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OCC never called me back


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I am so disappointed with the Dr.s at the OCC. I called yesterday at 3 pm and left a detailed message about what was going on with me. No call by night time. I called this am at 8 am both the OCC and Dr. Martinez's cell phone again leaving detailed messages and to please call back this was urgent. Again no call backs. I called the OCC at 9 AM again , finally got someone and she said(gloria I think) shed' have a dr. call asap. Still no call. What a let down in patient care especially for a rather urgent matter. I would think in 27 hours they could have called me back. Talk about dropping the ball big time.

I did my own searching and was able to get into a fill center USA in Salem about 1 hour from my house. The provider, Sheila was awesome!! She spent more time with me than anyone ever at the OCC at any time and really listened to what I was saying. She explained so many things to me that were news to me as I had never been told these things by the OCC, important preventative care things. She educated me on a wide variety of band related things and I did not feel like I was in an assembly line. She found only 2.5 cc in my band (OCC filled it to 2.8 friday) and then removed .25 cc leaving me a total of 2.25 cc. I was so dehydrated and since I havn't eaten by their scales I lost 8 pounds since Friday with my clothes on!! One good thing from all of this but I will probably gain some of it back as I start eating again. I am on clear liquids for 48 hours and then full liquids/mushy food for another 2-4 days to allow things to settle down. She actually pulled all the fluid out, sent me to eat and hydrate and then I went back in a few hours to be refilled. Otherwise I would have had to have an IV and this seemed like a great option. It felt so good to finally eat. I just had some potato soup, a slice of cheese, and a smoothie but it was sooo good.

This was not a good situation at all. Yes I take responsibility for not calling the OCC while I was still in TJ but I just didn't realize how bad this was. Sheila (fill center provider) told me this happens ALL the time though. She did the fill blind and I didn't even feel the needle go in with no local used. I would highly recommend her to anyone in this area and wish I would have gone to her from the beginning. For me I have learned that using fluoro is not as important a criteria as it is said to be. It made no difference in this terrible experience I have had. I urge others to think long and hard about aftercare being close to home and available for emergencies just like I had. This is something that could have seriously harmed me and really don't know long term if it will have any affects. I have learned a very important lesson and that is ......LESS IS BETTER!!!! Going from 2.0 to 2.8 cc was almost in my opinion malpractice, way too much for a second fill. Don't get nervous anyone reading this who's a moderator from the OCC I certainly have no intention of saying anything else about this incident but I do hope the word gets back to Dr. Ortiz what a terrible oversight in my healthcare this was to have not gotten a call back from ANY doctor there in 27 hours, especially under the severe circumstances. I was ready to get on a plane for $600 bucks and fly down to get it taken care of but since I got no response I was forced to go to a clinic outside of the OCC.. Shame on you guys!!

Sorry for the digression folks but I needed to vent. I do feel physically better after 1 liter of water and some food. I thank you all once again for your support through this difficult time.

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WOW, that gives me a lot to think about. Although, hubby and I had already decided that we can not afford to go back there for our first fill. I do however want flouro but I am concerned that they didnt call you back. I want to be able to recommend this place to my friends as they are watching my progress. I am very concerned about the fact that they did not call or even have someone call to say they were unavailable. That is very scarry. Thank goodness you found the place in Salem. Before we went down to OCC, I checked on my options because of my fear of this happening. But I never in my mind thought that there would not be a call back. I hope that someone from OCC calls you to at least tell you why they could not call you back. That is frightening to be left out there hanging.

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Holy crappers, that is really scary that no one bothered to call you. You poor poor girl!!! I can see why you are so upset with them, I'd be too. I am glad you found a fill doctor that treats you like #1. Glad you are ok and feeling better!! This is good info, I was thinking about going down for my 3rd fill (just to have everything looked at) by now I don't think I will bother.

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Hi Julie, I am so sorry that you are disappointed with the OCC, but thrilled that you found a caring place to go and get your unfill.

What an excellent provider to unfill you and let you eat and drink to get your strength back before refilling, she's a smart cookie...there is no question that you have found the right place at the right time.

Feel better soon and I am sure you can keep that 8 lbs off!!

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I also have had great experiences with Fill Centers USA. Darlene, the nurse practitioner that does the fills in the Roswell and Moultrie, GA offices is great. I would recommend her to anyone. Julie, thanks for the post. Keep us updated.

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Wow - that's a pretty awful story. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us - so sorry you had to experience it!

I'm so happy for you that you persisted in your search for help and got the great care you needed. My sister just got her 2nd fill at the OCC and got just .4 CC for a total of 2.4 - strange that you got twice as much! I will share your story with her though - she should be wary if/when she decides to go for #3. I would hate for her - or anyone else - to go through what you went through.

Glad you got some food and hydration and are on the right track now.

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Julie I am sooo glad you got yourself taken care of. I am let down by what the OCC did to you also. That really is a huge let down to hear that.

But I would also like to say that I am waaayyyy jealous that you live in Oregon and got what sounds like is an awesome fill provider. I was really impressed with her unfilling you to eat and re-hydrate and then having you come back. This means extra time and effort on her part, so I am really impressed by this. And it sounds like a very medically sound decision that she made as well. I am glad you are on the path to better days. Man, I wish I lived in Oregon. My sister lives in Portland. Maybe I plan a trip to see her and get a fill in Salem. How much did your fill cost you?

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Shouldn't the moderator's have maybe brought this to the attention of the OCC dr's??? I'm not exactly sure of their rolls? I'm sure there must be an explanation as I certainly can't see Dr. Ortiz or Dr. Martinez not returning your calls if they knew you were waiting and it was that serious? I would hope that there would be a good explanation anyways.

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Guest CaraMBA09
I am so disappointed with the Dr.s at the OCC. I called yesterday at 3 pm and left a detailed message about what was going on with me. No call by night time. I called this am at 8 am both the OCC and Dr. Martinez's cell phone again leaving detailed messages and to please call back this was urgent. Again no call backs. I called the OCC at 9 AM again , finally got someone and she said(gloria I think) shed' have a dr. call asap. Still no call. What a let down in patient care especially for a rather urgent matter. I would think in 27 hours they could have called me back. Talk about dropping the ball big time.

I did my own searching and was able to get into a fill center USA in Salem about 1 hour from my house. The provider, Sheila was awesome!! She spent more time with me than anyone ever at the OCC at any time and really listened to what I was saying. She explained so many things to me that were news to me as I had never been told these things by the OCC, important preventative care things. She educated me on a wide variety of band related things and I did not feel like I was in an assembly line. She found only 2.5 cc in my band (OCC filled it to 2.8 friday) and then removed .25 cc leaving me a total of 2.25 cc. I was so dehydrated and since I havn't eaten by their scales I lost 8 pounds since Friday with my clothes on!! One good thing from all of this but I will probably gain some of it back as I start eating again. I am on clear liquids for 48 hours and then full liquids/mushy food for another 2-4 days to allow things to settle down. She actually pulled all the fluid out, sent me to eat and hydrate and then I went back in a few hours to be refilled. Otherwise I would have had to have an IV and this seemed like a great option. It felt so good to finally eat. I just had some potato soup, a slice of cheese, and a smoothie but it was sooo good.

This was not a good situation at all. Yes I take responsibility for not calling the OCC while I was still in TJ but I just didn't realize how bad this was. Sheila (fill center provider) told me this happens ALL the time though. She did the fill blind and I didn't even feel the needle go in with no local used. I would highly recommend her to anyone in this area and wish I would have gone to her from the beginning. For me I have learned that using fluoro is not as important a criteria as it is said to be. It made no difference in this terrible experience I have had. I urge others to think long and hard about aftercare being close to home and available for emergencies just like I had. This is something that could have seriously harmed me and really don't know long term if it will have any affects. I have learned a very important lesson and that is ......LESS IS BETTER!!!! Going from 2.0 to 2.8 cc was almost in my opinion malpractice, way too much for a second fill. Don't get nervous anyone reading this who's a moderator from the OCC I certainly have no intention of saying anything else about this incident but I do hope the word gets back to Dr. Ortiz what a terrible oversight in my healthcare this was to have not gotten a call back from ANY doctor there in 27 hours, especially under the severe circumstances. I was ready to get on a plane for $600 bucks and fly down to get it taken care of but since I got no response I was forced to go to a clinic outside of the OCC.. Shame on you guys!!

Sorry for the digression folks but I needed to vent. I do feel physically better after 1 liter of water and some food. I thank you all once again for your support through this difficult time.

Oh Julie, that is just downright awful! I was planning on going down there to get my first fill, but now I dont know if it is worth the extra expense. I am so glad you are okay and were able to eat and rehydrate, that is just downright scary!

keep us posted sweetie and get well!

Cara

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Julie

I'm sooo glad you got some relief! I'm equally disappointed with the non response from the OCC.. it seems so unlike them. :(

How much did the fill center in salem charge? I am ALWAYS interested in having other options near my house.

I never posted about my 3rd fill/overfill experience because I felt stupid about it.. but when I got my 3rd fill (locally) I begged for an aggressive fill!! I ended up with 3.1 cc's and was still able to swallow water... after I got home and that evening I was chocking on my own spit! It was awful! I coulnd't keep water down.. nothing! it was awful! my fill dr was going out of town and after trying to "suffer through" for 3 days I ended up having a nurse friend of mine give me a liter of liquid through and IV because I was so dehydrated. I went back and had an unfill and ended up with my current 2.9cc's.

I absolutely know how uncomfortable and awful you felt. I am SOOOO glad you got an unfill and are feeling better. I think it's great she had to you go eat/hydrate and come back to fill back up. great customer service.

Keep us posted.

hugs!! ><' ><'

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Julie, I am so glad you were able to find a fill center close to you. I would never want to go through that pain again, There was

a topic not to long ago about going back to Tijuana for our fills, and many thought that was the best option, however I think what

you and I went through, (I to had an overfill) That finding a Dr. or Nurse closer to home to handle our fills and after care is more important.

Although I feel Dr. Ortiz is the best in his field, I don't think they are to concerned with after care. Hope you get to feeling better soon.

.

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Shouldn't the moderator's have maybe brought this to the attention of the OCC dr's??? I'm not exactly sure of their rolls? I'm sure there must be an explanation as I certainly can't see Dr. Ortiz or Dr. Martinez not returning your calls if they knew you were waiting and it was that serious? I would hope that there would be a good explanation anyways.

Since I'm a moderator,, I didn't see this post till this morning,, That's because I moderate mostly in the early AM. I have forwarded Julies post to Lori. If any patient or member has a problem, you can email your patient coordinator or call them on the OCC 866 toll free number. As a reminder,, all lapbanders should read my post on how to get a good fill. It reminds you that you should take small steps and to check that new fill out before you leave TJ. BUT! there are times some patients react to their new fill and 3 or 4 days later their too tight and have the same problems that Julie experienced. Here's a link to that post,, http://www.lapbandforum.com/index.php?s=&a...ost&p=17485

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I was banded at OCC. Two of my colleagues were banded by a local doctor at a cost of $13,000 more than I paid.

For their $13,000, they get free fills with fluoro, weekly checkups as needed, personal attention just by walking into the office (and they are seen by the doctor most every time) - all of this follow up for one year for no extra charges.

I've found it difficult going of late, and have decided to solve the issues on my own, because I cannot get the attention I need from the sources I've tried to solicit help from. There is no one to see me except on two days a month (sometimes four days a month), and the first advice I receive is to get an un-fill. Sorry, I can't afford another $350 (by the time I fill the car to drive there) to get an un-fill, just to start gaining weight again, then have to pay ANOTHER $350 to get back to where I was two weeks later.

Psychologically, this is having an effect.

Personally, I am disappointed that there has been no contact with me from OCC in the form of a "touch base to see how you are doing" call. I did expect one (though not promised one) at different stages of my journey. Maybe this is something OCC can do to improve their service. Have any of you received any type of follow up from them?

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Gdm.ev1 Reading all that makes me wounder. I was sure I be goin down to TJ for mine #1 but now I think I look around to find a dr.bit closer. A friend of mine was band in TOronto ($18000.00) and they provide him with a CD for his fam.dr. To lern how to do fills. I hope that his dr.lern and is willing to take on another two bandsters if not than gotta travel to Calgary....btw did any1 use dr. Mitchell or the other dr.in calgary please let me know . Thanx a bunch Marek. P.S. I'm glad that you filina better Julie :) have a gr8 day you guys Marek

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Thank you Julie for sharing your experience. I found this forum to be invaluable. Everything that each of us go through helps someone else with questions!! All of you are my lapband family and I couldnt live without ya!!!! Glad your feeling sooooo much better!!

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I was banded with my husband on the 19th and we have not had a call yet about how we are doing. I would think someone would call to check on us. Very strange. They didnt tell us to check in either. So I dont understand that. I guess maybe they think no news is good news. Even my dr here at home checks on me after an appt. The only concern I have had is what I call dry stomach. I wake up in the AM and I feel all dry. I drink my gaterade and it goes away but it does not feel good when it happens. It would be nice just to have someone call to see if I am still alive..

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I would think that someone should be "in charge" of following up to just call and ask how are you feeling. That just settles one mind, plus a happy person will tell everyone they know! I am very excited for Dr. Ortiz to be doing my surgery, in fact from everything I read about him, I feel it is an honor. All of you say so many good things about his staff as well. Maybe they now will realize just how their patients are feeling. I hope so.

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Most went to Dr. Ortiz for the experience and we paid for the surgery. The costs do not outline aftercare fees, we don't pay for them - they aren't included from what I understood. I considered this when making my decision, in the US they do and you pay for them upfront - it’s generally a year and the average cost in my area is $17,999 which includes fills.

My decision to go to Dr Ortiz was based on his performance. I decided to go locally for my fills, I researched, talked to other bandsters and found a place that would work with me on my fills. They have been very supportive and if there’s any problems with my fills I go to them. Its difficult, they have different beliefs in how you should be filled, I have 9 small fills, at an average of $300 for 9 fills I’ve paid an additional $3700 for fills/support in the US, I used the forum for my online support system, and to be honest I’ve never called on the OCC.

If there was an emergency like what happened to Julie, I’m pretty darn angry that she didn’t have any follow up, I expect that. Personally I’d do some ass kinking at the clinic, there’s nothing that pisses me off more than poor performance and lack of care.

Just general aftercare, I don’t believe its part of the program, it could be something they offer at a higher cost, but at the price they are charging don’t expect it – I would say you would most likely be in the higher price range and you should expect to pay for it.

Just my thought - Julie I'm glad you're better - take it slow and keep on trucken girl, you're doin awesome!

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I was banded with my husband on the 19th and we have not had a call yet about how we are doing. I would think someone would call to check on us. Very strange. They didnt tell us to check in either. So I dont understand that. I guess maybe they think no news is good news. Even my dr here at home checks on me after an appt. The only concern I have had is what I call dry stomach. I wake up in the AM and I feel all dry. I drink my gaterade and it goes away but it does not feel good when it happens. It would be nice just to have someone call to see if I am still alive..

I've never heard of the OCC calling to check and make sure people are feeling "ok" after a noramal surgery... did you have the assumption when you went down there?? while I think it would be nice I definitely do not think it's a requirement and given the # of surgeries done daily I'm guessing that would require another full time employee. (shrugs) NOt saying it's a bad idea it's just I wouldn't want to pay a higher price to have my surgery just to have someone call me a few days later to make sure i'm ok.

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My God Julie this is just awful!!! I can believe it though because I have gotten absolutely NO response from the emails I have written to my patient coordinator after surgery. She was wonderful BEFORE surgery and was on top of everything. But, it almost seems like the moment you are done with surgery, they shove you out of the way and that's it. I'm very disappointed from hearing this!

I also feel honored that my band was done by Dr. Ortiz and Dr. Martinez, and feel that there is no doubt they are the best in the business, BUT....perhaps their office staff is the problem. It sure sounds like they have dropped the ball. And, this definitely makes my mind up about not going back for my fill. To me, if I have an emergency, I want to have it close to home.

What a smart thing for your fill doc to let you eat...that's just a smart cookie you have found there and I'm so glad you have someone to help you after such a bad experience. What a nightmare! I'm so sorry that you had to go through that! ;(

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Have to put my little bit towards this discussion....I went to my Doctor here in Campbell River BC. Canada. I have been seeing this Doctor about my weight problem for 6 years and have tried all the weight loss programs from Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, and onto pills etc.....Nothing was working...the programs I mentioned do work, but only if you can stick with it, and I couldn't...I needed help and this Canadian Doctor surprized the hell out of me!!! He said go for it!.....I told him about the refills and he mentioned that I should come back next spring after my stay in Mesa and he would line up a Doctor in Victoria or a Surgeon here in Campbell River. If they wouldn,t do the refill, he would......Man, you can't feel the relief when he said that to me.....With that said, maybe you might check with local Doctors in your own area, you maybe surprized that one of them may step up to the plate and help you.....

:)

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I'm pretty sure that Dr. Ortiz has been gone since the 22nd of Sept and is just getting back today. Rene was also gone on vacation all week last week. I'm not trying to make excuses or anything like that (I'm only the webmaster). I just thought I would throw that out there. It may have just been really bad timing since they have been a little light on staff.

If there is one thing I've learned about Dr. Ortiz over the years, it's that if problems like this are brought to his attention he will take it very seriously and he WILL do something about it.

Chad

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I also have had great experiences with Fill Centers USA. Darlene, the nurse practitioner that does the fills in the Roswell and Moultrie, GA offices is great. I would recommend her to anyone. Julie, thanks for the post. Keep us updated.

I am so glad you mentioned the Roswell office. I live near Anniston, AL and that location is the closest to me. That is where I intend to go. If you get time could you possibly pm me with the prices.

Thanks,

Kimberly

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