decision to do lap-band surgery.

I met with a doctor yesterday (not from the OCC) to consult on lap-band surgery and he scared me to death about the procedure. First some statistics, I am currently 5'6" and 257 lbs. I have always been heavy even as a child, but active and healthy enough, but would run about 200 lbs and was comfortable enough. In fact, up until about two years ago I was a volunteer firefighter. Now (and some of this stuff before now), I have had a child (this is what slowed me down & I can't get back on track), have a messed up back, bad knees, weak ankles, GERD, PCOS, hiatal hernia, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, the beginning stages of high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. I love food, I'm not a snacker but a big portion eater, and sometimes eat for emotional distress or because it just looks too good to pass up. I am not into sweets, sodas, candies, chips, typical junk food, but I like real food...I just eat too much.

The doctor explained that I would have to loose 10 or 15 lbs pre-op and be on a liquid diet for about six weeks before surgery. That didn't scare me, I could do that. He told me about the adjustments of the band and I thought I could do that. What scared me to death was that he said I would have to cut up my food to 1/8" for the rest of my life. I thought I heard him incorrectly and asked if things would need to be cut down to the size of a pea...and he said no....I would have to cut my peas up.

Now there is every reason in the world for me to do this procedure, but if I had the will power to be on a liquid diet for 8 weeks and spend the rest of my life cutting peas and crushing pills...I don't think I would need the lap-band or even be in the position to need it.

I realize I would have to make a commitment to make this work, that it would be hard, emotionally trying, and would hopefully be the help I need to get back on track with my health. But I like to enjoy my meal and not focus on how big the bites are.

For me, eating is a struggle and I was hoping the lap-band would help me end that relationship with food. If I get the lap-band will I continue to find that eating is a struggle?

I am pretty devastated about this because I am afraid the lap-band will not work for me and I have no other options left. I don't like the idea of gastric bypass as a friend of mine almost died from it. So I need to know how your life is several months after being banded and how "normal" you feel in you life and in your relationship with food.

Thank you in advance, and it is ok to be brutally honest with me.

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The only thing I can added that has not been said already (but I think it is neccessary in case you do have a consultation at the OCC) is that Dr. Ortiz told my mother & I that I would have to start eating 1/10 of what I was eating pre-op. First of all we told him I was already living WW, second he does not know what and how much I eat. I only bring this up because that number is even lower than the one you got. I know it was a total exageration on his part so I blew it off the second he said it.

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