Reader Question: Life with Slimband?

Update: You can find all weight loss/Slimband-related posts under the Weight Loss category or by clicking here.


Dear Ginger,

I came across your blog and saw that you had the Slimband surgery a few weeks ago. I am considering it too but trying to get as much info as possible. Would you mind sharing some of your thoughts with me? I’m in Toronto and was considering the actual Slimband clinic as opposed to other lapband places. What’s your experience with them been like? Are you satisfied?
If you also don’t mind me asking, are you able to eat better now? Just less of everything?
I’m desperate for a solution but if it’s going to involve me being super strict and “sticking to it” (it being anything) I don’t see a point because if I had the self control I wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first

Thanks for any advice you can offer

Hi N.B.,

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I hope you have enjoyed reading it :)

I’ll do my best to answer your question here, but if I miss anything I’ll be doing periodic posts about my surgery & experiences on the blog (I’ve just been busy recovering lately!)

The first thing I want to say is that you should really do your research and go with a clinic that not only offers the best service and technology, but one that you feel comfortable with. This is a huge thing to go through and you want everything to go as smooth as possible. I’ll tell you my experiences with Slimband but I encourage you to check out other places as well, every person is different.

What I found is that they all offer roughly the same services for the same cost ($16,000). You want to have someplace that has a good follow-up program with dieticians, communities, and free fills for life. The market is competitive so I think most places offer the same stuff.

Essentially I chose Slimband because I felt that the actual band was superior in construction, the location was more convenient for me and I got a chance to talk with Niki as my consultant. Niki is the lady you see in all the ads everywhere. I also felt that the clinic might be the right choice because they are able to afford the giant ad campaign. I work in advertising so I know that it is not cheap!

Slimband also had Dr. Yau, who has performed over 5000 of these surgeries. I wanted someone competent to do my surgery. Unfortunately I didn’t end up getting him that day, but the other surgeon spoke with me, answered my questions and in the end, he did a good job.

I’m mostly satisfied with the service so far. There were a few issues with payment and my questions not being addressed properly before surgery, so I would just hound them for the answers. In the end most things got sorted out. I think that no matter how much reading material and stuff they give you, there may always be surprises along the way with this type of surgery.

Anyway, at this point I am now able to eat “real food” once again. I’m Sooooo excited. So far I’ve been able to eat what I want, just less of it. You also have to change the order you eat food so that you eat the protein first, then veg, then carbs. But it’s not really hard. You also can’t drink when you eat—just ask them why when you go for your consultation.

I’m not going to lie, the pre-op diet and then having only liquids for 3 weeks after the surgery was torture. I missed food like crazy and got sick of having nothing but soup! But that’s going to happen no matter what—it IS surgery after all! I feel like I am recovering pretty well, though my weight loss is quite slow compared to some other people. So far I am down 7lbs, but hopefully once I start eating & exercising properly again more will come off.

I, too was desperate for a solution. I’ve done all the diets in the past and exercised quite vigorously with limited results. Shortly after beginning something I’d give it up—usually because the diet was unrealistic, anyway!

With Slimband I am hoping that I can just use it as a tool to help create a new lifestyle for me, rather than a diet. Even before the surgery I was trying to eat less and better quality foods in general. I felt like all the processed crap was just too gross (though I still eat some of it, of course!)

I just had my first meeting with the dietitian last night and he confirmed that I can live life pretty normal, even drinking wine and taking shots and eating cake! The key is moderation, and trying to eat properly the rest of the time. Obviously it’s a big life adjustment, but I think/hope that it will work. It’s not like I have any other options!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for right now. I just started eating food so we’ll see how that goes. Feel free to ask more questions here, or even on the blog! I think I may post your question (anonymously) and my answer… a lot of folks have been asking the same thing.

I hope this helps, and let me know what you decide to do!


73 thoughts on “Reader Question: Life with Slimband?”

  1. Hiya lady! Glad to hear you're recovering nicely. I'm glad that you're off your diet of soup and I'm looking forward to hearing about your imminent success with exercise and diet :)

  2. Hi there,
    I was researching reviews on Slimband and found your post. I am considering Slimband and I am curious to see how you are doing and how your progress has been. I have a very similar background and I am really hoping this tool will support the lifelong lifestyle change I am searching for… I am so sick of the yo-yo'ing and exercising like crazy with very minimum and/or short live results.
    Hope to hear more about your experiences!

  3. I had the surgery in December. I love it! I feel great and have lost 25 pounds so far. I also had a hard time losing weight at the begining. I only lost 10 pounds after the surgery I was also getting frusterated. But when i talked with the nutritional consultants, they reminded me that i am eating healthy and making the right choices. They also let me know that everybody's body is different, and everyone will lose weight differently. They also told me that most people who get the surgery and are under 200 pounds to start take a bit longer to start losing weight. So i kept up eating healthy and exercising.. 5 months later, i did start to lose weight. I have been losing average of 2 pounds per week. I keep going back to what the surgeon said in my consultation appointment. We can do the surgery so you physically eat less, but we still have to work on your mind and your images that you have of yourself. thats the hardest part. Since the surgery i am not constantly thinking about food anymore and not upset everytime i have to get dressed and feel like nothing fits. I can enjoy food without feeling guilty, and my husband has noticed a huge change not only in my body, but in my attitude toward myself. :)

  4. Hello…

    I would like to learn everything about this experience.
    I am seriously considering Slimband, as FOOD is my weakness and due to my job, I travel a lot, making my food habits being horrible.
    My questions go to:
    Surgery – how was it? how long did you stay at the hospital?
    Post-surgery – How painful was it? – always scared of pain ;(
    Psicologically – what is the hardest part of the whole process? (having less food, pain, adapting to the new diet)

    All your ideas and help will be super appreciated



  5. Hi Ginger…I also recently had the Slimband operation. My surgery was done in April and had to fly out to Toronto a second time in July to have the band repositioned as it had twisted and turned upside down. The cost of flying back to Toronto, was close to $1500.00 plus I just paid for the surgery in April. I have since tried to get another fill done here in September and once again my band has turned upside down and again I will have to make another trip to Toronto. I asked Slimband for some money to help with travel and accommodations as this will be my 2nd trip to Toronto to get this fixed and they offered to pay me $500.00 and will not hold my Surgery date on December 2nd until I've booked my flights. $500.00 barly covers a "oneway" trip to Toronto for me and then I still have the taxi and respite costs.I think Slimband works but they don't tell you everything before you sign up. This surgery will end up costing me over $20,000.00 and I'm not guaranteed that if I do go again in December that my band will stay put. Anyway, just letting you know there are some real bad stories out there as well.

  6. @gingercorsair-the average weight loss with slimband is 17lbs? That's scary, I just got off the phone with a rep from slimband. I am thinking of doing it. I am 5'7 and 200 lbs-my highest weight ever-my lowest weight was 138. would like to be somewhere in between. Don't know if slimband is worth it? will it take a year to loose 50 lbs? long time!

  7. Hi there, i am intersted in getting the band as most tohers we are at wits end and have tried everything, otherwise whats the point in the spending all the money..anyways, i just wanted to konw if you stay in their facility for the night or do you goto a hotel? whats the scoop…

  8. Hey Ginger…thanks for your post on this. I too have the Slimband and found the follow up care less that stellar. Its been two years but I have been sitting with an empty band for the last 9 months due to a slippage. Im actually scheduled to have it removed next month. I am not in Toronto so I found it very isolating, and to be honest frightening at times, in particular during the slip.

  9. hi im also having trouble Ihad the surgery in Oct 2011… no weigh loss yet

    painful swallowing ,seems like gas pockets or something..Im sorry to hear they are not willing to fix the problem. I have a leak I think, getting really tired of the long process

  10. love Silmband. I had the procedure done in 2008 and its been the most remarkable experience of my life. I lost 65 lbs and am almost at my high school weight now. And I eat what I want, just so much less of it. I struggled with low calorie diets, low carb diets and crazy obsessive exercise routines to stay thin over the years but would always put the weight back on. Today I maintain my weight effortlessly and its been almost 4 years. Can't say enough about this amazing company and its compassionate, smart and caring people.

  11. Hello, I had the slimband placed in April of 2011. I have not lost any weight and have had major problems with eating bread and other solid substance. I chew until it is nothing but still have not lost. I have had fills and defills and it all boils down to eating enough and eating regular which I think now after all of this pain and cost I could have done that anyway. I offer Cleansing and Fat loss with a company that just won company of the year in New York with the Stevie Awards. This company I was working with before I had the band but I thought that I was going to have a faster lose with the Band. Unfortunately no so. I want my band out. I became so nutritionally bankrupt and my vitamin levels dropped so low that my nails were peeling and i was to fatigued to do any type of exercise. If you want to find out how to really take care of business and lose fat and get healthy I can tell you the real truth. Now I am trying to find a way to get this thing out of me. First you have to work on your self esteem. That comes before and after you lose fat and get fit and well. Most of our trouble comes from our bad self talk and what we think we should look like and be like to others. My suggestion is get out of the house, make more friends, get excited about who you are and work on your emotional state along with you physical state. I have an answer to this all. I can help. We can help each other without paying this crazy $16,000 for a band that sticks out of you abdomen and feels abnormal in your body. If I can go through what I have since I was 15 and pregnant, and raising 3 girls through great adversity. Then you can do this too. Let's be friends and help each other. That is my answer to Slimband.

  12. Just wanted to say that I had nothing but a negative experience with slimband. After my surgery I was unable to eat solid foods because of pain and vomitting. I spoke with the consultants and nurses and they said that was a normal sensation from eating too fast. I am also in the medical field and found that answer ridiculous! After months of this and no solution, I had X-rays and a gastroscopy done that showed the band was malpositioned and preventing passage of food. Slimband was aware Of this and do you know what there answer was? Well you have to Pay us at least 10000$ before we will remove it. That says it all! I got a consult with a surgeon in my Province and he took it out cause it was causing harm to my health… Needless to say slimband is just out for your money!

  13. I was banded in April 2009 at Slimband. I was about 295 with a goal weight of 185 (110 lbs to lose). By mid 2010 I lost about 70 lbs over the course of about 15 months. However, then I plateaued and couldn't started to slowly gain weight. In Dec I got another fill. That was a disaster. I literally couldn't swallow my own saliva. I had to have 2 Ememrgency defills to be able to even drink water normally – it was kind of scary. The result was that I now had less fill then when I plateaued. After about 6 months and another 5 lbs gained, I went back for a re-fill but they changed their policy and would only give me 1.0 cc which would have put me back to the amount that I couldn't handle. They refused to do anything different and emailed me some literature about dieting. The person I spoke to even told me how I needed to "grow up". It was my problem if I wasn't eating properly.
    I guess I just want to say that the band worked for me part way but when I needed support Slimband Inc was NOT helpful. I believe in the band but I wish I had looked around more and if doing it again I would definitely go elsewhere.

  14. On reading these comments it appears both scary and more worrying for me, extremely expensive. Ultimately it seems to be more down to portion control, and much as it is hard, I think I need to learn to do this instead of paying a doctor $16 – 20,000 to put a band in and offer what seems to be poor support. Just think, how many holidays I can have for that – or a new kitchen. Time for me to do as slimband told one poster above – to grow up and learn to feed myself properly.

  15. Article about Slimband in The National Post over the weekend.

    I wish it had been published before I went to see them. Do your homework before choosing a gastric banding clinic. Sounds like you're on your own if you decide to go with Slimband.

  16. Thick to thin: Gastric-band weight-loss clinic denies allegations of putting patients at risk
    As the most prominent faces of Canada’s thriving weight-loss-surgery industry, Slimband Inc.’s wholesomely attractive models are hard to miss. The upbeat ads featuring fit and smiling men and women offer an unmistakable pitch: Lives are being transformed through worry-free treatment.
    Malpractice lawsuits, accounts of former employees and a survey by the National Post, however, paint a more complicated picture of the self-described national leader in the weight-loss treatment business, raising questions about screening, preparation and post-operative care of patients who undergo surgery, performed under general anesthetic, at the clinic.

    The company strongly refutes that it skimps on services or fails to properly screen patients, pointing to a customer-feedback survey it conducted last year in which eight of 10 respondents said they would recommend Slimband’s services to others.

    Dr. Anvari said he had no personal knowledge of Slimband’s system. If the allegations about lightly vetted and poorly prepared patients are true, he said, it would be “totally below the standard” for such surgery.

    The rise toward the top of Canada’s growing private-health-care world hasn’t been entirely smooth for Mr. Scot-Smith, whose opulent, Toronto-based “executive health” clinic — Tailor Medical — closed down abruptly in April, less than a year after it opened.
    As owner of Tailor, Slimband and Credit Medical, a surgery loan company, Mr. Scot-Smith has had to fend off legal claims from patients, ex-employees, suppliers and competitors over the past decade. His past was marked by more serious trouble: In a previous career, in real estate, he was imprisoned for two years in 1993 for fraud, and convicted in 2001 for obtaining bank loans by false pretenses. He has since been pardoned for those crimes.
    He maintains that his reputation, and Slimband’s, are targets for competitors and disgruntled ex-employees.

    The gastric band — which can be implanted outside of a hospital in as little as 20 minutes and later removed if necessary — appeals to those whose weight problem is not severe enough to qualify them for publicly funded treatments, or who would rather not wait in line for one. Many Slimband patients obtain financing through Mr. Scot-Smith’s Credit Medical, adding as much as $7,000 in financing costs to the procedure’s price.
    But some former employees of Slimband, some of whom have since moved to competing clinics, describe their former workplace as a high-pressure, boiler-room-style marketing environment. Call-centre representatives had to meet aggressive sales targets for signing up patients, they allege. Those who didn’t were relegated to the company’s “minor leagues” and given only “cold leads.”

    Mr. Scot-Smith and Dr. Yau both said that all potential Slimband customers first undergo an extensive screening process before they can be approved for surgery. Mr. Scot-Smith said all his patients receive pre-operative consultations, medical appointments and post-operative support that “exceed the standards set out by bariatric associations in Canada and around the world.”

    The lawsuits filed by patients Lorraine Glassford and Sheila Haggart, though still unproven, depict the process in a less-glowing light.

    Mr. Scot-Smith stressed that less than 1% of Slimband’s patients suffer complications, “far below what you would typically see in the bariatric field.” Studies from other weight-loss clinics indicate complication rates from gastric banding of as high as 39%. One recent Belgian study reported 50% of patients requiring removal of the band, though in a similar British study just 7% did. (Academic databases have no record of any peer-review research published by Slimband.)

    National Post

    Read the full article at:

  17. Hi there, I had my surgery May 4 2013. I have lost a total of 23 lbs! I could use another 80, but dont think thats going to happen. I have reached what is called 'the sweet spot', that is when you can eat very little, or probably more normally. eg,1/2 sandwich for lunch, 2-3 oz meat at dinner with 1/2 c. Veggies. If I eat too much or too fast I puke it up. Its kinda like having bulimia. I am 60 yrs old, so maybe thats why my body doesn't want to give up the fat so daily caloric intake is around 1500 calories, but in all fairness, I dont count the few glasses of wine I have on the weekend. I try to look at it positively, eg, its better than gaining it, epecially at this time of year (Christmas). Would I do it again? I dont think so…$16,000.00 is an awful lot of money for 23 lbs lost. I would not recommend this surgery to my friends.

  18. OMG so I just paid the deposit for this surgery and booked my date and now I read all of this WTH, for every ten bad there is one good. Im very confused and worried now.

  19. Me too I just paid my deposit and waiting my date. I'm really nervous but will do my best to be one of the success stories.

  20. It will be two years this August for me since I had the surgery. The band did not work for me the only weight I had lost was the weight when I was on the diet prior to surgery and the liquid diet for a week after. I have had two fills and two de-fills. Throwing up is a regular part of life for me now. I recently had the Upper GI done and I have a small hernia and acid reflux. I am five pounds more than the day I had the surgery. What really confuses me and frustrates me is the advertising "the end of dieting" I spent 16000.00 to do this to my body.

  21. I was Banded by Slimband June 7th 2013 and I am down 32 pounds , now this was total weight loss including the pre-detox and the soups afterwards , even on solid food I am still losing weight.
    I have really only had good results so far .. and have no complications, I am very careful to eat small bites and make sure I chew , I am starting to exercise more so now I should see more of a result, when it comes down to it this was not a quick fix , and you do need to have a diet plan ready , its a lot of money to pay and for me I wasnt going to sign up unless I had the right mind set and I truly believe its just a tool , this band allows 1 cup of food and you r in control to follow that , yes you can cheat and find way to eat bad ie:chips cookies but its you, only you will suffer in the end from the bad choices , it took 30 years to gain this weight and it wont come off in 1 month . if you want to talk email me @

  22. I am sickened by the increasing media, political, social and medical push towards “the war on fat”, and yet there is no medical support for all of the people who would want and/or require this type of surgery and ongoing support. It should be 100% covered by provincial health care systems. You can’t tell me I’m a burden on the health care system and then do nothing to help me. (Note: fat haters want people to believe that everyone considered over their ideal weight already has several other [related] health issues. Attention fat haters – this is NOT TRUE!

    In Edmonton, the Weight Wise program provides a range of weight loss surgeries only to patients they feel will be successful, in other words – provide them with positive statistics to report. ie You must be younger than 55, have a lower BMI, and no obesity related health concerns. They don’t guarantee that completing their educational sessions will ensure you qualify for any surgical procedures through their program.

    For the rest of us, we’re out of pocket, playing Russian roulette with our lives, left unsupported by a private/for profit clinic system.

    The medical system cannot have it both ways. They cannot keep telling the world we are a drain on publicly funded health care and then basically ignore us by not providing us health promoting options. I suggest everyone who ever searches the links related to lapband and other weight loss surgeries, create and send letters to your MLA’s and MP’s and tell them we’re tired of being targeted as a blight on society and yet left to our own devices to die, unsupported by the medical community who refuse to treat us with existing medical solutions, and perhaps even more importantly, treat us with respect.

  23. I got a Slimband in February. I am down 35 lbs and so happy. Of course I want the weight loss to be faster, but I'm 26 and if i get to be skinny for the rest of my life, who cares if it takes me a year or more to lose it? the best part about it is really that even if i cheat, i don;t gain weight!! I went to Cuba for a week and ate and drank everything i saw….and i came home to a 1 lb weight gain that was gone the next week! When has that ever happened? The band keeps me in check and has taken away my obsession with food. I really think that you need to do your research and learn all about it before you get it, otherwise you will misunderstand what it does and be disappointed in the results. It works though!

  24. &16,000 and literally over 3 years and NO weight loss. It’s all bs. I tried to get help from nurses and from the doctor and was met with hostility! Diet diet diet! Could have saved a lot of money and go to weight watchers! DONT DO IT! It’s not worth it! I’m $16,000 in debt and this is a farce!!! What they promise and advertise is NOT what you get! See a lawyer if you’ve had this done and aren’t satisfied! Just don’t do it. Research, research, research! Especially the complaints!

  25. I had mine done yesterday.. and after reading all these blogs.. ive made a huge mistake.. im starving.. so hungry..esp with the pre op diet and now just liquids.. i sat alone in a room which was cold for 4 hours alone with NOTHING just a chair and a locker..not the service i expected for 16 thous.. yikes.. i hope im a success story cos this is a lot of pain and surgery for shits n giggles

  26. DON'T DO IT… what a mess.. Slimband is fake and want only your money.. I was 180 and approved and told i was obese by them, I am 5ft 6..and told i would hit my goal wait in a few months (140)..hard sales. gave me a 1000$ off if i booked that same day.. and then would not refund the down payment when i said I wanted to not do it. My surgery was 21FEB14.
    My Port is a growth on my side, i look like i have an boob growing out my side.. and it hurts so much.. i want it out.
    Has anyone here spoken to the college of physicians or a lawyer to see about money back, I am in pain . i will never be able to wear a bathing suit or any type of clothing that is fitting.. my son can't hug me or snuggle up to me on my left side, its so sore and he cant understand while i have a huge bump there.. its been 5 week post op.. followup care is horrible.. They don't care, the only thing they seem to do is sit and read the slimband blog and delete any negative comments.. you can't say anything bad, they delete it.. HELP..

  27. Ok. Thank God I didn't read any of this before I got the band! I had this done almost 5 years ago. People. Its a tool, I had to re-learn how to eat, which took some time and yes sometimes I miss eating to the point where I get stuffed, but what I don't miss the after feeling of guilt and depression. It took me awhile but I got to my goal weight, My life is so much better. Yes I had to give up my Morning Lattes and Frapucinos and I have to limit my wine intake. But other then that, I'm really happy. Go in with a winners mentality. If you want to be fat for the rest of your life, keep doing what your doing. If you are done with being overweight, and want it badly, the band makes it achievable

  28. I have read most of the comments on here, I was interested in what slimband was all about, I have a friend that just had bariatric surgery which was covered by ohip, she feels great, has been losing steadily since her surgery, I am going to continue trying to lose it on my own, and after reading all your comments, I think if I decide to go with surgery I will go with one that is covered by my provincial health plan. The other differences between them and slimband is, its not reversible and you have to take suppliments for the rest of your life. its all too scary for me at this point.

  29. I had my first Slimband surgery over a year ago. Within six months, I returned to Toronto at my own travel expense and after convincing the clinic that a second surgery to correct a displaced port should be at their expense. Enduring the arrogance of Dr. Yau, the surgery was completed. Tomorrow, I will call the clinic again because I have not for months been able to eat solid foods, vomiting at every meal. I believe the band has slipped as I experience pain very high in my throat. But who knows? I have not received any responses from the clinic to my emails asking for support. Will my call tomorrow get a supportive response? I am not optimistic. Will I continue to pay toward the original $16,000 fee? Will I join the groups pursuing lawsuits? Stay tuned.

  30. Hi. I need to get this slimband removed. How do I go about this? Slimband has no compassion or empathy for our pain. Can any surgeon preform this, I need help now! My pain is ruining my life. Thanks for any help.

  31. I was banded in 2012 and I had the band removed on august 2014 because the band got disconnected. I ended up at the ER and when they did a CT, they noticied that the band was disconnected. the surgeons wanted to repair it and i told them to remove it so I can be done with it.
    3 months after the surgery in 2012, I lost a lot of my hair, it was horrible and i ended up chopping all my hair, I had a lot of skin problems, itchy, sensitive, sensation of bugs crawling on my skin for 2 years, i belive that it was because of the band because i had never had a skin problem before and never lost my hair.
    Please do ask questions before the surgery.
    I already paid $10000 and now they want the outstanding balance and i refuse to give them any more money, the band is out because it broke and i| did not want to go through more surgeries to repair it, they are not going to be paid the remaining balance and i will sue them to get the refund on the $10,000.

    you can email me at

  32. I am sorry to hear of so many issues with Slimband. I had my surgery on Sept 26. Including 3 weeks of detox diet, I have lost 25 lbs so far.

  33. I am sorry to hear about so many unhappy people with Slimband. I got my surgery Sept 26 and with the pre-op detox I am down 25 lbs. I would not have lost this weight if not for Slimband and can actually envision myself as a size 4, not just as a non-plus sized person. They have provided me with tons of information and I have read it all. When I have had questions, I just call the 1-800 and ask. So far my only complaint is my post-op nurse, who wasn't very helpful at all. This is a tool. If you drink milkshakes during your recovery, you won't lose weight. If you overeat or eat too quickly or eat solids during recovery, you could damage the band. So far everything I was told to watch out for has proven true. I am on track to get to my goal weight. See you all in 85lbs!

  34. Hi,

    I had the slimband surgery 4 years ago. I lost some weight at first then it stalled and then started climbing back up. I am now heavier than I was when I got the surgery. It is difficult to eat and I am constantly throwing up my meals. It has to be amBIG BIG change in your life to make the band work. I regret having it 100% and I am currently looking into having a reversal and going for the gastric bypass.

    They market the band as not being a diet but for me, vegetables, fruits and rice noodles pasta, whole wheat or not we’re foods I could not eat at all and when I did I was in constant pain even after one bite.

    I obviously did not have the motivation or self discipline to work with the band to get the full effect and use out of it. I am currently having difficulty eating with most meals and have even been so bad with losing my food throwing up while trying to eat that I have had nosebleeds from urging.

    This was not the right fit for me. I am now 4 years into having the band, still laying off the loan I got to get the surgery and I am still the same weight I was when I started.

    Good luck to anyone who gets the band, I really hope it works for you, just remember to work with it. It’s a tool. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to change your life when you get it because I had to make big changes.

    :) I just thought I would pass on my experience for those who may have the same mentality as me or very little self discipline when it comes to dieting.

Leave a Reply to LouLou Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge