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worried about complications


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hello, my name is chuck and i live in san jose, ca. i am scheduled to get the surgery from dr. ortiz in mid february. one of my concerns is dealing with complications. if food gets stuck- is that something you need to go to the emergency room for right away, or can you get on a plane to san diego and see dr. ortiz a day or 2 later. my main concern is having things go wrong, and not having anyone local to deal with these issues.

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Stuff getting stuck probably won't require a doctor's visit. I've had stuff get stuck twice. It can't go past the band so it just comes back up. Just take it easy for the next couple of hours and you should be fine. The only time you would need to call the doctor is if stuff is getting stuck on a regular basis in spite of you eating slowly and chewing carefully. All this will be explained to you when you speak with Dr Miranda during your pre-ops.

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in another topic area, another person was asking questions similar to my concerns. here are his questions.

1. I am not worried about the surgery, or the pain after the surgery, it will be a reminder to me of the commitment I am making.

2. I plan to return to Dr. Ortiz for all my fills, because of his competence, also I miss a few rays on a beach from time to time.

3. I do worry about getting back home and not having good medical backup for emergencies. I have Pacificare insurance, they don't cover WLS or complications that may arise from it. I visited the Lap Band doctors in Eugene, Oregon, and they said they would refuse to work on someone that was banded in Mexico.

4. I am a little apprehensive about accidently making a mistake and not chewing a piece of food and having it get stuck. If it gets stuck will I need to go in for emergency surgery. Or can I hop on a plane to San Diego, survive 2 days of having it stuck, and get it rectified?

5. Complications of slippage and erosion don't worry me a lot in the first few years as the statistics show that there is a very low rate. It is a risk but not life threatening.

5. I am concerned about the long term outcome. Will these bands fail after 5, 10, or 20 years? By failure I mean two things. The first is the band itself needing removal. The second is really my failure to keep the wieght off. Reading some of the scientific literature indicates that there is a high risk of failure as time goes on. But if it buys me 10 years of good health then I am willing to take the risk

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in another topic area, another person was asking questions similar to my concerns. here are his questions.

1. I am not worried about the surgery, or the pain after the surgery, it will be a reminder to me of the commitment I am making.

2. I plan to return to Dr. Ortiz for all my fills, because of his competence, also I miss a few rays on a beach from time to time.

3. I do worry about getting back home and not having good medical backup for emergencies. I have Pacificare insurance, they don't cover WLS or complications that may arise from it. I visited the Lap Band doctors in Eugene, Oregon, and they said they would refuse to work on someone that was banded in Mexico.

4. I am a little apprehensive about accidently making a mistake and not chewing a piece of food and having it get stuck. If it gets stuck will I need to go in for emergency surgery. Or can I hop on a plane to San Diego, survive 2 days of having it stuck, and get it rectified?

5. Complications of slippage and erosion don't worry me a lot in the first few years as the statistics show that there is a very low rate. It is a risk but not life threatening.

5. I am concerned about the long term outcome. Will these bands fail after 5, 10, or 20 years? By failure I mean two things. The first is the band itself needing removal. The second is really my failure to keep the wieght off. Reading some of the scientific literature indicates that there is a high risk of failure as time goes on. But if it buys me 10 years of good health then I am willing to take the risk

I had all of the same thoughts and concerns as above. I decided, however, that the benefits of the surgery make the risks acceptable. It is a very personal decision that each person needs to make.

As to getting care for complications, I read my insurance policy, and while WLS is excluded, there is no clause stating complications are also excluded. So, I have a reasonable expectation that if a real band emergency were to occur, I would be covered.

And getting food stuck really sucks. It is extremely uncomfortable, and in my case, has lasted as long as 30 minutes. Thirty minutes of hell in my experience. But, as Clynn said, it is usually no big deal medically. The food will either go down after a bit, or come back up. In very rare cases, it could become an obstruction, requiring an emergency "unfill" of the band. However, I have yet to see anyone report needing this kind of "unfill".

Considering and knowing the complications is smart before choosing surgery. I personally feel too many people gloss over the possible problems. I decided that I am strong enough to handle them.

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