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Which brand of Gastric Band does the OCC Use?


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I'm sitting here at the OCC today and talking to Dr. Ortiz. I had a request from a forum member to ask him about the different bands the OCC is using. Currantly he's using 3 bands during surgery. One is the Johnson and Johnson Realize band and the other two are the 4cc and the 10cc Lap Band gastric bands. He said it depends on the patient to which one he'll use, which means he has to evaluate the patients weight, height, BMI and other medical factors. Right now he hasn't singled out one to be better than another. So, as it stands now, Dr. Ortiz is using both brands.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, Dolittle - do you have any info on which "model" the Allergan lap bands currently in use at the OCC are? I've heard it's not the AP - is it the VG? Thanks for any info. :)

I'm sitting here at the OCC today and talking to Dr. Ortiz. I had a request from a forum member to ask him about the different bands the OCC is using. Currantly he's using 3 bands during surgery. One is the Johnson and Johnson Relize band and the other two are the 4cc and the 10cc Lap Band gastric bands. He said it depends on the patient to which one he'll use, which means he has to evaluate the patients weight, height, BMI and other medical factors. Right now he hasn't singled out one to be better than another. So, as it stands now, Dr. Ortiz is using both brands.
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Hi, Dolittle - do you have any info on which "model" the Allergan lap bands currently in use at the OCC are? I've heard it's not the AP - is it the VG? Thanks for any info. :)

Here's a section taken off the Lap Band website:

In Mexico, the latest generation FDA-approved LAP-BAND AP® System is NOT available for use. This advanced performance technology for LAP-BAND® surgery was approved by the FDA in 2006 for use in the U.S. Surgeons in Mexico offer the older LAP-BAND® System models, which are called the 9.75 and 10mm, and the VG models. Nearly ALL LAP-BAND® systems implanted in the U.S. are now the new LAP-BAND AP® band, as surgeons prefer them significantly.

This statement is sort of true, but kind of misleading. The OCC uses the 4cc and 10cc lap band model bands. The new (American) AP band is a 14cc to 17cc. All the bands are new, the 4cc and 10cc bands are NOT leftovers or discontinued models. They are all new bands and each model is still in production. I've seen all 3 bands, they don't look much different other than they hold different amounts of saline. They all do the same job, they all close down to a certain diameter. In my opinion, and this is my own personal opinion, the American band was designed and made to hold more saline. This way American surgeons could spoon feed the saline to the patient, which would require the patient to make more visits (fills/adjustments) to the doctor to hit that sweet spot, thus the insurance provider would have to pay more. My biggest complaint when I went to our local lap band support group meetings was all the new patients complaining why they didn't have restriction after having band surgery 6 months ago. This is why 99% of the American surgeons do only blind fills and don't use fluoro during their fills. Most of the patients in those support groups had at least 6 fills and still didn't have restriction. It drove me nuts, why wouldn't American doctors use fluoro and give their patients resrtiction at the first fill. To me it only seemed they wanted the patient have more trips to the office, hence more money spent by the patient/insurance provider to achive restriction with their band. But,, remember, this is my opinion, I'm sure that an American surgeon would have some BS reason why they don't give the patient restriction at the first fill.

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Hi, Dolittle - thanks for your reply. In light of my past experiences with pharmaceutical companies, I know that newer doesn't always equal better. I know some drugs and procedures have been "improved" only to have patients later request they be returned to the original - this has happened to me before. I've often wondered why it takes American doctors 4-5 fills to accomplish what the OCC can in 1 or 2 - seems a higher cc band size would be the explanation. That's definitely not something I'd be interested in - the fewer fills, the better. I saw an American surgeon speak recently and he sort of tried to put the fear of God into anyone about going to Mexico, saying they can't offer the latest technology, the older bands have higher rates of slippage, erosion, etc... That's really what I'm mostly concerned about. Like I said, though, my experience with pharmaceutical companies is that sometimes the advertising and marketing is very different from the reality.

-- Deena

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The US has kind of gone to a "one size fits all" band - which is why most US patients will leave with some sort of fill during surgery, otherwise the band would be too big for many patients and kind of "hang"

I have the 10cm 4 cc band so I always had some restriction from my band even before my first fill. If I had my surgery in the US and got the larger band, I would have required more fills to get to my "sweet spot" - it is harder to get you to that first sweet spot with a larger band. I like that we offer 3 sizes of the band and both brands! That way Dr. O can fit you to the correct band for you!

Remember, Allergan released the "newer" AP band right as the J&J Realize band was gaining FDA approval.... so its probably more of a marketing ploy than anything else. From what I've read and understand it hasn't proved any different or more effective that the tried and true Lap Band.

Allergan simply isn't offering that option in Mexico yet, but I believe that even when they do, OCC will still give as many options as possible, as they do now!!

New isn't necessarily better, it is simply new and Dave is right, all our bands are new, they aren't "rejects" as I heard one US doctor call them, that's just crazy :)

I say let the US docs let their patients be guinea pigs for a new product, when we start offering it in Mexico we'll know it works!

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  • 4 weeks later...
Here's a section taken off the Lap Band website:

In Mexico, the latest generation FDA-approved LAP-BAND AP® System is NOT available for use. This advanced performance technology for LAP-BAND® surgery was approved by the FDA in 2006 for use in the U.S. Surgeons in Mexico offer the older LAP-BAND® System models, which are called the 9.75 and 10mm, and the VG models. Nearly ALL LAP-BAND® systems implanted in the U.S. are now the new LAP-BAND AP® band, as surgeons prefer them significantly.

This statement is sort of true, but kind of misleading. The OCC uses the 4cc and 10cc lap band model bands. The new (American) AP band is a 14cc to 17cc. All the bands are new, the 4cc and 10cc bands are NOT leftovers or discontinued models. They are all new bands and each model is still in production. I've seen all 3 bands, they don't look much different other than they hold different amounts of saline. They all do the same job, they all close down to a certain diameter. In my opinion, and this is my own personal opinion, the American band was designed and made to hold more saline. This way American surgeons could spoon feed the saline to the patient, which would require the patient to make more visits (fills/adjustments) to the doctor to hit that sweet spot, thus the insurance provider would have to pay more. My biggest complaint when I went to our local lap band support group meetings was all the new patients complaining why they didn't have restriction after having band surgery 6 months ago. This is why 99% of the American surgeons do only blind fills and don't use fluoro during their fills. Most of the patients in those support groups had at least 6 fills and still didn't have restriction. It drove me nuts, why wouldn't American doctors use fluoro and give their patients resrtiction at the first fill. To me it only seemed they wanted the patient have more trips to the office, hence more money spent by the patient/insurance provider to achive restriction with their band. But,, remember, this is my opinion, I'm sure that an American surgeon would have some BS reason why they don't give the patient restriction at the first fill.

Easy answer is that the US is a fee for service. Providers don't make money if they do it right the first time. They make their money if the repeat again and again. Simple American Economics

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  • 1 month later...
The US has kind of gone to a "one size fits all" band - which is why most US patients will leave with some sort of fill during surgery, otherwise the band would be too big for many patients and kind of "hang"

I have the 10cm 4 cc band so I always had some restriction from my band even before my first fill. If I had my surgery in the US and got the larger band, I would have required more fills to get to my "sweet spot" - it is harder to get you to that first sweet spot with a larger band. I like that we offer 3 sizes of the band and both brands! That way Dr. O can fit you to the correct band for you!

Remember, Allergan released the "newer" AP band right as the J&J Realize band was gaining FDA approval.... so its probably more of a marketing ploy than anything else. From what I've read and understand it hasn't proved any different or more effective that the tried and true Lap Band.

Allergan simply isn't offering that option in Mexico yet, but I believe that even when they do, OCC will still give as many options as possible, as they do now!!

New isn't necessarily better, it is simply new and Dave is right, all our bands are new, they aren't "rejects" as I heard one US doctor call them, that's just crazy :)

I say let the US docs let their patients be guinea pigs for a new product, when we start offering it in Mexico we'll know it works!

News update! OCC has gone to One Size Fits All. According to Dr. Ortiz when I spoke to him on 11/13/09 the above statement is not true (wish I had known this BEFORE the procedure). When I asked him if I could see the different brands/sizes of the bands he uses he looked at me like I had a racoon on my head. He said to me that he only uses the Johnson and Johnson Realize band and he has been doing so for 6 months! I told him that 11cc was too big for me and I thought I could use a smaller size and he said the only people who get a different band are those who weigh 400 - 500 pounds! Am I angry and bitter? Hell yes! I feel deceived and I am taking it personally. This board and my coordinator (who shall remain nameless) led me to believe differently. Just know that if you elect to have the procedure done at OCC you will be getting (unless over 400 pounds) the Johnson and Johnson Realize band no questions asked or "No soup for you!!!" I think this is important for people to know BEFORE they pay for this procedure at the OCC.

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News update! OCC has gone to One Size Fits All. According to Dr. Ortiz when I spoke to him on 11/13/09 the above statement is not true (wish I had known this BEFORE the procedure). When I asked him if I could see the different brands/sizes of the bands he uses he looked at me like I had a racoon on my head. He said to me that he only uses the Johnson and Johnson Realize band and he has been doing so for 6 months! I told him that 11cc was too big for me and I thought I could use a smaller size and he said the only people who get a different band are those who weigh 400 - 500 pounds! Am I angry and bitter? Hell yes! I feel deceived and I am taking it personally. This board and my coordinator (who shall remain nameless) led me to believe differently. Just know that if you elect to have the procedure done at OCC you will be getting (unless over 400 pounds) the Johnson and Johnson Realize band no questions asked or "No soup for you!!!" I think this is important for people to know BEFORE they pay for this procedure at the OCC.

May I ask why you decided to get banded if you didn't like his answer? At that point you could have backed out semi-gracefully.....

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May I ask why you decided to get banded if you didn't like his answer? At that point you could have backed out semi-gracefully.....

thank you for asking angie. I was not given the impression that backing out was an option. I just thought I would share the information that was given to me. I think it is important for people to have valuable information like this before making a final decision. Just a thought.

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I think there is a misunderstanding.... this is certainlly news to me and doesn't at all sound right to me. I will speak with Dr. Ortiz tomorrow and post a follow-up! Dr. Ortiz has offered both bands since the J&J band received its approval. If that has changed, he would have let his "front line" know, and the reason for the change.

stay tuned....

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Hi Guys! I was just banded Wednesday and Dr. Martinez spoke with me about this without me even asking. He explained to me that they do usually use the Realize band because they felt that it utilizes the best of all prior bands and had the best technology. He did say that they evaluate each person and if they feel that you need a different one then they would use a different one. So apparently they do have other bands at hand but prefer the results they have with the Realize.

I do not mean to sound sarcastic but we have no idea what our insides look like and I think that I trust the surgeons, who have done this many times and seen results, to chose the band that is best for me. I was not concerned with the band brand or cc's I figured it was the Drs job to decide what is best. Just my opinion!

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" .....I told him that 11cc was too big for me and I thought I could use a smaller size...."

Not to be rude..but are you a surgeon with 9,000 lapband surgery experiences? What accurate information do you posess that allows YOU to KNOW absolutely without a doubt that 11cc is too big for you and that a smaller size is more appropriate??? From the sound of your posting you appear to know more than the DR!!

Cheryl

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Hi OCC Bandsters.... I just got off the phone with Dr. O (and our clinic manager and administrative manager) and we do still offer several bands. I can't go into specifics about particular patients or why a particular band may be better for one patient vs another, but Dr. Ortiz says that the J&J band was a much better match for this patient than the Inamed. He has been misquoted and mis-represented. As I tell my patients, the doctors choose which band works best for your anatomy. If you have a band preference, we note it, but in the end, the doctors should and does decide which band you get (that is even stated in the paperwork you must sign for surgery). I'm not a doctor, so I can't tell you why a particular band works better than another for each patient, but I trust Dr. Ortiz when he chooses the correct band for the patient.

For this poster, please call me, Dr. Ortiz would like to speak with you so he can help you understand why you received the band you did. I would have hoped you would have called your coordinator if you had a question or were confused about something. We want you to be happy!

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" .....I told him that 11cc was too big for me and I thought I could use a smaller size...."

Not to be rude..but are you a surgeon with 9,000 lapband surgery experiences? What accurate information do you posess that allows YOU to KNOW absolutely without a doubt that 11cc is too big for you and that a smaller size is more appropriate??? From the sound of your posting you appear to know more than the DR!!

Cheryl

Well you are being rude and very pretentious. I am not going to even comment on your tone however I will state that I know my own body better than anyone else since I have lived with it for the last 34 years. My opinion and experiance about my own body is relevant in ANY conversation I have with a medical professional and this happened to be a conversation that did not include you and one in which you were not privy to.

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Well you are being rude and very pretentious. I am not going to even comment on your tone however I will state that I know my own body better than anyone else since I have lived with it for the last 34 years. My opinion and experiance about my own body is relevant in ANY conversation I have with a medical professional and this happened to be a conversation that did not include you and one in which you were not privy to.
I agree with you %100, I think its ur right as a patient to ask questions about what's going to happen to ur on body. I trusted Dr. Ortiz implicitly, but I wish I had asked more questions, even though I know he has the expertise it wasn't until after my surgery that I found out I had an 11cc band. I woundn't challenge his decision but I would have liked to be more informed. I was by myself and there were so many things that I didn't even think of and by the time Dr.Ortiz came in I was already druged up. Do I think he made the right decision sure he's a surgeon, but this is gonna stay with u hopefully for a lifetime and u do want to have some idea/ say in what's going to happen to you. Just though I would add my two cents.
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I agree with you %100, I think its ur right as a patient to ask questions about what's going to happen to ur on body. I trusted Dr. Ortiz implicitly, but I wish I had asked more questions, even though I know he has the expertise it wasn't until after my surgery that I found out I had an 11cc band. I woundn't challenge his decision but I would have liked to be more informed. I was by myself and there were so many things that I didn't even think of and by the time Dr.Ortiz came in I was already druged up. Do I think he made the right decision sure he's a surgeon, but this is gonna stay with u hopefully for a lifetime and u do want to have some idea/ say in what's going to happen to you. Just though I would add my two cents.

I couldn't agree with you more on your thinking. As part of my life lesson, it took a near fatal experience for me to realize I am responsible for my health care. Before I was banded, I read literature, joined this forum, watched many videos about people's real life experiences with the band, as well as other WLS videos. I reached out and spoke to bandsters over the phone and in person as much as I could. I really want to get a feel of what I was committing too. Even doing all of the foot work, there is nothing like being in the drivers seat. What I mean is even hearing all the details, it didn't hold a candle to living it. Like take a PB for instance. Until it happens with you, it's just a PB. After I productive burped for the first time, I was like Oh...so that is a PB.

Each of us should be assertive and accountable for our own bodies. Asking questions and feeling comfortable/sure of what we are doing is the best we can shoot for. I personally did not qustion which band I was getting. I left that to Dr. Otriz and Martinez to decide. At the time, the realize band was not out and I am sure if it had been I would have been fitted with a one size fits all. Seems to be the choice of Dr. Ortiz and most US surgeons. Also, because the band size is a larger capacity does not mean you will have more fills. Each of us are will be different.

Take me for instance. I have had 4 fills. Each done under floro. I am filled to 2 cc's. On the average, most people get larger fills on there first fill. My body and band would accept .7 cc's so that is what I was filled to. I don't control how much goes into the band, my body does. Getting the band we have the gift of it being adjustable. That is part of the beauty of it.

Bogiesmom - I am sorry you don't feel satisfied with your experience. That really stinks. I hope you find some solice in speaking with Dr. Ortiz. I wish you good fortune with your fills and hope you loose the weight you desire to loose.

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Dear Odette and Angie,

Thank you for your support and understanding of where I am coming from. I did write down a list of questions to ask the doctor in a notebook before my Surgery (and before I was under the influence) and I brought my notebook with me to the Center. I also had 2 people in the room with me when I asked my questions in case something were to come up that I did not think about.

Dr. Ortiz explained to me why he said what he said and I am okay with his reasoning. Would I have liked to have the 4cc Allergen band? Heck yes! But the doctor told me that he feels that patients with low BMI's such as my own have been more successful with minimal fills with the Realize 11cc band. I respect his opinion and in the end only time will tell.

I am very happy on liquids and how my body is responding to them. I feel clean and detoxed and I love it. I wish I could stay on liquids forever. I am scared to go off the liquids. I have lost 3 pounds of water in the last 24 hours and it feels so good not to be bloated. I am really paying attention to my body and what it is telling me.

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Well you are being rude and very pretentious. I am not going to even comment on your tone however I will state that I know my own body better than anyone else since I have lived with it for the last 34 years. My opinion and experiance about my own body is relevant in ANY conversation I have with a medical professional and this happened to be a conversation that did not include you and one in which you were not privy to.

... and this happened to be a conversation that did not include you and one in which you were not privy to.

Sorry, but once you put a topic on a site...you include all the readers and give them "privy"

I suggest you talk to Dr. Ortiz's office rather than just spouting off about how ticked off you are....

You might learn something valuable. .. but then again not.

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... and this happened to be a conversation that did not include you and one in which you were not privy to.

Sorry, but once you put a topic on a site...you include all the readers and give them "privy"

I suggest you talk to Dr. Ortiz's office rather than just spouting off about how ticked off you are....

You might learn something valuable. .. but then again not.

:lb6:

I see this is not going to get anywhere. Goodbye & good luck to you and your rudeness Cheryl. I am taking the high road.

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  • 2 months later...

:lb6:

I see this is not going to get anywhere. Goodbye & good luck to you and your rudeness Cheryl. I am taking the high road.

Can anyone explain to me what the difference in getting a smaller or larger band is?

I haven't had surgery yet, but have a lower bmi (32) so I'm curious to know why the preference over one or another

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  • 1 month later...

I know I am jumping into this conversation kind of late but I just read the whole thing and wanted to comment because I just had my 1st fill today. Yay! Anyway, I also was pretty loopy when I talked to Dr Ortiz and if we talked about the type of band I definitely don't remember it. It is my understanding that no saline is put in the band when the surgery takes place. I was always under the assumption I had the Lap Band put in but was unsure of the size. When I went in for my fill, my local doctor (Dr Bauman in Concord, NC) said that is was a Johnson and Johnson Realize band and was 11CC's. Here's my thought process behind this. Does it really matter the size of the band?? If you aren't getting enough restriction, just get a bigger fill, right? I'm no expert, that's just my thought process. Anyway, he gave me 6 CC's today and I feel great. I'm on liquids for 2 days and mushies for 2 more and then we will see how this puppy works!! I am very excited.

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I know I am jumping into this conversation kind of late but I just read the whole thing and wanted to comment because I just had my 1st fill today. Yay! Anyway, I also was pretty loopy when I talked to Dr Ortiz and if we talked about the type of band I definitely don't remember it. It is my understanding that no saline is put in the band when the surgery takes place. I was always under the assumption I had the Lap Band put in but was unsure of the size. When I went in for my fill, my local doctor (Dr Bauman in Concord, NC) said that is was a Johnson and Johnson Realize band and was 11CC's. Here's my thought process behind this. Does it really matter the size of the band?? If you aren't getting enough restriction, just get a bigger fill, right? I'm no expert, that's just my thought process. Anyway, he gave me 6 CC's today and I feel great. I'm on liquids for 2 days and mushies for 2 more and then we will see how this puppy works!! I am very excited.

Let me put it to you this way Mandy, I have NEVER heard of ANYONE getting a first fill of 6cc at the OCC in an 11cc band and you are absolutely right bigger bands mean bigger fills and apparently your fill doctor knows that. But you paid a lot more money for your fill then what the OCC charges...more bang for your buck so to speak. The OCC is a little bit more on the conservative side for fills as far as what I have been reading. I hope I am totally wrong about this and by all means, if anyone with an 11cc band has received a fill from the OCC that is 5cc or greater please raise your hand.

Mandy, give your fill doctor a big kiss on the cheek for me and tell him he has a secret admirer in Los Angeles :lol:

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Let me put it to you this way Mandy, I have NEVER heard of ANYONE getting a first fill of 6cc at the OCC in an 11cc band and you are absolutely right bigger bands mean bigger fills and apparently your fill doctor knows that. But you paid a lot more money for your fill then what the OCC charges...more bang for your buck so to speak. The OCC is a little bit more on the conservative side for fills as far as what I have been reading. I hope I am totally wrong about this and by all means, if anyone with an 11cc band has received a fill from the OCC that is 5cc or greater please raise your hand.

Mandy, give your fill doctor a big kiss on the cheek for me and tell him he has a secret admirer in Los Angeles :lol:

Our fill doctor in Eugene says a normal first fill for an 11cc band is 4cc.

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Here was my experience this morning. I initially went in just for the consultation which was $200. (ugh!) And was pleasantly surprised when he said I could get a fill since I was already there. (an additional $400- double ugh!) Anyway, he found my port and put 4 CC's in. Then he had me drink a cup of water quickly and asked how I felt. Since I felt nothing he said, "let's go a little higher. It is easier to take some out if you are uncomfortable then have you waste more time and money and feel no restriction." So he did 2 more CC's. After drinking the 2nd glass I felt like I needed to burp. And he said that was perfect. Time will tell in 4 days when I eat real food but I'm hoping this is just what I needed. I'll keep you all posted! :)

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