Love My Lap Band!

Everything you want to know about life and weight loss with a Lap Band!

Posts Tagged ‘lap band surgery’

What Can You Eat With A Lap Band III

Posted by Lori on August 2, 2009

As I said, it’s a blog night and I was catching up with Diz-Banded. She’s been in blog roll forever. Anyway, she has a series of questions and answers that are all very good, but I know a lot of readers want to know what food can be eaten with a Lap Band and what food just won’t go down. Here’s what Diz has to say:

What about never eating my favorite foods again?

Ok, in my behavior classes we talked about certain foods to stay away from, etc. But my doctor said I could try whatever I wanted and I would “know” if I could eat it or not. This was not a license to eat chips, ice cream and drink soda. As a matter of fact, I’ve had soda, but I only drink tiny amounts and only once every 3 to 4 months and usually as a mixer (i.e. diet 7-up in my margarita). I pretty much gave up soda, because I don’t need it. I love sushi, mexican food, lobster, etc. Did I have to give it up? No. But my band does tell me when and how much rice I can have. My band doesn’t like raw carrots, but will be ok with really cooked carrots. Fibrous foods have to be well cooked, or else. I’m glad I had the behavior classes, because it made me look at the times I eat and how I’m feeling when I make crappy choices. This has really helped in controlling my food portions and limiting crap food. I won’t lie, I’ve eaten crap since being banded, but I don’t eat a lot of crap. I pick and choose and cut myself some slack.

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

Lap Band Blogger Hits the “Sweet Spot”

Posted by Lori on August 2, 2009

I was looking around the Lap Band blogs tonight and found a new blog with a edifying new post. Meet Sarah of Losing Weight, Gaining Tons. She had a very good 6 weeks with her Lap Band:

Is this the sweet spot???

So I’m not sure what’s been happening lately, but I have a lot more restriction than I did 3 weeks ago without a fill.  It is perfect.  I can only eat about 1/2 a cup, maybe 3/4 if it is mushier food.  Sometimes a whole lot less if it is meat… I’m not hungry at all, and I’m down almost 4 pounds this week…  I went to the doc on Friday and she said that in the last 6 weeks since I’ve been there, I’ve lost 15.5… I’ll take it!  And then she said – “well, I think we’ve found your sweet spot”!  I hope so!  I’ve really been enjoying myself this week… not in a bad way mind you.  But just KNOWING that I can’t eat anymore has finally clicked in my head if that makes sense.  The physical fullness definitely helps to keep me in line.  And, no PBing or getting stuck either which is great.  7cc’s in a 10cc band.  Go 7 cc’s!

It’s a good blog. She’s a smart  cookie that writes well. I’m amazed at the quality of the Lap Band blogs that we’re seeing now. For a long time, with only a handful of exceptions, most of the blogs were fairly casual without a lot of thought put into the writing or the substance of the writing. That’s definitely changed.

I know that my blog has been accused of being a mindless cheerleader for weight loss surgery, but considering how obesity impacts life, and how difficult it is to permanently lose weight without weight loss surgery, I think there is a moral significance to the procedures. And when I consider the fact that families will have loved ones longer because of the surgery, I’m proud of what I do here.

Anyway, read the blogs. It’ll help you on your journey. Oh, and Sarah has a “before and after” series of pics on her front page, though she has only completed a part of her journey. Still, I know a lot of you love the pics. Enjoy.

Posted in Lap Band Bloggers | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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 »

Myths About Lap Band Surgery

Posted by Lori on July 24, 2009

I was looking through my blogroll today and found this interesting post from FiFi LaRoach at Banding Together.

Ever since I started considering the band, I’ve been pretty open about it. I’ve talked about it to friends and family, and anyone else who I thought might have a point of view.

I must say, during those conversations I’ve heard some of the same comments over and over again. I’ve noticed them as comments on blog entries, too. These ideas are  ill-informed and fairly innocent, but some of them are downright judgemental and cruel. Why do people feel the need to discourage us when we are trying to become better, more in control, healthier people?  I’m not sure of the answer, but this post tries to identify some of the things you’re bound to hear from friends and family if you’ve had or are considering the band.

What’s this? Our friends and family might attempt to discourage us from a medical procedure that will lead to me having a longer life and a happier life? Nah, not my friends.

Hmmm, well, there are lots of surgeons out there who tell their patients that they will not get through weight loss with the same group of friends that they went into it with. Now, I haven’t had my Lap Band yet, but I can tell you this – it’s the same thing in production. Make a movie and you’ll lose friends. Even actor friends. Even actors friends for whom you have a good role, that are talented, good looking and have $120k in student debt to pay for. Same thing here. Be prepared. People are irrational. Both your skinny friends and your fat friends may be unnerved by you moving forward in life.

There are a lot of myths that get rolled out to attempt to discourage you. FiFi lists several:

  • You are taking the easy way out. Not! This one really chaps me. I spent  two years getting approved, dieting, seeing doctors and getting ready for surgery. I had an operation, for Pete’s Sake! I drank liquids for a few weeks. I’m getting fills, which really don’t hurt, but they’re scary looking. Plus, I’m having to listen to crap like, “You’re taking the easy way out.” Geez. Bite me!!
  • You are going to be malnourished. Nope. Your doctor will give you information on how to get proper nutrition. You’ll also have to take supplents. But the lap band will not make you malnourished. Good grief! First, I have to hear that I’m self-indulgent. Now, I’m denying myself in a dangerous way. Make up your mind!
  • After lose the weight, you’ll probably gain it back. This is one I hear all the time, and from just about everyone I mention the band to. It has assumed the level of an urban legend. I can’t tell you how often I see comments on blogs that someone knows someone who knows someone who lost a bunch of weight and gained it all back and now they’re fatter than ever. Not sure why people love this one so much. The fact is, if you get a band you’ll still have to deal with your weight and eating issues for the rest of your life. But if you keep up with your fills you’ll lose weight. Some people gain some of their weight back, but statistically, the great percentage of banders stay much leaner than they were before banding.
  • You’re gonna lose weight too fast, and its not good for you! The same people who tell you you need to lose weight will turn around and tell you this one. In fact, you lose about 2 to 3 pounds a week.
  • You’re going to have to drink your meals for the rest of your life. Of course not. After the initial period of healing you eat three small portioned meals a day.
  • If you get the band you’ll never be able to get pregnant. Not true. Most docs want you to wait until your weight loss stabalizes. And if you need extra calories during your pregnancy, your doc can loosen the band.
  • Lap Band surgery is dangerous. You could die on the table! The lap band is placed with minimal cutting. You’ll heal quickly and be back to your life in a couple of weeks. Lots of people confuse the band with gastric bypass, which is a very serious operation. I think that’s why so many people believe this.

Last but not least, she says this:

You’ll probably hear more nutty stuff, but this is a list you’re sure to hear. If you have one to add, please comment. The main thing is, don’t let other people’s ignorance, jealousy and all around mean-spiritedness get you down. The band has changed my life for the better, and its also helping me learn that it doesn’t really matter what other people think about me. I’m doing this for myself, and for my health, and that’s really all that’s important when you think about it.

One of things I’m trying to do with this blog is give you enough info that you can deal easily with this kind of nonsense. I call it nonsense, but I shouldn’t but I shouldn’t because people who say that stuff to you are discouraging you from taking action which will lengthen your life. All of us deserve as much joy and happiness and comfort as we can reasonably have. And families love and need their members for as long as they can have them. Who wants their parents, or children or siblings to live shorter than necessary lives? Very few of us. And if you would wish a long life for someone  that you love, someone else wishes it for you. Don’t let some unnerved friend shame you into a shorter life.




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What To Do When Your Insurance Denies Your Claim For Weight Loss Surgery

Posted by Lori on July 23, 2009

I was very excited to see this comment from someone whom I admire quite a bit – Walter Lindstrom of the Obesity Law and Advocacy Center. One of Mr. Lindstrom’s specialties has been helping insurance company clients appeal declines for weight loss surgery. Today, he responded to a thread with some very, very good news for people who want to have Lap Band surgery:

Well thank you, Lori. I just happened to stumble upon this and it was a wonderful surprise. I’ll even make a better suggestion that yours!

The minute someone is denied insurance for a LAP-BAND their best alternative is to ask their surgeon’s office to contact their reimbursement support line to get the patient an Application for the Allergan LAP-BAND Appeals program. That way someone who qualifies under that program can have us work on their appeal AT NO COST TO THEM, using the same experienced team specialists of specialists that YOU recommended! People who handle nothing but weight loss surgery insurance matters of all types and have done so successfully for nearly 14 years!
Walter Lindstrom – Obesity Law & Advocacy Center
RNY – 1994
LAP-BAND – 2003

Wow.  If you qualify, Allergan will help you appeal an insurance denial! Mr. Lindstrom’s firm has an amazing record of success and you won’t be charged for the appeal.

And don’t let your insurance company buffalo you just because this is weight loss surgery. This is your life at stake. This is your health, your happiness and your longevity that you’re fighting for. Just because you have thrifty genes doesn’t mean that you are entitled to less than our slender, spendthrift DNA’d friends.

I have to find a way to sticky this. This is amazing news.

Thank you, Allergan. Thank you, Mr. Lindstrom.

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Fab Lap Band Blog With Awesome Before and After Pics!

Posted by Lori on July 23, 2009

:: {she shrinks} :: – I can’t believe I’ve never found this Lap Band blog before. She has a series of side by side pics taken month by month. It’s so easy to see what she looks like as she loses weight. In her last post, she’s laying on her side in a bikini and she looks good. How many of us can do that?As to the beginning of the journey, she has her surgery in September of 2005, so you can go back in her archives to trace the whole process.

Here’s a link to the picture page: “a visual companion to She Shrinks, a weight loss surgery journal”. I’d post one of the pics here, but I can’t upload photos for whatever reason without crashing my browser. Bummer. So you’re going to have to conquer your link-o-phobia and just go to the blog.

You’re going to love this.

Posted in Lap Band Before and After, Lap Band Bloggers, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories, 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.

Ma

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.

Sincerely,
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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Band Banter with Coach Cher today at 4pm CDT.

Posted by Lori on October 27, 2008

Coach Cher is on Blog Talk Radio tonight with Iris Stratton. The blurb for today’s show is:

Join me as I discuss Lapband 101 with Iris Stratton co-founder of Fill Centers USA. Iris currently serves as the company’s CEO. She wrote the fitness, supplementation and nutrition portions of the Fill Centers USA Lifestyle Guide. Iris’s dream is to “work hand in hand with the participating surgeons to make this surgery revolutionary to the world by making aftercare more advanced and geographically adequate for each and every patient.

Particularly, if you are going out of country for weight loss surgery, you should check out Fill Centers USA– it’s a good deal. The first order of business is to provide fills in a professional atmosphere for Lap Band patients. But they also provide post-surgical support groups, and this is important, because bariatric patients who attend support groups do better than those who don’t attend support groups.

I will give you one line from a study on the subject:

Gastric bypass patients in the ASGM (Attend Support Group Meetings) group had a statistically significantly higher percent decrease in BMI than the patients in the NASGM (Not Attend Support Group meetings) group (42% vs. 32%; p < 0.03).

Hopefully, that 10% will get your attention and get you out to some support groups. Listen to Coach Cher today. Should be good.

Posted in Lap Band Podcasts and Radio, Weight Loss Surgery | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Becca’s Lap Band Story Episode 4

Posted by Lori on May 28, 2008

Becca has now lost 60 pounds since February, and she looks fantastic. This clip is about how much her life as changed as a result of having Lap Band surgery. She rides bikes without worrying about the tires deflating, she plays the piano without problems and she can even cross her legs now and yes, there are some before and after pictures.

Anyway, good work, Becca! Congratulations on your triumphs.

Posted in Lap Band Weight Loss Stories, Video Blogs, Weight Loss Surgery | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Andrew Lost 260 Pounds With A Lap Band

Posted by Lori on May 27, 2008

It’s always easier for men to lose weight, we know. This is a video from True Results with their patient Andrew S. He’s being interviewed while a make up artist is getting him ready for a photo shoot. Anyway, take a look, guys. At the end of the video, you can see how trim he is now.

And for those of you who haven’t clicked on Robert Morgan’s 250 Pound Weight Loss story, do it now. He’s a sports writer, who weighed over 500 pounds when he finally had a Lap Band procedure.

And I got that way by following the standard American diet. With a busy family and a job that keeps me constantly on the move into the evenings on most nights, I ate a lot on the run – McDonald’s, Chicken Express, Wendy’s and other such food.

I remember there was a time when we ate out more than we did at home. And I remember thinking at one point that I was getting healthier because I switched to Taco Bell. At that point I was getting burritos with lettuce and cheese rather than quarter-pounders. And boy, I thought that was a huge improvement.

But deep inside I knew better. I could not stand the pain shooting up the heel of my foot or that I was out of breath walking back to the car after a football game. Better yet, I knew I was in trouble last April when I was at Odessa’s Ratliff Stadium for the regional track meet. This massive, college-size stadium has no elevator and hauling a wide load up 50 flights of stairs several times a day about gave me heart failure.

I felt doomed to die of a heart attack by the age of 32, but I didn’t know what to do. I don’t overeat so I figured eventually it would all go away. I was certain that putting on a few extra pounds was something that happens to everyone when they hit their 30s.

It hit me like a ton of bricks this year, and I have one immature, rude, disrespectful Decatur High School student to thank for it. I was at my first volleyball game of the season in late August when I walked by the student body section. I noticed in my peripheral vision as I approached the group that one boy in particular kept staring at me. Just as my family and I passed, he quickly turned to two of his buddies and said, “Did you see how fat that dude was? What a freak!”

Well, that would definitely be a wake up call. I got one of my own the other night. A young friend came by and saw a photo on the wall that my husband had taken about ten years ago. It’s a black and white shot of barefooted me in a long dress and denim jacket sitting on a stone bench. My hair is long and fluffy at the time. My hands are folded in my lap and my legs crossed. He looked at it for a second and said, “Wow, that could almost be you only much younger”. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

Savin’ mah pennies. Savin’ mah pennies.

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Lap Bands and Diving

Posted by Lori on May 25, 2008

Oooooooh, this is sooooo interesting. One of the things I really want to do after I get my Lap Band is go diving. I’ve never been SCUBA diving in my life, and living so close to the beautiful waters of Mexico, I really want to at least once. Just once. Maybe twice. Anyway, I found this fascinating article about bariatric surgery and diving. It covers all of the weight loss surgery techniques and the risks to divers from each.

The news for bandees is good:

Adjustable Banded Gastroplasty or “Lap Band” isanother more restrictive procedure which reduces the size of the stomach. Following the surgery, the patient’s stomach may only hold 1-2 tablespoons in volume. This method drastically reduces the amount of food the patient can consume at any one time; digestion continues normally; and nutritional problems such as anemia and osteoporosisare almost nonexistent. The patient does not require as much ongoing medical supervision or dietary supplements.

Patients choosing this procedure must be very selective about the food they eat: since absorption is not altered, any foods high in calories, sugars and fat will have the same affect on the body as they did before the surgery. If a patient consumes too much food or large pieces of food, vomiting can result.

After surgery, some patients experience chronic acid reflux. Reflux and regurgitation of fluid and gastric liquid can present problems for a diver in the “head down” position, such as during descent. Divers can manage problems of regurgitation or vomiting through proper dietary considerations and possibly medications.

The estimation of “1-2 tablespoons in volume” is pretty extreme. In truth, you’ll be eating 6 to 8 ounces of food per meal – or a “half glass” of food as Dr. Paul O’Brien likes to put it. In the real world, that’s the equivalent of a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger and a small order of McDonald’s Fries. Of course, you won’t be eating at McDonald’s if you want to lose weight, but you can see where a meal of that size would be perfectly satisfying emotionally. And of course, with the Lap Band, you’ll be quite full as well.

So, for me, it’s to Mexico for my Lap Band surgery, and then hopefully, one year later, back for a SCUBA trip. I can’t wait. 🙂 Palancar Gardens – here I come!

Posted in Lap Band Basics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 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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The Truth About Lap Bands and Fills

Posted by Lori on May 15, 2008

There’s a blog post that I’m sure a lot of people who are researching Lap Bands right now are seeing in which a young woman is telling her tale of getting Lap Band surgery in Mexico four years ago. At that point in time, surgeons weren’t doing fills for the patients of other surgeons, so she had to fly to Mexico everytime she needed a fill – a situation that has now changed. Anyway, she expresses the idea that had she not needed to fly to Mexico for a fill, she would have had fills several times a month, rather than over the course of several months. This isn’t accurate – you wouldn’t have fills several times a month. According to Dr. Paul O’Brien, who is the Director of The Centre For Obesity Research and Education at Monash University in Australia, you’ll have your first adjustment 4 weeks post op. At that point, you’ll have adjustments every two weeks or so, until you hit what he calls “the green zone”. It takes about a week to determine how the particular fill is affecting you and most physicians prefer to have a little more data before they proceed again. Once you hit the green zone, the time between adjustments stretches out from four weeks, to six weeks to three months, to six months. It just depends. I’ve talked to a few people who have lost all of their weight with four or five adjustments. Some people require more.

For those of you who are new to this – the port is located somewhere just to the side of your belly button. Fills are simple and painless. You lay down a table, put your hands behind your head and life your legs slightly. That causes your tummy muscles to tighten up and the physician feels for the port. Once found, they swab the area to clean it, spray a local anesthetic on it (no shot) and do a quick injection. They withdraw all the saline from your Lap Band so that they are sure how much is already there, and then inject the full new amount. It’s all over in under two minutes.

Here’s a video of a Lap Band fill being done:

Here’s Love My Lap Band Interviewee Lorraine Kay talking about her fill (among a few other things). Now, Lorraine’s experience involves a barrium X-ray so they can check things out a little more thoroughly, and that’s more likely to happen with someone whose procedure is being covered by insurance. Still, she makes the point quite well that it’s quick and simple.

And here is Becca getting a Lap Band fill in her physician’s office:

Fill Centers USA has 30 locations around the nation and has an entire post-operative support program. They handle fills, and provide the post-surgical support helping you learn to use your Lap Band to the most positive end possible. One of the things we know, is that people who have post-surgical support lose more weight, and have an all around happier experience. So, if you’re contemplating surgery in Mexico, this is an option you should consider.

If you’re just investigating Lap Band surgery, I’d encourage to read Dr. Paul O’Brien’s book THE LAP BAND SOLUTION. He covers all of the basic information in a clear, concise, easy-to-read manual. He’s one of the premier experts on Lap Bands in the world, and has been formally researching their efficacy since the early nineties.

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Insurance Denials for Lap Band Surgery

Posted by Lori on May 10, 2008

I posted this a few months ago, and I think it’s worth a repeat. The Northwest Weight Loss Surgery site has a link to one of the best pages ever – Obesity Law And Advocacy Center. Attorney Walter Lindstrom is founder, and his firm focuses on issues of concern to obese people. Now, as I said before, if you’re reading this page, you don’t plan on being obese for long, so what is the relevance?

Well, Mr. Lindstrom has a lot of advice on what you need to do to get your insurance to cover your lap band procedure. For starters, a lot of insurance companies mandate that you establish that you were on a supervised diet program and require that you provide them with notes. He has an entire paper on the importance of doing this. His basic point is that for many of us, getting insurance approval isn’t that quick anyway. Most doctors want you to lose 10 pounds or so before surgery to make the liver smaller anyway, so Mr. Lindstrom says “do it”. It will get you a little farther down the road while you work through the insurance issues, and will make you healthier for the surgery.

There are lots of articles and FAQ page as well. There were two questions that particularly caught my eye and I think will be relevant to many of you.

I’VE BEEN DENIED OBESITY SURGERY BY MY INSURANCE COMPANY BECAUSE CLAIM IT ISN’T MEDICALLY NECESSARY. CAN YOU HELP ME?

We are fortunate to be able to help most anyone in this position and have a success rate overturning denials based on “medical necessity” or failure to meet criteria for surgery that is in excess of 90%. We can be most effective if we get the case or claim right at the time of the first denial. If you wish to inquire about us advocating for you in that type of case, click here.

Oooo la la! A success rate of over 90%! That’s what I want to hear!!!!!

And then this:

MY INSURANCE COMPANY DENIED ME BASED ON A LACK OF DOCUMENTATION OF WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS AND I DON’T HAVE ALOT OF THAT INFORMATION….CAN YOU HELP ME?

This is one of the areas we spend a great deal of time and have had very good success. While it is very, very important for patients to go back to their various medical providers to get whatever historical records are available, the fact is many people don’t have or cannot locate such records. That should not stop anyone from seeking surgery. First, you can always postpone the surgery until you comply with your company’s requirements, whether they are 6 months, 12 months, 18 months or more. However, we also understand that many of you have “been there, done that” and don’t want to wait anymore. We work successfully on a great many of those cases despite a client not having a great deal of documentation and we would urge you to give us a chance if this is the basis for denial you confront.

This was something I was wondering about. I live on a diet. I don’t think there are that many changes I could make to my diet that would allow me to lose weight. But after reading this site, tomorrow I’m going to be figuring out ways to get on a supervised diet, just in case I wind up with insurance coverage and use it for my surgery.

And in case you need help but you’re thinking you can’t afford Mr. Lindstrom, he says this:

ISN’T HIRING AN ADVOCATE GOING TO BE VERY EXPENSIVE?

Fear of professional fees are unfortunately one of the primary reasons why many Americans, in our opinion, are denied access to health care they require. Many people cannot afford costly fees and many attorneys and other types of advocates charge fees which are greater than the costs of the treatment being denied. Obviously, in that case, it would make no sense to hire such a person or firm.

Our office has worked very hard to make high quality services affordable to anyone who needs them. We have kept our overhead extremely low and have streamlined our file handling to maximize results for our clients. We’ll discuss our various fee options with you on an individual basis, but our current structure starts under $500, depending on what you require.

While it is important that this office charge and collect a fair fee for the work that we do, we have never allowed someone’s ability to pay fees to be the final deciding factor as to whether or not we can help them. We don’t want anyone to not contact us simply based on an erroneous assumption that hiring us is too expensive. We will work hard, if necessary, to create a payment plan which meets your personal situation.

And since most of you don’t live in California:

I DON’T LIVE IN CALIFORNIA – – – CAN YOU STILL HELP ME?

The answer to this question is generally “Yes,” but circumstances will differ from case to case. First of all, you must understand that you are retaining our services as a designated authorized “representative” to assist you with your appeal; we are not acting as an “attorney” on your behalf. In those instances, it is generally not necessary for us to be admitted to the bar for your state.

If we take on the matter as attorneys (rather than as lay advocates), we do have to be admitted to practice in the jurisdiction for that case. In those instances, we associate local counsel to assist with following the local rules and to sponsor our admission to that state’s bar for purposes of that particular case. That is called being admitted pro hac vice (for purposes of that case).

There are a few things to keep in mind. If you want us to help you with your appeal, you’re not going to be obligated to file any type of lawsuit or arbitration or other type of litigated solution to the dispute. You’re also never obligated to keep us as your attorneys if you wish to file such an action; in fact, we too retain the right to not move forward with a litigated case and, in some instances, we may be unable to take on that representation because we may be witnesses to the payer’s conduct.

So. yes, he might very well be able to help you even if you live out of state.

There is a lot of great stuff to read there, so I’d encourage you to spend some time at his site. He has an entire paper on getting your insurance carrier to approve you. I’m going to read that tomorrow and report back as well.

The Northwest Weight Loss Surgery site has a link to one of the best pages ever – Obesity Law And Advocacy Center. Attorney Walter Lindstrom is founder, and he is specializing in laws and discrimination that impact the obese. Now, if you’re reading this page, you’re not planning on being obese for long so you may wonder how this impacts you!

Well, Mr. Lindstrom has a lot of advice on what you need to do to get your insurance to cover your lap band procedure. For starters, a lot of insurance companies mandate that you establish that you were on a supervised diet program and require that you provide them with notes. He has an entire paper on the importance of doing this. His basic point is that for many of us, getting insurance approval isn’t that quick anyway. Most doctors want you to lose 10 pounds or so before surgery to make the liver smaller anyway, so Mr. Lindstrom says “do it”. It will get you a little farther down the road while you work through the insurance issues, and will make you healthier for the surgery.

There are lots of articles and FAQ page as well. There were two questions that particularly caught my eye and I think will be relevant to many of you.

I’VE BEEN DENIED OBESITY SURGERY BY MY INSURANCE COMPANY BECAUSE CLAIM IT ISN’T MEDICALLY NECESSARY. CAN YOU HELP ME?

We are fortunate to be able to help most anyone in this position and have a success rate overturning denials based on “medical necessity” or failure to meet criteria for surgery that is in excess of 90%. We can be most effective if we get the case or claim right at the time of the first denial. If you wish to inquire about us advocating for you in that type of case, click here.

Oooo la la! A success rate of over 90%! That’s what I want to hear!!!!!

And then this:

MY INSURANCE COMPANY DENIED ME BASED ON A LACK OF DOCUMENTATION OF WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS AND I DON’T HAVE ALOT OF THAT INFORMATION….CAN YOU HELP ME?

This is one of the areas we spend a great deal of time and have had very good success. While it is very, very important for patients to go back to their various medical providers to get whatever historical records are available, the fact is many people don’t have or cannot locate such records. That should not stop anyone from seeking surgery. First, you can always postpone the surgery until you comply with your company’s requirements, whether they are 6 months, 12 months, 18 months or more. However, we also understand that many of you have “been there, done that” and don’t want to wait anymore. We work successfully on a great many of those cases despite a client not having a great deal of documentation and we would urge you to give us a chance if this is the basis for denial you confront.

This was something I was wondering about. I live on a diet. I don’t think there are that many changes I could make to my diet that would allow me to lose weight. But after reading this site, tomorrow I’m going to be figuring out ways to get on a supervised diet, just in case I wind up with insurance coverage and use it for my surgery.

And in case you need help but you’re thinking you can’t afford Mr. Lindstrom, he says this:

ISN’T HIRING AN ADVOCATE GOING TO BE VERY EXPENSIVE?

Fear of professional fees are unfortunately one of the primary reasons why many Americans, in our opinion, are denied access to health care they require. Many people cannot afford costly fees and many attorneys and other types of advocates charge fees which are greater than the costs of the treatment being denied. Obviously, in that case, it would make no sense to hire such a person or firm.

Our office has worked very hard to make high quality services affordable to anyone who needs them. We have kept our overhead extremely low and have streamlined our file handling to maximize results for our clients. We’ll discuss our various fee options with you on an individual basis, but our current structure starts under $500, depending on what you require.

While it is important that this office charge and collect a fair fee for the work that we do, we have never allowed someone’s ability to pay fees to be the final deciding factor as to whether or not we can help them. We don’t want anyone to not contact us simply based on an erroneous assumption that hiring us is too expensive. We will work hard, if necessary, to create a payment plan which meets your personal situation.

And since most of you don’t live in California:

I DON’T LIVE IN CALIFORNIA – – – CAN YOU STILL HELP ME?

The answer to this question is generally “Yes,” but circumstances will differ from case to case. First of all, you must understand that you are retaining our services as a designated authorized “representative” to assist you with your appeal; we are not acting as an “attorney” on your behalf. In those instances, it is generally not necessary for us to be admitted to the bar for your state.

If we take on the matter as attorneys (rather than as lay advocates), we do have to be admitted to practice in the jurisdiction for that case. In those instances, we associate local counsel to assist with following the local rules and to sponsor our admission to that state’s bar for purposes of that particular case. That is called being admitted pro hac vice (for purposes of that case).

There are a few things to keep in mind. If you want us to help you with your appeal, you’re not going to be obligated to file any type of lawsuit or arbitration or other type of litigated solution to the dispute. You’re also never obligated to keep us as your attorneys if you wish to file such an action; in fact, we too retain the right to not move forward with a litigated case and, in some instances, we may be unable to take on that representation because we may be witnesses to the payer’s conduct.

So. yes, he might very well be able to help you even if you live out of state.

There is a lot of great stuff to read there, so I’d encourage you to spend some time at his site. He has an entire paper on getting your insurance carrier to approve you. I’m going to read that tomorrow and report back as well.

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