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The Real Story


odave
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Here is my story…..My name is Dave and I had the Realize gastric band placed with a BMI of 35 heading into this process.

I was clinically obese and frustrated with the cost and lack of Blue Cross willingness to get this done. I figured it out and with all the appointments, time off work for appointments, and having to pay all the appointment co pays and having to pay deductable of two years it will actually cost less going to OCC. And will be able to deduct this expense on my 2009 taxes.

I arrived Wed night and as greeted the exit gate at the San Diego airport by a warm smile and a driver that talked to me. I arrived at the hotel which looked great and got great service.

My only issue was at this start... Somehow the hotel did not have my reservation. Mind you that this was about 930pm and the hotel took my credit card and said that they would call the clinic in the morning and work it out. Well of course I freaked out and I called the 800 phone number as soon as I got up to my room. I honestly had a call back from Rene within about 2 minutes and a call from the hotel within another minute that it was all worked out.

I woke up on Thursday and went to the lobby and with the clinic’s arrangements; I took the shuttle service to OCC. I filled out a couple of pages and was in the waiting room, maybe 20 minutes. The nurse took back and took her time to draw my labs and started my IV. I am a hard stick and she did it first time, all with a smile and kind words. Then went back to the waiting room and got to talk to a few people. Two that were there for fills, one for a next day recheck, and another that was going in right before me. The ones that were there before me said it was a cake walk not a big deal and said they would do it all over again.

Dr. Ortiz actually sat in the room with me before the procedure for about 25-30 minutes just shooting the breeze, they we talked about the expectations and the procedure. Really Nice guy and confident in what he does. Dr. So came in and talked about fills and future, again, another really nice guy. Both were very approachable and pleasant. I kept thinking… Are these people for real? Are they going to ask for more money or is there a catch? Nope just everyone doing their job with a smile and seem to enjoy it.

I arrived about 745 and in the OR about noon and out and walking the halls about 2:30 and took the shuttle back to the hotel at 430. I just really did not want to be there all night, not because of the anything they said, did, or any issue with the facility, but I’d rather be pitiful and alone as I am not a good patient. I did a little walking that evening and a long walk in the morning and had the BEST broth from the hotel Lucerna that I have ever had. I asked for it to go and drank it in my room. As I did not want to sit and drink it in the restaurant watch people eat real food and they were happy to accommodate me. FYI there is a Starbucks across the street from the hotel and they accept Starbuck’s gold card so I did not even carry any cash.

This was an A class operation and system. There were no donkey rides in, no shady deals, no shacks, coat hangers, dirty instruments, candles burning or anything questionable. There were no back alleys, no burrows as transportation, not even cash passed at the US-Mexican border, and no scars on my sides or back so I still have both kidneys.

I feel like I can truly comment on this as I have been an Emergency Room and Intensive care Registered Nurse since 1993 and a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner since 2002. I have seen and worked many ER, clinics, and hospitals that could use some lessons from this group. I am talking about patient treatment, staffing, and cleaning.

If I was asked if I would redo this again from this point in my recovery, I would get back on the plane today. This is a new tool in my weight management tool box.

I had a little more bruising than I thought I would or should have, and yes, I did I call Dr. Ortiz about 945 on a Friday night. I got called back within about 2 minutes and he actually listened to my voicemail and ready to address my concerns. This was caused from the jerky plane landing. I would encourage everyone to ask for the pillow and use as support during takeoff and landing.

Plain and simple... I am impressed

I sent an email to requested documentation and receipt to submit to my insurance… well again they exceeded my expectations as I got the info in less than one business day. Beat that...

I don’t think that my experience was unusual. If you are considering it…GO FOR IT!!!!. I have no regrets and would do it again without hesitation.

If after reading this you have more concerns that the center can’t answer and you want to talk to someone that has gone though it… please ask the center to contact me and I call or email you. I have nothing to gain, but knowing I have helped someone make a choice to take control of one part of your life and live longer and healthier.

Best of wishes

Dave

Sacramento, California

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Dave,

Thank you so much for posting. When I first saw the title of your post I thought yours was going to be the first horror story I'd read about the OCC. I'm relieved that it was yet another fabulous report.

I am an RN and had my doubts and so I visited the clinic myself and spoke with Dr. Ortiz for at least 30 minutes. I have never experienced health care like this in the States. EVER.

I'm getting my surgery on Friday. :)

Margaret

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Love the discussion Dave, well done!

I had my band put in September 15th 2008

I am 50 lbs down

Lost 7 inches off my hips

Lost 6 inches off my chest

Lost 7 inches off my waist

Gone down 3 sizes (to date)

Blood pressure is normalized

No longer obsess about food

Am in control

I can run 5 miles and feel invigorated (not exhausted)

And I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, because if this band were not in place, I would have an additional 50 lbs ON right now, instead of OFF

:D

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Dave,

Thank you so much for posting. When I first saw the title of your post I thought yours was going to be the first horror story I'd read about the OCC. I'm relieved that it was yet another fabulous report.

I am an RN and had my doubts and so I visited the clinic myself and spoke with Dr. Ortiz for at least 30 minutes. I have never experienced health care like this in the States. EVER.

I'm getting my surgery on Friday. :)

Margaret

HELLO... that is what Ia m talking about. Have no doubts... You will love it and want to go back.... I won't say good luck but will say enjoy....

Let me know!!!!

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Love the discussion Dave, well done!

I had my band put in September 15th 2008

I am 50 lbs down

Lost 7 inches off my hips

Lost 6 inches off my chest

Lost 7 inches off my waist

Gone down 3 sizes (to date)

Blood pressure is normalized

No longer obsess about food

Am in control

I can run 5 miles and feel invigorated (not exhausted)

And I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, because if this band were not in place, I would have an additional 50 lbs ON right now, instead of OFF

:D

AMAZING... love to hear what I can look forward to... HAPPY ANNIVERSARY 1 year banded.

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Dave, that was AWESOME!! I copied it and printed it to show people who raise there eyebrows at me when I say I went to TJ for surgery. And the fact that you are in the medical field is just more icing on the cake! Thanks Dave! ><'

Red

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I am really happy to hear of yet another great experience at the OCC, Dave - it sounds like it went very well. How did your little one take you being away? (this is the thing I'm most worried about - being away from my two girls) - I'll bet she was so happy when her daddy got home! :)

Deena

She didn't even know I was gone... she got to play and shop got her toe nails done and her hair done and more walks and wardrobe changes... so basically she had no time miss me.... she giggled, smiled, and wiggled when she saw me. I love being her daddy

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Dave, that was AWESOME!! I copied it and printed it to show people who raise there eyebrows at me when I say I went to TJ for surgery. And the fact that you are in the medical field is just more icing on the cake! Thanks Dave! ><'

Red

I know I faced the same thing... even more... cause I should know better than to go to TJ for medical care

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That is so great, Dave! I am hoping and praying that my little ones do as well - I do hear the time there flies!

I am really happy to hear of yet another great experience at the OCC, Dave - it sounds like it went very well. How did your little one take you being away? (this is the thing I'm most worried about - being away from my two girls) - I'll bet she was so happy when her daddy got home! :)

Deena

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My husband and I had the same experience. I had never had a dr come in and talk, just shoot the breeze before. He was pretty neat!! I felt so comfortable. The experience was great. We dont regret any of it. We had a very good time and look forward to going back for a check up.

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Thanks so much for sharing your story Dave! I was already pretty confident about having my surgery at the OCC but this just reinforced my decision! Keep us posted on your progress!! I cant wait until November 11th now!!

It will go by very quickly... you will be very happy when done... Thur the procedure was done and was off work Thur and Fri. I took a 1.5 mile walk on Sat and Sun and worked all this week. Recovery was rather fast... I am looking forward to getting my first fill.

Also think I have gotten a coworker to discuss with her daughter and a neighbor that are really considering heading to TJ.

I was just thinking about the money and taxes that have been lost... Well US healthcare... get on the ball

Best Wishes and enjoy the broth....

Dave

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Wow Dave, you said it so perfectly and I am sure you have helped more than one person feel at ease with the decision...I absolutely and 100% couldn't agree more with everything - I would do it again in a heartbeat!!!! :D

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Red, you are lookin' good girl! :D

Hi Dave..

I was there with you in the lobby and next to your room and walking the halls the same time as you. I was wondering if you were on here posting. Sounds like you are doing good, me too. I totally loved the broth at Lucerna too. I think you said you didn't like broth that morning, and the next day you told me that you loved their broth. lol..I didn't know you were bruised. I had none. I meant to get your email when we left at the same time but didn't have any paper or pens. Glad you're on here. We had the same experience, although I had my husband with me who is a physician and was in the operating room with Dr. Ortiz and commented how great of a surgeon he was. At least I had that support. I was one of those who thought Mexico - no way. You were alone. Glad we met and experienced the same thing on the same day.

Want to know your progress... keep posting.

Monica

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Hi Dave..

I was there with you in the lobby and next to your room and walking the halls the same time as you. I was wondering if you were on here posting. Sounds like you are doing good, me too. I totally loved the broth at Lucerna too. I think you said you didn't like broth that morning, and the next day you told me that you loved their broth. lol..I didn't know you were bruised. I had none. I meant to get your email when we left at the same time but didn't have any paper or pens. Glad you're on here. We had the same experience, although I had my husband with me who is a physician and was in the operating room with Dr. Ortiz and commented how great of a surgeon he was. At least I had that support. I was one of those who thought Mexico - no way. You were alone. Glad we met and experienced the same thing on the same day.

Want to know your progress... keep posting.

Monica

Hey girl... whats up... yes I was there alone. I wasn't looking forward to the broth... and hadn't tried it yet...

I am doing well and looking forward to real food again. I think I am going to plan my fill the first week in Nov

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Wecome to Bandland Dave and you just wrote the words of mine and other's experiences as well. Dr O and his staff is TOPNOTCH!

I will celebrate my (1) yr anniversasry this coming Oct 8 and I feel FANTASTIC! Everyone has their own story, and one so unique, but it's the learning lifestyle we are concentrating on and it's workable. The successers on this forum iare incredible and the band is truly a wonderful tool - who knew?

Good luck with your band journey, as you are in for an amazing ride!

Jazzy!!

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I really love how Dave wrote, "And I should know better about getting medical care in Mexico." As an RN, I feel the same way yet I am very, very impressed with the OCC and the staff. My only complaint is that I don't know how to find out any statistics about the place - like infection rates, etc. Obviously, that didn't deter me from getting my surgery done on September 25! :)

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