Friday, March 11, 2016

Getting a LapBand with Celiac Disease - Part I

When I first considered getting a LapBand I tried to research any information about LapBands and Celiac Disease and the only thing I found were others asking the same answers. I'm hoping to help others who might be on the same search.   Part II and Part III

After working for 10 long years with a bevy of so called experts – Primary Care Physicians, Nutritionists, Bariatric Specialists, and Endocrinologists – I’d finally come to the conclusion that I needed to take control of my own life and do something drastic. I’ve always been one of those rare birds…an overweight Celiac.  In fact, to this day I am still undiagnosed primarily because every Doctor I’ve questioned about it has stated that my only problem is my weight and if I was a true Celiac I’d be much thinner!!  All I know is that for me the GF diet works…I’ve been Wheat-Free then Gluten-Free for over 25 years now.  And I still feel great!!  And boy can I tell right away if I’ve been Glutened!!  I don’t need no stinkin’ Diagnosis!!

But my weight has been slowly overtaking me…leaving me unable to keep up with my Family and Friends and that’s been very distressing.  So with the new year I purchased the best (more expensive) insurance and plunged forward, determined to get a Lap Band that would help me control my food intake and therefore get rid of some of this unnecessary weight.  Surgery was no easy decision for me…I was absolutely terrified!!  Thankfully, I also have a great Support Group in my Family and Friends…and they helped me every step of the way to getting it done. Here in Florida I found one of the BEST Surgeons.  Then I had to go through six more months of Nutrition Counseling, be interviewed by a Psychiatrist, be approved for Surgery by my PCP, prove with a starvation diet that I could be determined, and then finally get my Surgery scheduled.

I chose the Lap Band specifically because it’s one that’s most common around the world and I LOVE to travel.  So if I run into trouble anywhere I can get care.  I’ve also heard that the Lap Band is a bit more unforgiving if you like to eat meat…and I’m 90% vegetarian so that wasn’t even an issue.

Surgery was a breeze!!  I just loved my Anesthesiologist!!  I went in with a Blood Pressure of 221/90…did I mention I was terrified??  After about 45 minutes I was able to get it back down to a more normal level…and my Anesthesiologist just took over.  Last thing I remember is watching her walk away from my drip line…I knew she had slipped something into it…next thing I knew I was waking up with her sitting beside me talking quietly.  It was over, and my eyes were open and I felt pretty good!! 

I elected to take the 23 hour hospital stay…and I’m glad I did.  I just didn’t feel comfortable going home without someone monitoring me for at least a little while.  My bed was pretty comfortable…one of those craftmatic types…and beyond that it was pretty much a standard Hospital stay.

Every step of the way…from Pre-Op to Admission on the floor…every single person I met asked me the exact same question.  “You have Wheat Allergies, Gluten Intolerance, and Latex Sensitivity…is that correct?”  At least 24 times I affirmed, yes – that’s correct.  So what did I receive on my Breakfast tray the next morning??  CREAM OF WHEAT!!

Ah well, seems no-one ever talks to Nutrition!!  But it was a typical Hospital stay…and now I’m home learning how to cope with this new tool.  I’m doing pretty well so far…and already looking forward to my next big vacation.  We’re heading off to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic next year…I can’t wait!!
Carolanne Le Blanc
Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771


  1. Thank you!! I too am an overweight Celia and have been debating about lapband.

  2. I thank you as well. I have been diagnosed with Celiac and Hashimoto's Disease; two auto-immune diseases working against me. I have an awesome primary care physician who ran the Celiac tests as well as recommending lap band. I have my first consult with the surgeon in 2 weeks, and I can't wait to start my new life. Thank you for sharing the inspiration of your story.