Hi and welcome! Not in SA but what type of surgery are you contemplating? Timing will depend on whether or not you have PHI or are funding the whole lot yourself. You'll need to discuss all this with a surgeon and hopefully someone from SA will be able to give you some help on this.
What you will find, both on here and other groups is that the people who have been successful with their bands tend to drop off the net-it's done it's job and you need to be aware that things can go wrong with any form of WLS. Yes it's a pain to go for fills or check ups, yes you really have to be committed in order to lose weight but if it were a really bad thing it would have been withdrawn from use by now. I've had my band for 7 years now and apart from the yucky stuff ups like eating too faster eating the wrong food (My big baddie is chocolate and ice cream) and i'm about 100gm off my goal weight. (yes it's taken a long time-but there were other health reasons and meds that make me put on weight as well as bad food choices.) There are people who've had a sleeve and then gone back to eating the wrong food and put on all the weight they've initially lost. While I know that Kazbo is fiercely anti-band due to all the problems she was unlucky enough to have-not to mention the surgeries associated with removal and sleeve- there are still some for whom it's worked fairly well by obeying all the rules. The surgeons love the sleeve because they don't have to do much follow up-it a more set and forget- they don't have to be bothered with follow ups (which for me kept me are on track). This forum was initially started for lap bands (by a young doctor who had great success with a band and wanted to help others in the same position) and has gradually moved more into sleeves and a lot of the camaraderie that went with the forum is lost. There used to be meet ups with other 'banders' and face to face exchanges with tips. No surgery is a magic fix and I'm a secret bander (no-one other than hubby and daughter know) so coming here was a good way to share the journey. Be very sure it's what you want and be ready to change you whole way of eating before you make the decision to have any WLS and the right one for you. Do I believe it's the worst mistake of my life-absolutely not! I'm sure I'd be 150kg by now if i hadn't done it. Did i have problems along the way before getting the right amount of fil-sure did. lIf I had my time over again would I choose a sleeve-maybe-but I've also read enough horror stories of sleeve and gastric bypass to know that it still comes back to me to lose the weight by making the right choices to go in my mouth and the brain needs to be engaged for that to happen. Initially I did have problems with things like bread and steak (and one particularly bad memory of a sausage sizzle at Bunnings-after 6 years I still haven't bough another one!!) but I can pretty much eat anything now and eating out doesn't hold any fears for me either. I don't drink soft drink (even diet ones), alcohol and keep my treats to a minimum both in size and how often I fall off the wagon but I'm healthier than I've been in years and a lot more active and pretty happy with where I am today.
Probably not this early in the start of Optifast-but be aware that old habits die hard! You have the next two weeks to redeem yourself Macca's is very addictive (not to mention a load of sugar) which is why they start off hooking the little kids that get to be fat adults. Don't beat yourself up too much - you're only human after all
Just to clarify-are you Optislim or Optifast? Personally, I found Optislim to be very sweet with a foul after taste. I ended up using the Celebrity Slim and still have the odd one now if I can't be bothered scratching together a meal. If you have them for Breakfast and dinner and have your salad or whatever for lunch you are still following guidelines and shouldn't be a problem. I'm also a 'secret' bander and I didn't wan't to be judged if I didn't lose 'fast' enough or when I put on weight or stalled. I widths for me - not the world!
It can be done!! Never got to goal, I do plateau a lot and slowly 10kg crept on. Last September I had bowel surgery and lost 3 kg in hospital so it motivated me to go back and check my fill (needed some) and start moving again. Summer time is always hard for me as I can't imagine doing anything in 40deg heat. I now walk at least 5km/day and often more-but that's my minimum. I've lost the 10kg+ and I'm now 1kg off goal. Having the fill at right level really helped and cutting out (nearly!) all the chocolate and planning meals also worked. You do need to be ready (and for me facing up to the doctor after 6 years banded is keeping me on track) and set a day that you will start. Good luck with your (second) and successful journey ....and i nearly forgot- that last 1kg has been hanging on for dear life for the last 3 weeks and I might still jump off a bridge if it doesn't go soon!!!!
Most issues are with getting the 'sweet spot' i.e. the place where you feel full and lose weight when the fill is optimal. Unfortunately if you have say, a really bad cough or a spell of vomiting, this can cause swelling and make the band appear tight. (Not talking about the odd cough or stuck moment but prolonged episodes.) The port can flip, a pouch can form or serious but rare the band can erode into your stomach. It can be easy to fall into the trap of 'slider' foods-chocolates, biscuits and calorie dense foods that sabotage weight loss. My weight loss hasn't been a smooth curve and I do tend to plateau quite a bit which is frustrating. Main thing to remember is that it's a tool not magic. You will need to exercise and watch portion control but the band helps with the feeling of fulness. It's important to stop eating at this point. Hope this helps and if you are seeing your surgeon before surgery make a list of your concerns (so you don't forget to ask what might be worrying you) and ask all the stupid (to you!) questions you need, to put your mind at ease.
Hospital was overnight. I can eat pretty much anything-some people have trouble with bread, chicken and other 'dry' stuff. Pain is fairly minimal but the shoulder tip pain (from the gas) can last a few days. Hunger not a problem those first few weeks until first fill. Some people have lots of issues, others have very few. I've had mine in for over 6 years so no reason to take it out unless something drastic happens. A few people on here have gone from band to sleeve so if you really want it out I can't see a problem. If you don't follow the guidelines of how to eat (i.e. slowly and chew very well) you can get stuck moments. These are more likely to happen in the early days or if you're really hungry and eat too fast. You really need to trust your surgeon and have confidence in his advice and that you will follow up with him/her. Hope this helps