Ok so this is my story. I started seriously thinking about Lap Band along with a co-worker, when some friends starting talking about a Dr. in Mexico where she had just returned and the price was very reasonable and the Dr. was awesome. My insurance would not cover the procedure so it was going to be self pay so price was important. I did a lot of research of Lapbanktalk.com and it was incrediable helpful!
So I started communications with the clinic and got some questions answered and decided to go for it as did my co-worker. She actually went 2 weeks before me. (sent her as a guinea pig) if she came back in one piece I would be more comfortable!
So my date came...I did a liquid diet 10 days before the surgery and boy that was hard. I never realized how much I thought about food.
I live in Southern Utah so we had to Drive to Vegas to get the flight to San Diego. Me and my friend left my house at 1:30 in the am. We did stop by Wal-Mart on the way to get Protein Powder. I knew on the way back I wouldn't feel up to it. (which was a good thought). We got to Vegas in plenty of time to get parked and to get to our plane. Can you believe they charge for any checked bag now. . Also I was not to have ANY liquid 10 hours before I arrived so it was hard to walk by Starbucks and not have ANY. So we made it to San Francisco on our layover. Then we made our flight to San Diego. We were met a clinic staff member named Victor. He was very polite and very nice. He drove us to the Clinic in Tijuana Mexico, which was a total of 20 min drive.
We met immediately with Dr. Huacuz who was waiting for us to arrive, we got there around 11 am. I filled in paperwork. Dr. Huacuz showed me my band and explained everything to me. He asked if I had any questions and when I didn't have too many (because I am an avid researcher) he would start describing things which of course let to questions.
He then should us to our room in his clinic. It was VERY clean and private and nice. I was instructed to take a shower and get in my gown. They then came and took blood and put the I.V in (which hurt less then when I had my baby). They gave me a little Yellow pill to calm me down so the nurse told me in her broken English. WOW that was quite the pill . It knocked me out. I was awoken by the EKG guy who did his tests and told me that I was perfect! (I knew that already!!!! lol). He left and I passed out again.
The nurses came in at around 4:30 to get me to walk into surgery. I have to tell you I remember VERY little of this. I am not sure what that pill was but it made me not remember things. (which bothers me slightly) although I am not sure I wanted to remember a lot of it. So I remember taking off my earrings before heading in...I don't remember walking into the surgery...I don't remember getting on the table...I have a dream like memory of seeing the two Dr's in the room, but they were wearing the scrubs and the room around them was black (very strange). Then I remember Dr. Huacuz lifting up my hand and saying is that a tattoo...he was talking about a circle birthmark I have on my hand. I said very clearly no that is my birthmark. The next thing I remember was scooting on the bed from the other bed and I remember crying. Dr. Huacuz said that I was crying in recovery too. I guess some people have that reaction to anesthesia. I don't remember. Luckily my friend got photo's and wrote down funny things I said.
I had spent a lot of time on Lap Band Talk before my surgery and I read a thread about naming your band. I named my prior to the event and her name is Pixie. Apparently I said as I was waking up. "The pixie's kicked by butt" which I think is so funny.
Anyway...back to the story. So I was awakened every couple hours by the nurses to check on me and do vitals and stuff. I woke up at Midnight feeling like someone was sitting on me. The nurse told me it was the air they had filled me with and it was settling there. Walking was the trick. We walked the halls and I even saw Dr. Huacuz there...I said what are you doing here so late, go to bed. They gave me a thing of water and brought me back to bed. I slept pretty good that night.
I woke the next morning feeling really good. I got out of the gown and into my comfy clothes after a shower. This day was kind of hurry up and wait kind of day. I got breakfast which was Tea, Jell-O, Juice & a yogurt drink. I think all I could eat was the jello and juice and tea. Then around 2pm Dr. Huacuz came and drove us a couple miles away to the X-ray where he was going to check on the band and do the first fill. There was someone occupying the room some lady having her gall stones removed. So we had to wait in the hall for an hour or so. It was a great time to chat with the Dr. and get to know his funny sense of humor too. About 5 min before going in I started to feel a bit green I don't know why we had already been there awhile. I guess it was the oh my what is about to happen and how will it feel feeling. So I stand on the x-ray and pull my shirt up...everything was going so fast. He handed me the Barium and I started to drink it...all the while trying to hold my liquid. He was watching the x-ray as was I trying to figure out what was about to happen, when he says looking for the port, looking for the port...ahh there it is JAB and FILL(needle in my stomach). I stopped drinking...and almost passed out. I looked at him and said oooohhhh I feel that. I felt the restriction right away. (very strange feeling). He said are you ok I said NO please lie the table down or I am going to fall over. He did but he was also in a hurry to get back to the clinic to pick more people up to get a fill. (the hour delay really messed his day up). So on we went I was better after my short lie down. I thought I might make it to the Mall which was right next door but after that I wasn't up to it.
We got back to the clinic and our room and they gave me more liquid pain killers and I went to sleep. My friend was pretty bored, but then again I am not sure she has ever rested so much so that was good. Then they brought Dinner which was a cup of Broth (oh that was good). It filled me up! I then went to sleep. They came in maybe every 4 hours that night.
The next day was the day we were heading home banded and all. We had a nice morning just relaxing. Dr. Huacuz came by to say Hi and bye. I got his picture. He gave me the meds to take with me and his cell number just in case. (VERY nice) I only know one other Dr. who would do that and that is my regular dr. here at home. He was so nice and so were his staff! So Victor picked us up around 11 and drove us back to San Diego. It took about an hour to get over the boarder and the Boarder guy was an A**. Talk about power trip.
We traveled home, it was a VERY long day just having had surgery, not to mention having to drive 3 1/2 hours at the end of it. Luckily my friend drove and I slept.
I went to work the next day (I know I am a glutton for punishment). I was sore but otherwise good. I did have a lot of Air in my small stomach. It was so much gas as air so it made it hard to swallow. That went away after about a week. I also had gas but gas-x helped with that. It was kind of hard to Drink as I was still on liquids for a couple weeks. I have just started to eat a bit. It's amazing how you just can't fit anything but small amounts in. I have lost 15lbs so far with 75 to go. I am excited and I am looking at this as a journey. hopefully I will be at my goal weight in a year.
I just went to dinner with my husband for the first time at a restaurant and i had a few chips and a quarter of a quesadilla and I got too full...I was dying. Got to watch that it was very uncomfortable for about an hour.
Well that is my story. I am so glad I did it. I would recommended Dr. Huacuz to anyone and I would recommended the Lap Band too!
Good luck with your journey & story. I hope you enjoyed mine.
Height: 5 feet 10 inches
Starting Weight: 250 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery:
Current Weight: 200 lbs
Goal Weight: 160 lbs
Weight Lost: 50 lbs
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 01/01/1970
Surgery Date: 08/25/2008
Hospital Stay: 2 Days
Surgery Funding: Self Paid
Insurance Outcome: n/a