Lap Band Surgery

As I was driving to the office this morning I noticed that in one ten mile stretch of freeway there were 6 billboards advertising Lap Band Surgery for weight loss.


We find this more than a little troubling. First, because the hospitals advertising this “easy” weight loss solution neglect to mention that at least a third of the people who opt for it end up with an alcohol problem. That’s right – 33% end up self-medicating with alcohol instead of food.

Think about it. These patients end up having undergone unnecessary life altering surgery only to substitute one symptom – self medicating with food for another – self medicating with alcohol. And that still has to be addressed.

Or not.

Many of these patients will be so discouraged by the unexpected alcohol problem that they’ll simply give up, drink, and eventually gain back to weight too (which another third of the Lap Band recipients will also do, but that’s another subject).

What’s the point? I suppose we could celebrate that hospital administrations are working hard to increase the number our potential clients, but we’d really rather they didn’t.

The real point is that it’s better to fix problems with real solutions rather than go for “quick, easy, and very very temporary”. As with alcohol abuse, do you really want quick, easy, and counter-productive?

Of course what you want is careful, methodical, real, and effective. You want your life enhanced, not diminished.

Yes, real solutions take time, attention, and effort. That’s what we provide and it’s also what you need to invest in if changes are going to be lasting, positive, and worth it.

That’s true regardless of the problem. Fix it the first time. That’s what we help you do.

Give us a call. We do answer the phones ourselves, unless we’re with clients, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday; 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

Lap Band – Another Thought

The second point that bothered us about the ads was the steadily shrinking amount of weight you needed, or wanted, to lose in order to “qualify”.

It used to be that gastric bypass and lap band were procedures for the morbidly obese. No longer. Now they’re down to offering it to people wanting to lose 40 or 50 pounds – hardly morbidly obese unless you’re under 4’6″.

Permanently alter your body, risk alcohol dependence, malnutrition, and who knows what all else, in order to avoid making a few healthy lifestyle changes?

Yes, surgery is quick; but the physical changes are permanent; and the weight loss is usually temporary.

Yes, we know. We all want quick and easy – which is why we have problems with self-medication. And the hospitals have a major motive – the surgeries are a profit generating juggernaut. But do you want to contribute to their cash flow by risking your body and degrading your life?

This isn’t all academic to us, of course. We do see clients post-op who’ve learned the lesson and, frankly, got us into reading the research.

We’ve also begun seeing clients interested in losing the weight and who find our approach to self-medicating effective whether it’s with alcohol or food.

Yes, it’s dangerous out there when you go looking for actual help. Whether the problem is alcohol or weight, there are plenty of institutions ready to take your money in exchange for their temporary solutions.

So, please, as the Sergeant said every morning on Hill Street Blues twenty five years ago, “Be careful out there.”

We Have Resources..

Once again there’s a new article for you to take a look at – a few thoughts on The Best Approaches For Men to look at when it’s time to leave the alcohol abuse behind. As usual, gender can make a difference as in determining how successful you are at leaving alcohol abuse behind.

Remember to check out Women and Alcohol – What to Consider in Alcohol Treatment.

You can also email either of us directly to schedule an appointment or ask a question:

Mary Ellen at:

Ed at:

Toll Free From the Lower 48 or Canada: 888-541-6350

In Los Angeles, or from Alaska: 760-580-5758