Nurses who've had Stomach Banding

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    My dearest friend in all the world is an RN and invited me to AllNurses.com. I am considering having an adjustable gastric band put on my stomach laparoscopically (no bypass or cutting), and my friend wanted me to ask other nurses who have had the procedure to please respond. Also, I am thinking about going to Mexico to have it done (for a third of the cost), and hear good things about some Mexican Doctors/hospitals. Would love to hear from someone with personal experience about traveling there for surgery, this surgery (the lap band) in particular. I've narrowed it down to a few surgeons and wanted to know if anyone has gone to/heard of Dr. Rodriguez in Acuna, Mexico? THANK YOU ALL in advance for taking the time to help. I appreciate it so much! Sign me, Hopeful in Oregon
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    my unit gets gastric bypass pts, post-op nearly everyday. There are many complications and you have to know what you are getting yourself into. It is not the quick fix that people think it is. I would suggest you do some serious soul searching before you go off to Mexico of all places. You need to have a support system near by. My hospital holds support meetings for pts before and after surgery. They screen pts before surgury and require that they go to classes to learn about nutrition. I see too many people who think that they can continue to eat the way they always have and guess what? They come back with complications. And remember that while laparoscopy promises no big scars, it is not a risk-free procedure. I personally am not a big fan of the gastric bypass. I have seen some great results. Think! research!Good Luck!
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    Im by no means discouraging you from having this procedure. But I wish that you would reconsider your location of having it. In the United States, there are care standards that are mandated by law. In Mexico there are no laws that will cover you and a particular standard of care. Also just so your aware this process there are cuts and there are many possible ways things can go wrongly just as in any other type of surgery. Understand it is surgery, There are puncture wounds, that the laproscopic instruments are introduced through. There is always the possiblity of complications. I understand the cost of the procedure is an issue, but can you really place a cost on your health? You need to know your surgeon one on one, you need to know your anesthesia to discuss all the pros' and cons of this case.You need to have family or a support system of some sort there because this is not an in and out type of case. It may be a quick fix to some issues you have at this time, but in the long term you need to be somewhere that if something does occur your in the best hands possible. Im not one for a legal recourse but understand that if things do not go as planned you have NO legal recourse what so ever. Think about it , I know many sucessful cases of this procedure..... but I also know cases that were not as planned.
    Zoe
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    Well said Zoe. I have seen the complications first hand. This is a very major surgery and I agree that you need to stay in the U.S.
    Cost should not affect your choice of surgeon.
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    Hi all, Thanks for your replies.
    Forgive me for not being clearer in my first post when I asked about nurses who have had stomach banding NOT GASTRIC BYPASS. The procedure I am referring to is Adjustable Gastric Banding (AGB) whereby the doctor laparoscopically inserts a band around the upper portion of your stomach, creating a small pouch. There is no bypass, no cutting organs, no changing anatomy around! This procedure has been approved by the FDA in the USA, but the surgeons here are not as familiar with the procedure. The Mexican doctors have been using the BioEnteric Band by Inamed Corp for many years and are actually the physicians who usually train and proctor the US surgeons. Most of the surgeons in the US have done anywhere from 15-100 of these procedures, while the doctors in Mexico have done literally hundreds if not thousands. There are many that may have misconceptions about many hospitals and trained physicians in Mexico. There are trained, intelligent docs around the world, just as there are in the US, but of course there are untrained and bad doctors the world over, just as there are in the US. You can go to a "chop-shop" in Mexico, the US, France, Canada, etc., I agree, but please do some research on accredidation organizations in foreign countries.

    I am not asking for opinons about Mexico or this procedure, please. I am asking if there are nurses out there who have had the AGB done, or who have gone to Mexico to have this procedure done? I have talked on the phone to a few nurses wh have had this done in another country, but I wanted to post and ask if there were any at allnurses that have had this done. Thank you very much for your time.
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    Well I understand your question and I live overseas.... and I am also a international surgical nurse so I do know what the stats are on this procedure and how well others are trained besides the USA. Im just stating that for your protection it would better fit your needs where as if anything happened you would have a legal recourse. Also this is also done here but it isnt as popular as the Bypass simply due to the fact of the increased amount of adhesions that occur with this surgery and when the stomach tends to grow into the banding itself. But that is a risk that Im sure you are well aware of. I have not had this surgery but I have personally done about 45. So I see the pros and the cons of the surgical extent of the procedure. Im sure you have done your research and you are comfortable with your decision. I wish you no discord or harm in your ventures.
    Zoe
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    We will begin banding soon at our hospital. But the risks of laparoscopy are still the same. As Zoe said the instruments are long and sharp. I have seen punctured bladders and bowels from a "simple" lap chole. You also have to be prepared for adjusting to the meal size. Our patients receive 30 cc of broth and 30 cc of jello per meal at first. No more carbonated beverages, no coffee, no straws. Then you go to a full liquid diet and then pureed. I do not want to tell you not to do it. I just want you to know what's in store. Find a nearby hospital that does this procedure and ask to go to a support meeting if they have them. Those former pts will be a good resource.
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    I'm not too familiar with this procedure, nor with the quality/level of training in Mexico, but I'll be interested to hear what you decide. Please do come back and post your experience.

    I have some friends who went to Canada for cosmetic surgery, to save money, due to the exchange rate, and the one negative thing they all said was that they wished they had more time to recoop before flying home; that flying home & waiting to go thru customs was miserable, etc.

    The other thought that I had was about the water in Mexico. Traveller's diarrhea is unpleasant enough normally... can you imagine post-op?

    At any rate, good luck!


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