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Hi, I live in San Diego and have been struggling with weight loss since I was a kid. I've been on numerous diets, exercised until I have dropped and no matter what I do I lose a few pounds and then rebound and gain more.

At the moment I am around 347lbs and I just turned 30. Thankfully I have not had any other medical problems other than the weight and I can get around just fine although prolongued exercise now seems to take the wind out of me faster and my knees hurt more than they used to. I also find that I can't run very far without my knees giving out from the weight.

I really want to get the weight off but I am wary of having major invasive surgery such as the gastric bypass. Mainly because I feel that is just too extreme and unhealthy and also because I fear that quick weight loss will actually leave me with more problems. Not to mention that I will be left with a huge amount of excess skin with that kind of rapipd weight loss and I would like to try to avoid that as much as possible.

I'm trying to decide if I should try this, I really don't like the idea of having to rely on surgery in order to lose weight but I am getting frustrated and desperate. I don't want to be an invalid in my old age because I am too fat to move around.

I am concerned mostly about having to go to another country like Mexico to have the surgery done. I am sure that there are perfectly nice hospitals and medical facilities there but I still have concerns. I'm also not sure that this will work for me. I do have a lot of strength and discipline and can stick to diets and I do exercise at least 1 hour a day but I'm not sure that the lap band will even help me.

Does anyone have any advice or comments they would like to share?

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greetings...I just returned yesterday from having the Lap Procedure done w/Dr. Ortiz and Martinez. I live in SD and I was freaked about the Mexico thing. LET GO OF THAT ONE...I feel like I am on Chapter one of my new life. I'm 54 and have struggled w/weight all of my life. This is a tool...a great tool...the support at the center is amazing. I just loved Dr. Miranda, the nutritionist...very logical and easy and kind and loving...Dr. Ortiz is a doll (and a hunk) - so personable and knowledgeable. THe staff at the clinic where the procedure is done is fantastic. I've never felt like I've been treated better in a hospital setting. Go for it girl! You've got nothing but WEIGHT to lose...don't wait!!!!

Keep in touch,


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Hi LV426 ( what does your name stand for)

I had all the same concerns as you did...but it was quite obvious I could not do it on my own or else I would not of gotten to my heaviest weight ever of 265. I have tried them all..every weight loss plan and weight loss program known to man, only to fail once again. The band has truly changed my life..I have lost over 65 lbs in 7 months and it is the best thing I have ever done for myself. For the first time in my life I do not feel like Iam dieting with all the wieghing of foods and measuring foods, counting calorie etc..For the first ime in my life I feel as I will NEVER gain this weight back AGAIN!!! Mexico is not like it was 20 yrs ago..since you live in San Diego, maybe you can make an appointment with Dr. Ortiz and his staff to go to his foffice, check out his facilities and the hotel you would stay at..once you have done that maybe your mind will be put at ease about "Mexico". Why dont you think the band will work for you? It is a toll and we have to do some of the work but if you want to lose weight bad enough..IT WILL WORK!!! You said you have a lot of strength and discipline, thats half the battle. I have met many fellow bandsters and I have yet to meet one that it did not work for. I say GO FOR IT! Dr. Ortiz is the best in his field andhe is most experienced in the Lap Band not to mention his entire staff are completely wonderful! Best of Luck on your decision :)

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Hi LV426,

I understand your concerns about Mexico and I had that feeling until I started visiting Mexico about once a month, I live in san diego also. I've gotten to the point of just driving across whenever I need to see the Dr.

I say do your research, talk with the Dr's visit the hospital. Make sure you know all the risk that are involved, I guess I'm an exception to the rule. I don't want to scare you but I've had difficulties with the band and that's only becuz my body does not like this foreign object inside. With the difficulties would I do it all over again YES... Oh and after 4months i've lost 30lbs and i'm not "starving" myself and i've never kept it off this long before in my life. To date i've had another surgery to move the port to the other side of my abdomen. I would have lost more if me and my "baby" (the port) weren't fighting so much. :rolleyes: Oh should I mention that your health is more important than the $$$ for these Dr's. How many of your Dr's do you have their cell phone numbers? Can call them anytime you are in need? If there is anything I can do plez let me know. (talk with, travel with etc)

Blessing to you and yours

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I shared many of your same concerns. To complicate matters, I am an practicing eye surgeon in a large southwestern city. Sometimes, too much knowledge is not such a good thing.

A couple of things you should know about Ortiz:

1. He is the only Mexican surgeon doing the procedure who is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. This is big.

2. He has probably the most experience in the world.

3. He trained many of the American surgeons who do the procedure, including one of the prominent ones in my city.

If anyone was going to be critical of the surgeon, the team, or the facilities, it was going to be me.

Let me tell you that Ortiz and his whole group are first rate. You could not do better in the U.S.

The worst part about the experience was my migraine headache starting the day before. Otherwise, it was quite simple and tolerable.

I am 2 1/2 weeks post-op and all is going well. Go for it and don't look back.

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I have had all the same concerns you do and I hate the idea that I have to resort to surgery to lose this weight. My sister had Dr. Ortiz put in a lap band on her in May 2004 and has nothing but praise for Dr. Ortiz and their team.

After 6 months of research, thought, tears and prayer....my sister will be accompanying me for my lap band surgery scheduled December 21st, 2004. I am 44 years old and weight 300 pounds. Have not been under 200 pounds in 20 years.

My sister and I had looked into lap band and gastric bypass surgery here in the states (our insurance won't pay for either). My sister pointed out to me that not only are the facilities in Mexico top notch...Dr. Ortiz and his team give you VERY personal care.

I am so looking forward to a new outlook and new hope in life. My health is very good at this point for as much weight as I carry around. I want to keep it that way and I need the help and the tool of the lap band to help me accomplish this.

Take care and best wishes to you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

captains girl- i have to agree with you 100%

what a great experience i had with everyone involved. i would do it again in a heartbeat. and dr miranda, what a doll but dr. ortiz-"HUNK" and very nice to top it off!!

good luck LV426, don't you worry about a thing. go for it!

love, carolyn gonzales

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I just wanted to respond because I feel like you must be my twin! I'm 30 and usually hover right around 345 (I'm higher right now according to a Dr's scale). My health is not horrible, but I can see the decline. I also have a 2 year old son that has constant energy. I need to be able to keep up!

I am scheduled for surgery with Dr. Ortiz on 1/14. I visited with a local doctor who I very much liked. My decision to go to Mexico and Dr. Ortiz came down to experience. The local doc has only done about 100 bands where Dr. Ortiz has done over 1500. I just could not argue with that.

I hope you continue to do your research and ask questions here. Bandsters are great resources. Good luck!

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