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LAP-BAND Patients
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About Trista1975

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 12/15/1975

About Me

  • Biography
    Proud Mommy to 3, step-Mommy to 2, & very lucky to have found the perfect husband for me!
  • Gender
  • Interests
    Photography, chalk art, reading, singing, & hoping to get addicted to healthy activites.
  • Occupation
    I am currently attending Broadview University to become a Vet Tech!
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I have felt like I was overweight since junior high school, I don't know if I actually was or not, but regardless it still had an effect on my self esteem and huge effect on what I would allow myself to do or not to do. I lost a lot of weight when I was about 18 - 19 and it felt great to look in the mirror and like what I saw! Then I had my first son when I was 20 and have never been under 200 lbs since then. I had tried diet pills: Dexatrim, Xenedrine Diets: Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, Atkins, etc. Prescription weight loss pills. I honestly feel like I have tried everything. These remedies worked short term, but I always ended up gaining the weight back and then some. In 2006 I got to my heaviest, 277 lbs, and I didn't even realize I was that heavy until I started having to take breaks in the hallway before I walked into class out of breath because I had walked up 2 flights of stairs! Or when my family and I went to Yosemite and went on a hike and had to turn around because I just couldn't do it, so embarassaing! Then last year, June of 2011, one of my best friends since childhood had gastric bypass in Mexico! My first thoughts when she told me, was that she was crazy! Then I was really excited for her but still a little frightened about the Mexico part... She had definitely peaked my interest, so I attended a local seminar about lap band surgery and got really excited and really thought it was something I could do until I tried to get financed the $13,000 it would cost because my insurance company doesn't cover any weight loss related treatments. In October of 2011 I had a Pulmonary Embolism, at only 35, it was very scary and I had no warning signs or anything that would lead the Dr's to believe that this could happen. When I got out of the hospital I was so afraid of it happening again I was all over the internet looking at what causes pulminary embolisms and the only thing I could find that actually applied to me was being overweight. So I tried the HCG diet, lost 12 lbs, but was crying because I was so miserable eating less than 500 calories a day. Then I tried a protein based diet that my Chiropractor was offering through his office, the food was gross and I just couldn't see myself doing it long enough to change my weight for life. So back to Weight Watchers again, as usual I lost some weight and as usual I put it back and then some! In April of 2012 my Dad came up for a visit, he's older and at a point where the Dr's tell him he shouldn't be doing any of the things that he enjoys in life, such as, good food, drinking, etc. He was pretty depressed after his visit with us because his Dr told him he couldn't afford to eat and drink the way he did while on his vacation. He called me and asked me to look into the lap band for him. Well I had totally written off the idea for myself and hadn't speant much time thinking about it since, I simply could not afford it. Then my Dad asked me to research it and let him know what it would cost in Mexico!!!!! I looked into it and it was only $3,500, but I told him that I didn't think it would be a good idea at his age to risk any kind of surgery that wasn't absolutely necessary. But since I had researched it, and by this time my friend was coming up on her 1 year surgiversary and had lost over 200 pounds! No complications, no regrets about going to Mexico, she had nothing but positives to say! I asked my parents about me getting the lap band in Mexico and they said they would totally support me! I started getting everything set up, researched, made a deposit, then started questioning if the band was really the best way to go... I decided that the sleeve was a better choice for me, in my opinion there were just too many people who had the band done and then ended up converting to the sleeve in the long run, plus the initial cost difference was not enough after you considered having to pay at least $200 every time you needed to maintian with the band, getting a fill or reduction.

I had surgery in Mexico with Dr. Almanza on June 26, 2012. The surgery went off without a hitch. I was scared and it is nothing like having surgery in the states, but I did it. I had pain, gas, everything that I was told to expect prior to surgery. There was a group of 5 of us that rode together from the airport to the clinic to have the sleeve procedure and in comparison to the others I really fealt that I was doing great! I didn't have much by way of dry heaves, I wasn't having a tremendous amount of pain, all in all things were going well. I stayed the night in the clinic the first night and then was transported to the hotel the next morning where I stayed with my husband. We were transported back to the clinic to get our bandages changed, get fluids, pain killer, and anti-biotics in our IV. Then on the 3rd day we went for our leak tests, we had to drink the contrast fluid so that it would show up in the xray if we had a leak. No leak!!! Woo hoo! I was ready to go home!

My husband and I sat in the back of the van for the trip back over the boarder to the airport. We were very close to the actual boarder when I started feeling like I wasn't getting enough oxygen, I started feeling nauseous, and vomitting small amounts of foamy stuff with blood in it into a plastic bag we just happened to have with us. I saw our driver, Christian, look into the rearview and see that I was getting sick, so he turned the air up hoping that that would help. I was so scared by this situation I felt like I was trying to vomit an organ, there was so much pressure I can't explain it. We are at the boarder and I just kept thinking what are my options, I just want to go home, I don't want to go back to the clinic. I needed to go to the bathroom, but we are in like 8 lanes of traffic waiting to cross the boarder what am I going to do, where am I going to go? We made it over the boarder and it seemed to take forever to get to the airport. I just wanted to get into the bathroom and relieve myself, rinse my mouth out, cool off with some cold water and towells then reassess to see how bad the situation really was. When we got to our terminal I told Richard, my husband, I just need to go to the bathroom. I got out of the van and immediately realized I had no energy and was too weak to go anywhere on my own. Richard got me inside the airport hoping that there would be chairs, I told him to get help and I laid down against the window. He came back with security and soon the airport EMT's were there. They said my blood pressure was low and my heart rate was high, an ambulance was in route to pick me up. It took literally 45 minutes before the ambulance finally arrived, before it got there I asked the nicest EMT lady if she could please wheel me to the restroom, because I had to go and I didn't want to make a mess in the middle of the airport. She took me, and things got a lot clearer after I used the rest room. I had diarrhea and there was a lot of blood. She told me that she was not a doctor but it looked to her as if I had a GI bleed. She was right, the ambulance took my husband and I to UCSD Hospital, a teaching hospital, and sure enough I had a GI bleed which required a blood transfusion and 3 nights stay in the ICU. Mine was a complicated case, because of the pulminary embolism I was on blood thinners and possibly I started back on them too soon after surgery, but my Dr at home wanted me on blood thinners prior to the flight home. It turned out that I had an ulcer, probably the result of surgery (nothing the surgeon did wrong) just a side effect and it was bleeding. I was really glad that this all went down prior to me getting on the plane.

All in all, I'm still not sure how I feel about everything that went down. The bariatric surgeons that oversaw my case in San Diego all said that they were familiar with Dr. Almanza's work and that he is a good surgeon. They did an endoscopy of my stomach, which showed the ulcer, and they said everything looked good which further backs up that this was not a result of a bad surgeon. But I have to say that there is something to be said for being able to speak to and understand all that is being said to and by your Dr's. I am grateful that I was in San Diego when I was taken to the hospital because I don't know what would have happened otherwise. My best friend went to Mexico and had a fantastic experience with phenominal results! I went to Mexico and had a good surgery, but lot's of complications, I can't honestly say if everything that I went through after surgery would have happened regardless of where I had my surgery, I'll never know. I can say that I would recommend to anyone that has other issues that need to be considered when having surgery, that they try everything they possibly can to stay in the states. It is important that all of our medical history is clearly understood as well as all of the pre and post-op instructions.

Age: 47
Height: 5 feet 10 inches
Starting Weight: 258 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery:
Current Weight: 214 lbs
Goal Weight: 165 lbs
Weight Lost: 44 lbs
BMI: 30.7
Surgery: LAP-BAND
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 01/01/1970
Surgery Date: 06/26/2012
Hospital Stay: 1 Day
Surgery Funding: Self Paid
Insurance Outcome: n/a
Trista1975's Bariatric Surgeon
Ave De Los Olivos No. 3270
Tijuana, Baja California

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