Kelley Howard: Mexico Lap-Band Experience
When we last left off, I had undergone a lap-band procedure in Mexico and was suffering from some pretty awful on-going side-effects.
It got to the point where my band would back up at night while I slept and I would wake up choking and have to run to the bathroom. As a result, I had the worst case of GERD you could imagine, and I kept antacids with me at all times (by my bed, at the office, in my purse, in my living room, etc.). Even with the problems I encountered I lost 100 pounds over a year and half.
In February of 2007 I went back to Dr. Ortiz and he did an endoscopy to see what damage had been done to my esophagus and unfortunately, the results were not good. Dr. Ortiz had to remove the band, and he told me that my esophagus would return to normal in about 6 months. He said that he hoped I could keep the weight off without it, but if I could not I could come back in 6 months and have another band put back in.
Fast-forward 16 months later to today and I have gained back 50 pounds and now weigh 210. I am walking 2 miles every day and trying to eat right but it’s still coming back slowly. Meanwhile, Dr. Ortiz and several other Mexican doctors have opened fill centers in many major American cities where they have patients, so their patients can get their bands adjusted and not have to travel to do it.
The care I received from Dr. Ortiz was excellent, but the most important part of a lap-band procedure is the post-operative care and adjustments to your band.
Now I am faced with trying to figure out my next move. I need to somehow stop my weight gain and lose the weight I put back on. I am convinced that in my case, diet and exercise alone will not work—after all, I have just spent the last year trying to keep my weight off. The statistics for people who can keep their weight off with just diet and exercise is about 3%--yes that’s right, the failure rate is a whopping 97%. I do not qualify for my insurance to pay for another lap-band because I am not heavy enough (yet?!)