Here With You

here with youWelcome to our column, Gut Feelings, where surgeons write about an issue that is important to them personally. Here With You was written by Dr. Gregory Schroder – bariatric surgeon in Virginia, and member of Doctors of Weight Loss.


Do you have a Lap Band? How is it going for you? No matter what your answer, you’re not alone.

For one third of patients with adjustable gastric band, their life with the band means success. I’ve conquered an addiction, an emotional impasse, a physical barrier. It means health, prosperity and years added back to my life. No more hypertension, no more diabetes, no more sleep apnea, no more taking 5, 10 or more medications a day… not stepping on a scale and saying “I can’t take this anymore” and feeling hopeless. It means energy, triumph, a rebirth of life. It means coming out of the shadows, re-engaging in life with more vigor and meaning. It means confidence, strength and a determination that I will never go back. It means control! Eating to live, not living to eat.

For another third of patients it means the insanity has stopped. The continual spiral of weight gain….weight loss….weight gain plus more. No more yo-yo. It has brought improvement in health, but not maybe not resolution of all health issues; it has facilitated weight loss but maybe not as much as wanted. I realize that I could do better… I am struggling a bit. A realization that I control this, but maybe I do not make the best choices all of the time. A realization that this truly is a tool that helps me do the work, rather than do the work for me. I’m happy but things could be better.

For another one third, we feel failure! Weight loss of only 10-15%, frustration, not following rules, sabotage, undermining… knowing what I needed to do but not doing it. Maybe this surgery wasn’t for me… maybe I need something stronger. Not something adjustable, but permanent. Something that gives me better control. Maybe I need to take this band out. Change to something else… a sleeve or a gastric bypass. Was it me? Was it the emotional and stressful issues in my life? Was I not ready, not prepared for the journey? Was it….is it… me?

No matter what group you may be in though – congratulations – because you made one of the toughest decisions of your life: to face your fear, to take control and overcome this obstacle affecting your days.

One third of you are stars, and god bless you.

One third of you did okay – you are still fighting the fight and we are here to help you!

One third of you did not achieve your goal. Some are ready to give up, others are still trying to make it work, yet others ready to try again, something different.

Whatever group you’re in, we are your surgeons and we are here for you. We want to see you, to follow up, to celebrate your successes or help you turn things around. We support whatever your decision is – we are not here to judge, only to help. We chose bariatric surgery because we are in this for the long term. With are with you!!

by Dr. Gregory Schroder


Previous Gut Feelings:

Erasing Words

Passion Reignited

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