Love My Lap Band!

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Archive for the ‘Bariatric Surgeons’ Category

Day 5 And I’m Still Not Hungry!!!!

Posted by Lori on September 14, 2009

I was banded last Thursday and haven’t eaten solid food since last Wednesday afternoon. Much to my delight and surprise, I’m subsisting quite well on the diluted fruit juice and protein water diet prescribed by the luverly Dr. Miranda. I’ve had about a cup of apple juice today and 2 bottles of Kellogg’s Protein Water (50 calories, 5 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber). Two more days and I get to add some broth and some liquid yogurt. Yahoo!!!

I don’t know if I’ve lost any weight because I don’t have a scale right now. I thought I’d wait a few weeks before I purchase one, just so I don’t get too crazy.

One of the women who commented said that I made the process sound so simple and easy. I want to reiterate that Dr. Ortiz makes it very simple  to get through the pre-surgical process. There is no drama in Dr. Ortiz’ facility. It’s one of the most well-organized and direct experiences I’ve ever had. They know exactly what they need to know to make sure that surgery is safe, and that’s what they find out. Everyone knows what their job is, and they do it quickly and move you on to the next stage. It’s just wonderful. And that’s what it’s like when you’re in the hands of someone with tremendous experience who is thoughtful – Ortiz has worked through it all and has the entire order worked out. I can’t say enough about the experience that I had there – they are wonderful people.


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Wonderful Lap Band Blog

Posted by Lori on August 1, 2009

As you may have noticed, the blogroll just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I’ve got a couple I have to take out, but most of them are current. If they aren’t current, but they have really good info, I hang on to them as well.

So, today I was looking through the blogs and took the time to really read In The Land Of  Cheese and Sunkist. Amy has wonderful tips  for new bandees. I’m only going to post the first three, because she has done such a good job of assembling her ideas and she’s a wonderful writer. It’s more than worth your while you go check her site out.

1. before get very far into your journey, take some measurements. I forgot to do this and now I wish I had my beginning measurements. This is good, bc sometimes when the scale is not moving…you are still losing inches! SO MEASURE YOURSELF!

2. Take some before pictures. I take pictures all the time, but I know some people hate the way they look presurg. But you will wish you had some before pictures after you start losing 🙂 It’s only going to get better afterall!

3. This is really important. And I didnt have a clear grasp on it before surgery. After surgery, and after you heal…you will still be hungry. AND most likely, you will still be able to eat whatever whenever you want. The period after banding and before you first fill is referred to as BANDSTER HELL. It’s hell because you have to rely on willpower. What’s that you say? I know I know…if we were good at “dieting” then we wouldnt need the band. But for a few weeks at least, prepare yourself to practice restraint. Just bc you can eat it…don’t.

That last one is a biggy. Dr. Ortiz keeps his patients on liquids for three weeks, but says that most of them lose about 50% of their excess weight in the first two months because of it. That would be a really nice thing to experience, so I’m going to gather up all my courage and find the sticking place. 🙂

Oh, and Amy’s Before and After pictures are right here. I think you’ll agree, she looks fabulous!

Posted in Bariatric Surgeons, Lap Band Basics, Lap Band Bloggers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Weight Loss Surgery Reduces The Risk of Cancer

Posted by Lori on July 23, 2009

I frequently link to a  study by Dr. Paul O’Brien at Monash University that found that the instance of mortality is lower among weight loss surgery patients than among obese people who don’t have a Lap Band.

Severely obese people who received the LAP-BAND Adjustable Gastric Banding System to lose weight had a 72 percent reduction in their risk of dying compared to obese people who were not offered any specific weight-loss treatment, according to findings published in the December issue of the Annals of Surgery (1).

And here is the math:

The study involved two groups of people who were between 37 and 70 years of age with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or greater: A LAP-BAND System group, which included 966 patients (average age 47, average BMI 45 ) and a previously established population-based cohort of 2119 people who were not offered any specific weight-loss treatment (average age 55, average BMI). There were four deaths (heart disease, cancer(2) and suicide) in the LAP-BAND System group after a median follow-up of four years, vs. 225 deaths after a median follow-up of 12 years in the non-treated group. After statistically controlling for the differences in follow up time, sex, age and BMI, the hazard for death was 72 percent lower for LAP-BAND System patients compared to the non-treated group (hazard ratio for death: 0.28, 95% confidence interval: 0.10-0.85). LAP-BAND System patients lost an average of approximately 63 pounds 2 years after installation.

So, now we have this new study out that finds that weight loss surgery cuts the risk of cancer.

Weight-loss surgery significantly reduces cancer risk, says Dr. Nicolas Christou, Director of Bariatric Surgery at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada.

“There is no question whatsoever that weight-loss surgery reduces your relative risk of developing a cancer,” says Christou.

He and his colleagues compared more than 1,000 morbidly obese people who had weight-loss surgery to thousands of people with the same weight profile who did not have the surgery.

He found that the surgery patients’ overall risk of cancer was 78-percent lower over the five years of the study. For breast cancer the risk was reduced by 83-percent.

An 83% reduction in the risk of breast cancer is huge.

I know that so many of my readers are guilt tripped by their family and friends when they announce that they are considering weight loss surgery. But there is no evidence that diet and exercise is an effective way to lose weight. Until weight loss surgery came along, it was the only way, but that’s now changed. We have the studies that prove that people who have weight loss surgery live happier lives, healthier lives and longer lives. So go for the happy! Get the surgery and have a real shot at living a longer, healthier life. What could be better than that?

Posted in Bariatric Surgeons, Lap Band Basics, Lap Band Studies, Weight Loss Surgery | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lap Band Surgeon Dr. Ariel Ortiz’ Amazing Video Library

Posted by Lori on July 22, 2009

What I don’t like about most Lap Band videos is that they are too casual and ramble, or they are too corporate and don’t actual provide much substance. What I like about Dr. Ortiz’ videos is that he is very good at asking patients the questions that you want to hear answered. How much did you weigh beforehand? How much did you lose? How long did it take? How has it changed your life?

Here’s a YouTube clip of Dr. Ortiz talking about the difference between patients who are successful and patients who aren’t successful:

He has a lot of interviews with patients. This very pretty woman is one my favorites:

This young man had Lap Band surgery when he was fifteen. Dr. Ortiz is a big believer that we should take action with obese adolescents before their long term health is impacted:

Anyway,  there is a lot of information contained in those videos and that’s what it is all about. Also, you’ll see the quality of the people who come to Ortiz for surgery, and it makes it very easy to be confident that the level of care he provides is superior.

Posted in Bariatric Surgeons, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories, Video Blogs | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Before and After Lap Band Pics of Dr. Grossbard

Posted by Lori on July 22, 2009

I’m happy to announce that I’m going to be having Lap Band surgery with Dr. Ariel Ortiz in Mexico.  He’s wonderful. He’s brilliant. He’s experienced. He’s funny. And his patients are successful.

Since there is always so much consternation about going to Mexico for Lap Band surgery, I wanted to take this time to introduce you to Dr. Lee Grossbard of Zephyrville, Florida who had his Lap Band surgery performed by Dr. Ariel Ortiz in Tijuana. When asked his reason for going out of the country, this is what he says:

The primary reason today for Americans to go to Mexico is for a particular surgeon with much larger experience and numbers of cases. We are starting to see larger and larger numbers of patients that go out of the US because they want the lapband and their BMI is less than the requisite 35 for operation in the US. Also, patients below the age of eighteen are starting to make their appearance in other countries because of the FDA rules.

Dr. Grossbard, who can more that afford to have surgery in the US, went to Mexico to have the procedure done by Ortiz who has more experience than almost anyone else out there.

And he finishes, with this:

The lapband is a wonderfully simple tool, or aid, in weight reduction. I was an obese surgeon. My BMI was 44. I now have a BMI of 25. I had a lapband one year ago. I reached my goal weight after 10 months. I needed to lose over 100 pounds of weight now I personally perform lapband surgery.

The pictures are at the link because my computer keeps freezing everytime I try and link the pics or upload them.

Dr. Ortiz also has this wonderful testimony from Tim L. Hunter, a bio-medical engineer whose wife received a Lap Band. I’m going to put the whole thing in here because he says a lot of stuff that will put your mind at ease:

Recently my wife was banded by Dr. Ortiz. I’ll let her speak to her positive experience with Dr. Ortiz and the center but I want to say how impressed I was with the facilities in general and the operating room in particular.

I design medical devices and have been in many operating rooms in the States. I asked if it was possible to observe the procedure. I knew I would not be allowed to view my wife’s procedure but another patient at the facility, a nurse, said it was fine for me to observe her surgery.

The O.R. was state of the art, unlike some I’ve been in, in the U.S. I was impressed by the time Dr. Ortiz took to investigate the area where he would place the band until he found the most suitable site. In so doing he discovered and corrected two hernias the nurse-patient had. One was a very rare type, close to the heart cavity.

I discovered that Dr. Ortiz helped design some of his instruments so they would cause less trauma for the patients. I was also impressed that he used skin glue as opposed to other kinds of suturing. My wife had breast reduction 18 months ago in the U.S. and if, like Dr. Ortiz, they had used glue instead of old-fashioned sutures, I’m sure there would have been less scarring.


ny Americans have the idea that U.S. facilities are superior. Our experience shows us that’s not true. By the way, Dr. Ortiz didn’t charge extra for the hernia repairs which took longer to complete than the band insertion. Somehow I don’t think that would have been the case in the States. My wife and I agree you can’t buy better medical skill “at any price” than we received from Dr. Ortiz and his associates at the Obesity Control Center.

Tim L. Hunter

Dr. Ortiz has endorsements from several medical professionals who have had him perform their surgeries. You can read all of them here.

Dr. Ortiz wrote Lap Band For Life, one of the first books about Lap Bands. and it is available in the Love My Lap Band bookstore at Amazon. I’d encourage you to take a look around.

You should also know that Dr. Ortiz will donate 3% of every surgical fee to the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. And considering that he is charging what everyone else is charging, that’s impressive. His own beautiful daughter is autistic and has received excellent care. He’s looking to make sure other children are as well cared for as his own.

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Lap Band Weight Loss Surgery Covered By Medicare

Posted by Lori on July 9, 2009

Wow, this has got to be good news for a lot of people. Medicare is now covering Lap Band surgeries. Being a senior citizen and wrestling with obesity has got to be tough. Especially if you’re got grandchildren running around that you are dying to get down on the floor and play with.

I found this article about Tina Clark, who us 5 feet tall and at 39, weighed 235 pounds. To make matters worse, she was diagnosed with diabetes. And then:

In 2008, Tina was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. She soon felt the nearly disabling effects of the R.A. medications that she was prescribed. The severe side effects included problems and pain with her knees and ankles. Although this autoimmune disease was unrelated to her weight issue, Tina knew that she needed to take considerable steps to increase her overall health, starting with her weight.

“I was only 39 years old, and I felt like I was 60.” Tina says.

Not that there is anything wrong with being sixty, still one hopes to be a bit more spry than that in their thirties.

Anyone she talked to a friend who works in the office of bariatric surgeon of Dr. Duc Vuong. Her friend invited her in for the seminar.

Ready for a fresh start, Tina began her educational period with Dr. Vuong’s office. She met with his dietitian and attended afternoon group meetings, learning about nutrition and what to expect both pre- and post-surgery.

Lap-band surgeon Dr. Duc VuongTina was delightfully surprised by the personalized and specialized service she received from the moment she walked into Dr. Vuong’s office.

She was also impressed that Dr. Vuong leads nearly all of the support groups himself. By the time she scheduled her surgery, she was very well informed of the many ways that the Lap-Band® procedure would positively affect her life, and she was involved in a support group that would help to keep her motivated and accountable.

“Our Program is very different from other clinics,” says Dr. Vuong. “I am becoming known as the ‘Support Surgeon’ because of all the personalized support I offer my patients.”

So, she had the surgery, and:

After her Lap-Band procedure, Tina started to see results immediately. She lost 2 to 3 pounds a week, going from 235 pounds to 180 pounds, and the weight is still coming off. She now eats smaller portions, chooses healthier options, and is proud to weigh in at Dr. Vuong’s office (all weigh-ins are private).

I love this:

“Dr. Vuong is one of a kind. His staff calls and checks on you even during hectic times, such as holidays or hurricane evacuations,” Tina says with a chuckle, referring to this past fall’s chaos. “He keeps in touch with his patients, unlike some other clinics.”

And the good health news:

Tina is no longer in the danger zone for diabetes, and she is off all of her rheumatoid arthritis medications. The only medicine she takes these days is vitamins!

These are the kinds of stories that you can find about Lap Band patient and I guarantee you that she loves her Lap Band. They make weight manageable. It’s not a miracle. It’s a tool. And if you’re wrestling with obesity, it’s a tool that you should look at very seriously.

Posted in Bariatric Surgeons, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories, Lap Bands And Diabetes | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Interesting Post on Fills

Posted by Lori on May 27, 2008

Hmmmm, here’s something I’ve never read before. Dr. Rachael Keilin is talking about how fills impact a bandee’s hunger, and how the impact of the fill isn’t necessarily immediate.

There is also a phenomenon we see fairly often, but really can’t explain well. Some people will have a delay in the “tightness” of a fill by as much as two weeks. This is why we won’t fill one day and then fill again three days later. Because there is sometimes a lag in the perception of hunger after a fill (and remember: it’s hunger control we’re aiming for, not bulimia!), we don’t want to end up over-filling patients, especially if they live out of town. Spitting into a cup is just not fun. You’re meant to have gradual weight loss with the Lap Band from eating less. You’re not meant to be on a liquid diet or pureed food diet. We want to eat more or less a regular diet, just eat a smaller amount of food so that you can lose weight.

Interesting. Now, that I’ve checked out Dr. Keilin’s site, I have to go find out what “Smart Lipo” is. Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted in Bariatric Surgeons, Uncategorized, Weight Loss Surgery | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Good, Basic Lap Band Video Clip

Posted by Lori on May 25, 2008

This is a clip from National Health Journal with Dr. David Davtyan of the Beverly Hills Weight Loss Clinic. It has good animations – at least one of which I have seen before – including an animation of how the inner ring fills up to make the band adjustable. Dr. Davtyan is a Lap Band patient as well, and feels like that has really helped him to understand how the adjustability works best.

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What You Can’t Eat With A Lap Band

Posted by Lori on May 9, 2008

Poking around YouTube today, I found these three videos for Dr. Terry Simpson in Phoenix, Arizona. You may recognize his name from my blog – previously I’ve linked a podcast to a radio show he did with Cher Ewing and Jeff Cadwell for Weight Loss Surgery radio. He’s an interesting guy and I’ve enjoyed listening to him. At his website, he has a lot of podcasts that he links on different aspects of life with a Lap Band.

This first YouTube video covers eating in the weeks following a Lap Band procedure. The first few days, it’s warm liquids. After that, you can have some soft food like mashed potatos. Then you move on to solid food, and he gives a run down of what you should avoid. Lastly, he talks about how much you should eat, and the fact that you should sit down and eat it when you do. There is always plenty of good information with him.

In this video, he talks about how the Lap Band works. He has a animation of a Lap Band when the video first opens that is silent – so nothing has gone wrong with your computer.

Posted in Bariatric Surgeons, Lap Band Basics, What You Can Eat With A Lap Band | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Weight Loss Surgery Radio: Obesity Help

Posted by Lori on May 6, 2008

Cher and Jeff’s guests this week are Nikki Johnson – Editor in Chief of OH Magazine, Cathy Wilson – Director of Support Groups and Joanna Fee – Events Manager. For those of you who don’t know Obesity Help, it’s a tremendous online support site with an enormous amount of information.

Last week, they had Dr. Trace Curry on, and I had really wanted to listen because I have questions for him. Mysteriously, it kept crashing my normally crash-proof Safari Browser so I didn’t get to ask. I know Cher is crazy about him and is very quick to tell people that he is an accessable and patient surgeon who answers emails. 🙂 More like that, please. Anyway, I’ve linked the podcast of his chat. It starts about twenty minutes in to the show. I hope you enjoy it.

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For Self-Pays: Spring Special On Lap Bands $9900

Posted by Lori on May 6, 2008

Great Lakes Weight Loss in Detroit, Michigan is having a special price on Lap Band procedures for self-pays. Through the end of May, their self-price is $9900.

Announcing Our $9,900 Self Pay Lap Band Spring Special!!!

The cost is $9,900 for a pre-operative evaluation, the surgery and all post-operative visits (including band adjustments) for 90 days.
For your pre-operative visit, if you have insurance, we will accept it (if you need a referral from your primary care doctor, you must get one beforehand). If your insurance will not cover the cost of the office visit, the self-pay price is $250, which can be applied to the cost of the surgery if you proceed. So, the average cost would be:
1. $250 for the pre-operative visit
2. $9,650 for the surgery ($9,900 minus the $250 from the pre-op visit)
3. $150 x 3 not-covered band adjustments

Average Total Cost: $10,350, including all the necessary adjustments. There are no additional hidden costs in this price!

Harper University Hospital, where Great Lakes Weight Loss performs its surgery, is the first in Michigan to receive a JCAHO certificate for their bariatric surgery division.

“The bariatric surgery program at Harper has clearly demonstrated a commitment to excellence that differentiates it from similar programs across the country,” states Brooks Bock, M.D., president of Harper University Hospital. “The Gold Seal of Approval is a coveted healthcare indicator that our bariatric surgery program effectively employs established clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care for the clinically severe obese. This program complies with a national set of standards, utilizing an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.”

The bariatric program at Harper has helped thousands of patients successfully lose both weight and body fat. This program takes a comprehensive approach to managing weight loss before and after surgery through education, support, proper nutrition and exercise. Harper clinicians also provide effective pain assessment and management during recovery, resulting in early mobilization and a short length of stay.

It certainly looks like a good deal. If you’re interested, call Jackie at 313-966-7491.

Posted in Bariatric Surgeons, Lap Band Cost | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Dr. Terry Simpson on Reaching Your Lap Band Goal Weight

Posted by Lori on May 4, 2008

I discovered Phoenix, Arizona surgeon Dr. Terry Simpson of Southwest Weight Loss from Weight Loss Surgery Radio. Jeff and Cher have a fantastic podcast with him which I linked previously. He was late calling in so his interview doesn’t start until about 40 minutes in. It’s well worth the listen.

He has a series of podcasts linked on his own site that I’ve been listening to. The one that really caught my attention was entitled GETTING TO GOAL – it’s all the way down at the bottom of the page. He’s got a lot to say about the habits you need to form to be successful – none of which are unreasonable or at odds with your basic biology. His practice took a look at their patients that got to their goal weight and figured out what they had in common with eatch other. The number one thing was that they had a goal weight; and the number two thing was that they adjusted their behavior to get there. For instance, Dr. Simpson suggests adjusting your calorie intake to match the calorie intake of the size you want to be and has a BMR table to help you calculate that. As an example, someone who is in their early fifties, is 5’3″ and weighs 235 needs to consume about 1800 calories to maintain that weight. If you want to get down to 120, you’re going to need to drop your calorie intake to about 1100 per day – right about where the average Lap Bandee is already.

Dr. Simpson has a lot of video on his site that I haven’t even begun to dig into. He’s a bright, appealing guy and I think you’ll enjoy the time you spend there. He has two books for sale in my bookstore – LOSING THE LAST THIRTY POUNDS: THE FUNDAMENTALS OF WEIGHT LOSS and WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY – A LIGHTER LOOK AT A HEAVY SUBJECT. When you’re through looking around, if you want to read more, come on back and buy a book. Mama is still saving to buy that new tripod!

Posted in Bariatric Surgeons, Lap Band Podcasts and Radio | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Holy Family Hospital In Spokane, Washington Doing Lap Band Surgery

Posted by Lori on May 2, 2008

Good news for all our Washington readers. You have one more resource for having bariatric surgery in your state. Dr. Lee Trotter is performing weight loss surgery at the new bariatric center atHoly Family Hospital in North Spokane.

Holy Family Hospital began offering the procedure in August in its new surgical bariatrics program. So far, Trotter has performed about 25 of the outpatient procedures there. The surgical bariatrics program coordinator facilitates monthly support groups and answers questions for patients before and after they have their surgery.

In addition to his Holy Family cases, Trotter has performed about 20 of the procedures at Valley Outpatient Surgery Center over the past year.

A bariatric surgery program operated jointly by Rockwood Clinic PS and Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital has started seeing patients for the Lap-Band procedure and expects to begin placing the device in patients this summer, says Dr. Mathew Rawlins, a surgeon who directs that program. Rawlins and Dr. Andrew Bright have been performing another form of bariatric surgery, called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, through that program since 2000. Deaconess Medical Center currently doesn’t have a surgical bariatrics program, hospital representatives say.

Anyway, one more option. 🙂

Posted in Bariatric Surgeons | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »