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Lauredhel is an Australian woman and mother with a disability. She blogs about disability and accessibility, social and reproductive justice, gender, freedom from violence, the uses and misuses of language, medical science, otters, gardening, and cooking.

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  1. La di Da
    La di Da at |

    The lap band has a pretty dismal success rate, given that it’s supposed to make you thin for the rest of your life. At ten years post-op, about 5% of patients have retained a significant weight loss. It has a better initial “success” rate than plain ol’ dieting, but in the end it’s the same, only with the expensive and risky surgery. 25% of people who get it have it removed in the first three years due to either adverse events or it not causing weight loss.

    I detest that this kind of surgery is sold as “Mess with your digestive tract NOW or DIE OF TEH FATZ” with little discussion of side effects and dangers, and of course no mention that it’s possible to be healthy and fat. It’s claimed that it’s very safe because it’s removable, but a small but notable percentage of bands can’t be removed because it adheres to the stomach – even the manufacturer of the band doesn’t guarantee its removal past five years.

    And yet there are many, many fat people desperate to have this procedure done because fat people are social pariahs and told what worthless moral failures they are and so on – and once they have it, the side effects like vomiting, reflux, malnutrition, etc, are “worth it” to be slim and avoid the supposed death-by-fat that looms. If someone who’s had their lap band “fail” speaks up, they’re berated for “not doing it right”. (And in the USA, often up-sold to the incredibly dangerous gastric bypass surgery).

    I have actually had one doctor try to sell me the lap band surgery. He got quite cross when I told him I didn’t need a surgically-induced eating disorder. He seemed incredibly confused that a fat person existed who did not spend their days dreaming about what life would be like when they were thin and no longer a “failure”.

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