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Local vs Mexico

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Hi! I am thinking about having this done and weighing having it done locally for more money, but with a doctor close by vs travelling to Mexico with Dr. Ortiz. It sounds like the fills are unpredictable. Some have several and some have few to none (wow). I guess I wasn't expecting to have to travel quite that much if I am one who needs more frequent fills and/or removals. Do any of you regret traveling far and not having a doctor closer? Or has anyone had this done in Mexico and then found a doctor closer by to maintain the band? I really want to make a good decision and any advice would be great!

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Why go anywhere else??? These surgeons are world renowed experts in the field. They go around the world and train other surgeons on this procedure. Dr. Martinez and Dr. Ortiz did my surgery on May 27, 2005. I had the surgery on Friday and was back to work on Tuesday. I felt so good, I had to remind myself I had just had surgery and not to lift anything over 20 pounds for the 1st 6 weeks. I had my 1st fill on August 1st. It was so easy. Their office was easy to get to, and best of all if you need to talk to them, they are just a phone call away. I have found a local support group I attend (attending support group is so important) and have had no problems. I'll go back for my 6th month post surgery sometime in Nov to Dec. So to go back 2 -3 times in the 1st year, that is not bad at all. A local Dr. will have you back twice as much, and spent 1/4 of the time with you.

You'll really be happy you made this decision!!!

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Either way you go you really do need to make arrangements to have a local doctor in case there are problems. Even Dr. Ortiz will tell you that. Sometimes that's the hardest part because a lot of US doctors won't see you if you have the surgery done in Mexico. Dr. Ortiz did my surgery but I have a doctor 2 hours away I have gone to for fills. I plan on seeing Dr. Ortiz for my next fill because he will do it under fluro (some US doctors won't) and he will be more aggressive with the fill. The US doctors tend to be more conservative with the fills which is one of the reasons many people have to go back more frequently.

Dr. Ortiz and staff are great if you choose to go to Mexico. Good luck!


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Having it done is the US you will go through counseling prior to having it done. The counseling in Mexico is lacking at best. Although you will save a lot of money. I had mine done in mexico and wish I had the counseling first. I might not have done it.

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I haven't needed a fill yet but am planning to go back to Dr. Ortiz. Not only does he have far more expertise in placing the band than virtually all the US surgeons, he also has that same level of experience with managing fills post surgery -- Fortunately, he's smart enough to realize that ultimately the key to the band's effectiveness are the fills!

It seems to me that many US surgeons seem to be in it only for the surgery but don't care much about fills -- not as glamorous, I think, and certainly not as lucrative for them). Dr. Ortiz will tell you that he is more aggressive than many about fills (most of his patients only need 1 or 2 fills) and I believe it has a lot to do with the good results his patients report.

I get so frustrated for bandsters I hear about on various groups who have had multiple fills but still experience little or no restriction because their surgeons are so inexperienced that they will only do tiny fills to "sneak up" on that sweet spot . . . I realize it's not practical for everyone to come back to TJ for fills -- though I really do think it's good to plan on coming back at least for your first fill. If you're interested in locating a local doc who will do fills for patients who were banded in Mexico, a good resource is the MexicanBandsters group on yahoo.groups which has a listing of docs all around the US that people have used to do their fills locally.

Good luck to you!


Banded by Dr. Ortiz on 5-27-05 -- still no fill needed

Down 57 lbs (35 post op + 22 from 6 wks pre-op diet)

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