New York | Adjustable Gastric Band

Hi! My name is Alex Brecher. I was overweight for most of my life. My highest weight was 255 lbs. I got the LAP-BAND surgery in 2003 and now weigh 165 lbs. In 2003, there weren’t many support resources for weight loss surgery online, so the night I came home after surgery, I founded the world’s largest online support forums for the weight loss surgery community.

Like many of us, my weight became more of a problem throughout high school, and I continued to struggle in college. I could lose weight if I tried hard – if I hit the gym and ate right, or if I followed crazy diets that involved things like odd shakes and popping pills. But the weight always came back, with a little extra. Worse, food played too big of a role in my life. I focused on it instead of being able to enjoy other things as much as I should have.

I knew I needed to do something to get my life back. I noticed that one of my friends who had been obese most of his life, had lost most of his excess weight. He looked fantastic! I asked him how he had done it, and he told me about the LAP-BAND. I looked into it, and agreed that it looked like a great choice. It seemed like it would help me lose weight by assisting me to watch my portions, and it did not seem too invasive. So I went for it!

It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. My surgery was on July 18, 2003. Twelve years later, I weigh 165 lbs. I don’t yo-yo diet, and I don’t obsess over food. That’s not to say the journey is easy or it ever ends. I still pay attention to what I eat. I still monitor my weight. I still get my band filled and unfilled if I need more or less restriction. But it’s not a chore. Being able to eat right and work out is a privilege.

Losing weight with the LAP-BAND has given me so much. By far the biggest gift I have is getting to be there for my three kids. Whatever they want to do, I do with them, whether it’s biking or playing outside or going to their activities. I have the energy and ability to keep up.

I also gained a new passion – advocating for weight loss surgery patients. I began the discussion forums when I got home from the hospital after my weight loss surgery in 2003. Now they have over a quarter million members looking for and providing support, and I am honored to play a small role in their weight loss surgery journeys. I have also had the opportunity to meet and work with caring surgeons, policy makers, and other weight loss surgery patients and advocates.

Good luck on your weight loss surgery journey!


IN WHAT YEAR DID YOU HAVE SURGERY?
2003

WHAT WAS YOUR HIGHEST WEIGHT BEFORE SURGERY?
255 lbs

WHAT IS YOUR HEIGHT?
5′ – 7″
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO HAVE SURGERY?
Current health concerns; Preventing future health concerns; Living longer; Controlling my eating; Appearance; Career prospects

WHAT WAS YOUR LOWEST WEIGHT AFTER SURGERY?
155 lbs

DO YOU HAVE ANY MEDICAL ISSUES THAT HAVE IMPROVED SINCE SURGERY?
High blood pressure; Acid reflux
WHAT WERE YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT BARIATRIC SURGERY?
Insurance coverage; Cost; Finding the right surgeon or program; Complications or death; Future health concerns; Not losing enough weight; Loose skin; Opinions of family/friends

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT WEIGHT?
165 lbs

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT HAVING WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY?
Losing weight; Improved health; More energy/better quality of life; Less pain; Better family life; Improved appearance; Increased job performance; Optimism/life outlook; Self esteem