Having lap band surgery was a life-changing experience for me. I have had my lap band for several years now. I’ve lost well over a hundred pounds and kept it off. I am off all blood pressure and cholesterol drugs and no longer have the pain in my knees and ankles that I once had when I walk for any length of time, My energy levels are much higher. However, that being said, it is not the solution for everyone—your entire relationship with food changes as a result and some foods will be permanently off the menu. Having this surgery requires a deep commitment both physically and emotionally and should only be considered by those who are willing to make a lifetime commitment to changing their lifestyle and eating habits and are willing to work closely with their doctor during the process and beyond. (I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your follow-up appointments and following the doctor’s instructions!) Thankfully, Dr. Cottingham and his wonderful staff have been with me every step of the way—offering advice, encouragement and celebrating the successes and milestones along the way. I attribute a large part of my own success to their support because I felt they truly cared whether or not I succeeded. I would encourage anyone considering this option to make an appointment and discuss it with Dr. Cottingham and his staff. I am certainly glad I did!