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A great list of Questions for anyone considering the Lap Band

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1) If you make a decision to get the LapBand or in fact ANY surgery whether in the US or outside the US you should do plenty of research. Obviously many of the posters here have been banded (or will soon be banded) by Dr. Ortiz so you can find the answers to some of these questions within this forum but for those of you looking at other doctors or those who prefer to get your answers from the Dr. directly you will find a good list of questions below.

2) Research the doctor.

What kind of follow up care is provided? (ie: fills, unfills, endoscopies, fluroscopies, port revisions, removal, etc). Is there an additional cost for these? What is it?

Ask to speak to about 5 or 6 of his patients before you make a decision. Ask those people if they have any complaints or issues with their care before, during and after the procedure.

How many of the procedures has he done?

What types of complications can occur from this procedure and how frequently do they happen? (ie: perforations, etc)

What types of complications has he personally ran into doing this procedure?

What is his policy when a complication occurs during a procedure? (ie: does he discuss options with family or immediately convert to bypass or other WLS).

Is he Inamed approved for the procedure? If not then who qualified him to perform the procedure and can you have literature to verify this?

3) Research the procedure.

How is the procedure performed?

What will change on the inside?

How will my eating habits change?

What will I need to have prepared when I get home in way of food items?

What are the short term issues?

What are the long term issues?

How will I be able to take my pills?

4) Follow up care.

What is the schedule for fills?

When can I get my first fill?

How is the fill procedure performed? (ie: with or without fluroscopy)

What is the cost for fills? (under fluro and not)

How often will I need to be seen?

Will I have access to a Nutritionist?

How do you handle unfills?

Is there a direct line in case of Emergencies?

Does your doctor have email address?

What Vitamins should I be taking?

Will I need to crush my pills? If so then for how long? Are there any pills that cannot be crushed? If so then how will I be able to take them?

5) In the end you are the ONE person that knows your OWN body. The doctor doesn't, the nurse doesn't, your best friend's neighbor's daughter's friend's dog doesn't. Get the picture? You know when your body is telling you that something isn't right. For instant, you are nauseous, light headed, and feeling tired. Could be flu, could be low blood sugar, could be dehydration. The fact is you are being made aware that your body is not happy. So maybe drink some water, eat some protein and rest. If that doesn't work then call your doctor. Not next week not tomorrow but right then. It might be nothing but better safe than sorry.

6) If you are working the band (i.e. drinking before /after small bites forks/spoons down after bite/ protein first - all those things) as hard as you can, and you are still not losing weight, then you might need to be evaluated for metabolic issues. Do not accept the band as just another failed weight loss gimic. Push for answers.

7) Do not leave the hospital before you know exactly what your post op diet should consist of.

Including when and how to advance the diet. (ie: clear liquid, liquid, mushies, regular diet).

Also, have a clear picture of what each phase looks like. (ie: clear liquid = broths; liquids = protein drinks; mushies = mashed potatoes; regular diet = protein then veggies then carbs).

And unless YOUR doctor told you it's ok to change his or her instructions, then NO.. its NOT ok!

8) ON the issue of Pregnancy and being banded here are some questions you might want to address.

How soon after being banded can I get pregnant?

Once pregnant, will I have to get a partial unfill or be completely unfilled?

Should I expect any issues/complications with a pregnancy after being banded? If there are any what could they be and how will they be addressed?

After being banded, are most babies delivered via c-section or can they be delivered naturally? If my baby needs to be delivered via c-section could that damage the port and tubing?

Are there additional vitamins I should take while pregnant?

If you can't keep water down and you have been suffering for days then CALL YOUR DOCTOR!!

If you are having days of reflux and a burning sensation in your belly then CALL YOUR DOCTOR!!

If you have a redness, swelling, tender, and hot area around your port then CALL YOUR DOCTOR!!

If there is just something that doesn't 'FEEL' right then CALL YOUR DOCTOR!!

Please know that I am not suggesting that any of us aren't smart enough to know when something is wrong but sometimes we know more what to do for others than we do for ourselves. If someone has more to offer then please add to this list as needed.

This list was created by Robin McCoy but I found it some helpful I just had to post it here!

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