FAQs

Adjustable Gastric Banding (AGB)
This is the generic term for the banding process.

Addictionology
The study and treatment of addiction.

Aftercare
A general term comprising the ongoing post-surgical fluid adjustments to the band, flouroscopy, and nutritional counseling most patients receive.

Associate of Applied Science in Addictionology (AASA)
The Associates of Science in Addiction Counseling is designed to train individuals with education and the skills to provide diagnosis, assessment, education ,referral and treatment services to clients with alcohol and drug problems as well as other addictions.

Band
The generic term for the actual band used in the AGB process, including both Bioenterics and Obtech (Swedish)bands.

Banding journey
A metaphor to describe the unfolding process of life before and after deciding to “get banded.”

Bandster
A person who has undergone the gastric banding procedure.

Barium swallow
An X-ray test used to define the anatomy of the upper digestive tract. The test involves filling the oesophagus, stomach, and small intestines with a pink (pleasant tasting) liquid material (barium).

Body Mass Index (BMI)
Measures body mass; it has the highest correlation with skinfold thickness or body density. The standard formula for calculating is (Weight in Kilograms) / (Height in Meters Squared).

Fill
A syringe injection of saline into the submuscular port in order to increase the pressure of the band around the stomach. This is the process that allows doctors to adjust the pressure of the band, thus affecting the amount of food patients are able to eat and how quickly their food drops into the lower stoma. Fills are usually first given 6-8 weeks post-op. Most patients find that they need several fills before feeling a significant level of restriction.

Fluroscopy
A video x-ray procedure that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. As far as banding goes, this involves swallowing a barium liquid and having the doctor or radiologist watch its progress to the lower stoma, to ensure the patient isn’t over-restricted.

Gastric Bypass
A surgical procedure used for treatment of morbid obesity, consisting of the severance of the upper stomach, anastomosis of the small upper pouch of the stomach to the jejunum, and closure of the distal part of the stomach.

Gastric Sleeve
A surgical weight-loss procedure in which the stomach is reduced to about 15% of its original size, by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach, following the major curve. The open edges are then attached together (often with surgical staples) to form a sleeve or tube with a banana shape. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach. The procedure is performed laparoscopically and is not reversible.

Gastroplasty
Any surgical treatment of the stomach or lower esophagus used to decrease the size of the stomach.

Getting banded
A bandster term for the process of getting an adjustable gastric band

Laparoscopy
A surgical procedure in which a tiny scope is inserted into the abdomen through a small incision(s). This procedure minimizes surgical risk, recovery time and long-term scarring.

Leak
A leak in the band can either be small or dramatic and treatments can range from more frequent fills to removal and replacement of the band. A leak is rarely dangerous, but it can decrease the efficacy of the band.

Liquid diet
An eating plan that only allows only food that can be drawn through a straw. This is prescribed for the first two weeks after surgery. Often patients will go on a liquid diet after getting a fill until they are comfortable with their food going down.

Migration
A more serious, but rare, complication where the band cuts into the wall of the stomach. Often this can be attributed to the band placing too much pressure on the stomach and cutting off circulation in the affected areas. The usual remedy is releasing all pressure on the band to allow the stomach to heal. Removal of the band may also be necessary.

Motility
The ability to move spontaneously. In regards to AGB, it means the ability of the esophagus to push food from the upper pouch through the stoma and into the lower stomach.

Non-Steroid Anti Inflamatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
A large group of anti-inflammatory agents that work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins. Examples include: ibuprofen, ketoprofen, piroxicam, naproxen, sulindac, aspirin, choline subsalicylate, diflunisal, fenoprofen, indomethacin, meclofenamate salsalate, tolmetin and magnesium salicylate.. These are to be avoided post-operatively as they irritate the gastric walls. We recommend that patients use acetaminophen for fever and pain.

Obtech Swedish Adjustable Gastric Band
The SAGB is very similar to the Bioenterics band, except that it is considered a low-pressure band. This means that it has a greater total volume than the Lap Band, therefore needing more fluid to exert a similar amount of pressure on the stoma.

Patient Facilitator
Our Patient Facilitators are all past patients of Dr. Kuri and have all personally undergone the Lap Band procedure. They are there to support, listen and follow up with you throughout your entire Lap Band journey – even if it’s years after you were banded! They can answer any of your questions and/or concerns, and tell you anything you want to know about the Lap Band.

PB
Productive burping. This is a ‘bandster’ term that refers to the regurgitation that most Bandsters will experience at least once in their Bandster lives when we’ve eaten more or larger pieces than than can be passed through the stoma. Since the food has not been digested, there is no odor, stomach acid, or retching involved but there may be a varying degree of phlegm that accompanies it. PB episodes may last anywhere from 1 minute to two hours, depending on the individual and circumstances. After a PB episode, under most circumstances, it’s best to refrain from eating at that meal and let the stoma rest.

Plateau
A period of time, at least 2 to 4 weeks, whereby a Bandster maintains (instead of losing) weight. It is common for post-op patients who are 4-10 weeks out to experience a plateau before getting their first fill. Many Bandsters take a plateau at any point as a sign that they need to get another fill.

Port
The subtanceous dongle at the end of the tube connected to the band. This is where the surgeon will inject fluid in order to increase pressure on the band. Many people can feel their ports under the skin&especially as they lose weight. The area around the port is often tender for several weeks post-op and can become sore if the surrounding muscle is stretched or worked too vigorously.

Posterior stitch
The surgeon stitches the band around the back of the stomach. This technique reduces slippage rates and is the standard operating procedure for Lap Band insertions.

Pouch
This is the 30ccs “upper stomach” that is created when the band draws the entire stomach into an hourglass shape. This is where your food will go after swallowing, where it will slowly pass through the stoma into the lower stomach and through the digestive tract.

Referred pain
A term used to describe the phenomenon of pain perceived at a site adjacent to or at a distance from the site of an injury’s origin.

Restriction
This is the feeling of being able to eat only small amounts of food. Some Bandsters talk of ‘passive’ restriction when their band is empty, wherein they are able to feel full on less food but where they feel no pain if they overeat. As the band is filled, the tighter the restriction should feel. Many Bandsters report that it takes 2-4 fills before feeling restricted enough to lose weight at an appropriate rate.

Slippage
This is where the band moves down the stomach, often causing significant pain to the patient. Slippage usually occurs if the band is too tight or if the patient frequently ‘challenges’ the band with excessive vomitting.

Stoma
Artificial openings between two cavities or canals. In this case, it is the passage from the upper pouch and the rest of the stomach.

Note: The above glossary is compiled from a variety of sources. Acknowledgements to Layla Rogers for permission to use many of her glossary terms which she compiled from various bandster email lists, the OnHealth Medical Dictionary, and the Inamed and Obtech websites.

Many patients that come to us from US and Canada often have a long car drive or long flight back home. If you are one of them, don’t worry – your transportation experience will be just fine. You may discover a light discomfort around your incision areas days following lap band surgery, but other then that you will be feeling just fine and are certainly up for the travel back home. Getting up and walking throughout the flight and stopping along the drive will ensure proper blood flow and get your system moving.

Whether you fly into the San Diego Airport, or choose to drive to the Border, you will be met by a member of our team who will take you directly to Dr. Kuri’s office at the Hospital Angeles. Return transportation will be provided to make returning to the US, easy as 1-2-3.

When making your reservation, please arrange your San Diego arrival time somewhere between 9:30am and 12:00pm. On occasion there may be a short wait at the airport (or border), as our transportation team is responsible for picking up other patients as well.

Your San Diego departure time must be after 1:00pm. This will allow for the time required for discharge as well as for travel across the border, ensuring your timely arrival at the San Diego airport.

International travel always needs to be approached with common sense and safety. The hospital is located near the border and is not in a high risk part of town. The hospital has perimeter security as well as a full security staff.
Dr. Kuri goes to great lengths with his team to make sure your travels are safe and smooth. We pick you up at the airport and you are never alone throughout the entire process. After your stay, we will take you across the border and back to the airport or your car at the border parking station.

If you ever require emergency care, go to the emergency room in your area. An ER is required to provide care to anyone regardless of where you had your procedure. Your Primary Care Provider should have no problem helping you. Let your Primary Care Provider know of your surgery so he can be prepared to assist you with your medical needs (even if it is only to stabilize the situation to allow you to travel to Dr. Kuri). If you do experience an emergency, please call your Facilitator or Dr. Kuri after you go to the hospital. They both can be reached at 1-888-223-4046 (Toll-free from US) and 1-866-782-5042 (Toll-free from Canada). Calls to the office will be transferred to Dr. Kuri in an emergency situation.

 You can also connect with other banded patients in your area to find a band knowledgeable doctor that can assist you. Your Patient Facilitator and the online Dr. Kuri Lap Band Discussion Forum are both great resources.

We highly recommend that patients take it easy and rest as much as possible following their surgery. However, you can resume normal actives such as getting ready for the day, walking, ect. as soon as your body feels up to it. For some people that is the day after, for other it’s day 3. Please keep in mind that exercising, heavy lifting and other strenuous movements that can jeopardize your band are forbidden so as to allow your body to heal properly (about 6-8 weeks post surgery.)

It is extremely important for the long term health of your Lap Band that you follow the postoperative diet to the letter. The stomach normally goes through a twisting, wringing type motion when food is eaten. Because it is so important in the immediate postop period to keep the stomach as quite as possible, Dr. Kuri has chosen to have you on a liquid diet for the first 15 days after the surgery. No matter how much you would chew solid food, it is not possible to get it to a liquid enough state for you to avoid producing this motion in your stomach. It is of utmost importance to stay on the liquids as instructed until you may advance to soft, mushy foods. It may be tempting to stray from liquids and/or mushy foods as you begin to feel better, but “just a little bite” can interfere with healing and cause complications. Those complications can include: band slippage, occlusion of the stoma from swelling/irritation, inflammation of the esophagus, and band erosion, to name a few.

The post-op diet includes:

Days 1-4: Clear Liquids only!

Days 5-14: Full Liquids only.

Day 15-29: Soft mushy phase. These are foods that you could chew if you didn’t have teeth.

Day 30: Back to a regular diet. This includes solid foods!

Yes, in fact there are 10 rules that should be part of your everyday banded lifestyle. These rules are known as the 10 Lap Band rules, and they are your guide to a successful journey. If you are following ALL 10 of these rules, you will find that the Lap Band is a very efficient weight loss tool. If you choose to omit or skip some of these rules, you might end up struggling more than you need to and prolonging your weight loss results. We highly suggest that you print out a copy of the 10 Lap Band rules and place them on your refrigerator – that way you are always reminded of them and can refer to them if needed.

10 Lap Band Rules

  1. Eat only three main meals a day, plus two planned snacks.
  2. Eat slowly, taking pea-sized bites, and chew thoroughly until your food has a mushy consistency.
  3. Stop eating as soon as you feel restriction from the band. This will feel different from the “full” sensation you had prior to your surgery.
  4. Do not have drinks with meals or for one full hour after eating.
  5. Do not eat between meals or planned snacks.
  6. Eat a variety of high quality nutritional foods.
  7. Consume recommended amounts of fiber daily.
  8. Drink 64-100 ounces of non-caloric fluids between meals.
  9. Do not drink carbonated beverages of any kind.
  10. Exercise 30-60 minutes on most days.

We recommend that you rest for 2-3 days, and then you may start driving again. Allow yourself at least a week’s recovery before returning to work. If you have any questions, just contact your Patient Facilitator.

Most newly banded patients can return to work or resume normal activities within 3-7 days after lap band surgery. It is important to get up and move around, take short walks, and get adequate rest while your body is still recovering from the effects of surgery. Please remember that there is no lifting greater than 10 lbs for the first 6 weeks. If your job requires any heavy lifting or twisting motions, you may consider taking a little more time off.

Your Patient Facilitator will be responsible for preparing you for your procedure, and will be available to answer any and all of your questions. Dr. Kuri is also available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. If you wish to speak with Dr. Kuri directly, your Facilitator can arrange that for you.

Your Patient Facilitator can put you in touch with Dr Kuri, or you can call the office directly at our toll-free number. If you call the office after hours, it will ring directly to Dr. Kuri’s personal cell phone at his house. Dr Kuri is available by phone 24 hours a day and in person to address any medical questions you may have.

We have staff that can help! Patient Facilitators, our Patient Education Coordinator, our online forum, as well as Dr. Kuri, can all help you get back on track. Your Patient Facilitator and Patient Education Coordinator are all previous patients of Dr. Kuri, so they know what you are going through first hand! Their training and experience can help you move to a healthier lifestyle.

Our Patient Facilitators provide you with a list of patients who have been banded by Dr. Kuri. These patients have volunteered to answer any and all of your questions. Don’t hesitate to call them, they welcome your calls!We also encourage you to speak and connect with other patients of Dr. Kuri, by joining the online Dr. Kuri Lap Band Discussion Forum. Dr. Kuri’s online Patient Forum, is a fun and safe place to find new friends who understand you, while getting the support and education you need to be successful with the Lap Band. Our new forum will allow you to choose from a variety of Bandster education topics in the areas of nutrition, exercise, and band care. You may also connect with a support group in your area, by joining one of our state specific support groups. Visit the Dr. Kuri Lap Band Discussion Forum today to learn more.

To educate, share, and guide a patient through the banding process, in the following ways:

  • Provide you resources and education about weight loss surgery;
  • Listen to your concerns, struggles and your needs;
  • Share their experience of what it was like before surgery and how it’s different today;
  • Provide answers to your questions about Dr. Kuri and /or surgery;
  • Support you as you research your treatment options, and provide you with information to help you with your decision.
  • Provide you with valuable first hand experience gained from there own journey as patients of Dr Kuri;
  • Encourage you to stay connected with other patients through support groups, the Online Patient Forum and personal experience.
  • Support you all the way through you weight loss journey and respect you individual needs;
  • Take Care of all your booking arrangements if you decide to have surgery with Dr.Kuri;
  • Follow up with you well after your surgery date to help you stay on track and get the most benefit you can with your new tool, the Lap Band.

To learn more about the individual experiences of our Patient Facilitators, click the links below to visit their testimonials in our success stories section:

Yes, in fact there are 10 rules that should be part of your everyday lifestyle. These rules are known as the 10 Lap Band rules and they are your guide to a successful journey. If you are following ALL 10 of these rules you will find that the Lap Band is a very efficient weight loss tool. If you choose to omit or skip some of these rules you might end up struggling more then you need to and prolong your weight loss results.We highly suggest that you print out a copy of the 10 Lap Band rules and place them on your refrigerator – that way you are always reminded of them and can refer to them if needed

10 Lap Band Rules

  1. Eat only three main meals a day, plus two planned snacks.
  2. Eat slowly, taking pea-sized bites, and chew thoroughly until your food is a mushy consistency.
  3. Stop eating as soon as you feel restriction from the band. This will feel different from the “full” sensation you had prior to your lap band surgery.
  4. Do not drink with meals, or for one full hour after eating.
  5. Do not eat between meals, or planned snacks.
  6. Eat a variety of high quality nutritional foods.
  7. Consume recommended amounts of fiber daily.
  8. Drink 64-100 ounces of non-caloric fluids between meals.
  9. Do not drink carbonated beverages of any kind.
  10. Exercise 30-60 minutes on most days.

Your Patient Facilitator can provide you with a list of known fill providers in most states and Canadian provinces. You can also visit the online Dr. Kuri Lap Band Discussion Forum to find fill providers in your area.When you visit the forum, find your specific state support group and look in the fill provider section for a current list. You can also post a question for fill providers in your area, or you may choose to share your own fill provider.

The most common cause of weight retention is not having the proper level of restriction. Another issue would be lack of exercise. Exercise is key in any weight loss program. Building muscle mass increases one’s metabolism. Long-term Band weight loss maintenance requires developing good habits during your weight loss phase: exercise, eating slowly, watching your portion sizes, limiting treats, etc. Regular exercise such as walking 4-6 times per week for 30 minutes will help you lose the weight and keep it off. If you’re focusing on these 3 things and you are not losing, you could probably benefit from another fill.

Our Patient Education Coordinator can help you discover your emotional food triggers, and help you work through these complex issues. In addition, we have information available to you on our online Patient Forum that can help you with emotional and stress related eating.

Your Patient Facilitator and Patient Education Coordinator are there to help you every inch of the way, including helping you stay connected and motivating you. In addition, we recommend our patients join the online Dr. Kuri LapBand® Discussion Forum. We find it very helpful for patients to be connected to other banded patients who are going through the same issues they are. We also have several documents available on Dr. Kuri’s online Patient Forum, including the “Hitting the Reset Button” reset diet to help you get back on track.

Exercise at least 30 minutes each day once you are able following lap band surgery. Your size may make it difficult at first, but get started a little at a time. The more weight you lose, the easier it will become. Start with a simple walk and expand from there. Your doctor will advise you on a good exercise strategy.

Most doctors advise waiting at least 18-24 months after banding to become pregnant. The band helps with weight-control during the pregnancy and does not interfere in any way. Women with lap bands have babies all the time, with a normal birth weight. In fact, losing weight reverses the hormonal imbalance that reduces fertitilty, making it much easier to get pregnant.

Take small bites and chew thoroughly. Stay active and get exercise.

The Liver Shrinking Diet (also know as LSD) is a high protein / low carb diet that helps to prepare your liver to stand up to surgery. In obese people, the liver tends to be fatty and can bleed easily. By removing as much fat as possible, this increases its safety in surgery. Patients with a very high BMI may be asked to go on this temporary diet. Dr. Kuri and your Facilitator will let you know if this is something you will have to do pre-surgery.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be consumed around the same time as before you were banded, only now their are new rules that you need to follow in order to be successful with your Lap Band.

  • Breakfast should be at the start of your day, not 4 hours later. Do not forget to eat breakfast!
  • Dinner has to be 2-3 hours before you go to bed.
  • You should spend up to 30 minutes to consume your meal and no more. After 30 minutes your pouch has begun to empty. If you continue to eat, you will start to refill and take in a larger meal, defeating the purpose of the band. The only exception to this is if you measured out your food ahead of time and are eating fibrous foods that may take additional time to eat.

During your first week post-op, you will typically be on a full liquid diet. The second week, you will typically eat a puree/soft foods diet. High calorie liquids should be avoided after the liquid stage. Other than that, it depends on individual tolerances.

We recommend that you take a chewable multivitamin once a day. Usually, you won’t require any type of food supplements because the Lap Band procedure does not restrict the absorption of nutrients. You still obtain the vitamins and nutrients from what you eat.

You should drink between meals. Try to avoid liquids 30 minutes prior or one hour after eating. If you drink too close to your meal, you can fill your pouch with liquids and you won’t have room for food.

The main thing to avoid is high calorie liquids (juices, etc.). Fibrous fruits and veggies may cause problems. Pasta, potatoes, bread, and rice are high in carbohyrdrates and offer little nutritional value. One thing that patients need to be sure they include is high fiber foods and high protein foods. As you’re eating less quantity of food, you still need to consume the same levels of protein and fiber as before. In general, many Bandsters find that they eat higher quality food post-Band.

Snacking can definitely sabotage your weight loss and usual “snack foods” are definitely not recommended. High carbohydrate foods give calories without satisfaction. If you’re hungry between meals, try to have protein or fruit. You can also snack on water since hydration offers multiple benefits in addition to filling you up.

Per recommendation of Allergan, the Lap Band Manufacturer – Soda is not advisable. We have heard that some patients may drink flat soda, but we do not advise drinking it. Soda is what we call a ‘bad band food’. Not only is soda full of sugar, but drinking carbonated beverages endangers the life and function ability of your Lap Band. The carbonation causes your pouch to swell and may cause discomfort and trouble passing food. In addition, carbonation is also known as a probable cause of pouch dilation.

Lap Band Patients differ as to how they will tolerate their medications, but as a rule most patients have no problem. Some medications can be split or crushed with no problems. A few pills should not be broken or crushed because they are covered with a coating that is designed to keep them intact until they reach the intestines. If you think you have this kind of medication, please speak with your pharmacist or Dr. Kuri before breaking your pills. Some medications may be available in liquid form, chewable form or in a smaller dosage.

Generally, all NSAIDS,(non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs) like aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided, as they may irritate the stomach. The problems these drugs may cause could result in having to remove the Lap Band.

Yes! In addition to our Patient Education Coordinator who is on staff to help you with that part of your journey, we have many lessons and teaching tools available on our online Patient Forum. Current topics include “6 Weeks to a Healthy Diet Series”, “6 Week to a Healthier Lifestyle Series” and a PowerPoint presentation on “A Practical Approach to Weight Management.” These materials will cover how to improve your lifestyle to promote weight loss, instructions for practical problem solving, and information on weight management such as basic nutritional needs, meal planning tips, portion control with tips for food selection and serving size, and exercise tips and programs.

There is a modified eating plan to allow for recovery following lap band surgery. It is only temporary and has 4 phases to graduate you back from clear liquids to eating normally.This special diet is not part of the weight loss phase of your journey, but is necessary for proper healing. You will receive this at the hospital with your postoperative orders. Your Patient Facilitator is available for follow up questions.

Alcohol has a high number of calories and breaks down vitamins. An occasional glass of wine or other non-carbonated alcoholic beverage, though, is not considered harmful to weight loss when limited to 150 calories consumed in one day. If you are going to have a glass of alcohol, you should forgo the dessert.

Surprise! This is something we should all be doing everyday with or without the Lap Band! But, drinking water should become a habit especially after being banded. Water is the most abundant substance in your body, and subsequently one of the most important. You could survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. This is in part because of the role water plays in allowing chemical reactions, including those that provide you with energy, to take place within your cells. Water is also part of your blood and the fluid that bathes your cells. It plays a key part in carrying nutrients to and removing wastes from your cells. This is especially important when weight loss is occurring.

The removal of fat from the body will have a dehydrating effect. Dehydration will affect your band’s restriction, causing it to feel too tight. Keeping yourself hydrated will allow the band to function properly, making it easier for you to comfortably eat. It is recommended that you drink 64-100 ounces daily. Your water needs may increase during hot weather and extended exercise.

The Lap Band will not interfere with your physical activity in any way! If you were physically active before, you will be able to continue to be so. In fact, you will find it much easier to participate in exercise due to your smaller size and increased energy level.

We have a patient education coordinator on staff who specializes in band-friendly exercises. She is very knowledgeable about what exercises benefit a banded patient and can give you many tips to improve your physical activity.You can find our patient education coordinator’s exercising plans and much more on our online patient forum. The patient forum is your own private library to many exercise routines, such as the popular Walk Talk series.View our section on Exercise & Healthy Living.

Yes, we recommend “Curves” Exercise program for women. Curves provides you with a complete cardio and strength training workout in just 30 minutes. With a system that can burn up to 500 calories and work every major muscle group, you get an efficient and effective workout every visit. It’s no wonder over 4 million women have chosen Curves to meet their health goals.

On our online Lap Band Discussion Forum and Facebook page, we have an entire section dedicated to physical activity and exercise. In this section you will find our popular “Walk Talk Series” — a 10 week walking program designed for the beginner exerciser (also modified for more advanced patients) that will lead you on daily walking routine to help you build your exercise habit. It also includes walking and nutritional tips. You will also find a selection of workouts (strength training, cardio, stretching, and flexibility) that can be printed or downloaded to your computer.

Being physically active is a key element in living a longer, healthier, happier life. It can help relieve stress and provide an overall feeling of well-being. Physical activity can also help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk for chronic disease. The benefits of physical activity may include:

  • Improved self-esteem and feelings of well-being;
  • Increased fitness level;
  • Development and maintenance of strong bones, muscles, and joints;
  • Prevented weight gain
  • Increased endurance and muscle strength;
  • Enhanced flexibility and posture;
  • Weight management skills;
  • Lowered risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and Type 2 diabetes;
  • Controlled blood pressure;
  • Reduced feelings of depression and anxiety.

Physical activity and nutrition work together for better health, especially following an operation like lap band surgery. Being active increases the amount of calories burned. As people age their metabolism slows, so maintaining your energy balance requires moving more and eating less.

While 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity physical activities provide health benefits, being active for longer or doing more vigorous activities can yield even greater health benefits. If your goal in addition to weight loss is to improve your overall health, you may want to consider adding exercise to your daily routine. Even the simplest thing, like parking further away from a store you’re going into, can get you exercising.

Learn more about exercise and physical activity at our forum.

Surgery, travel, in-hospital meals, and hotel expenses are allowable medical expense tax deductions. For US patients, these deductions are outlined in IRS Publication 502. Please check with your tax advisor to see if you are eligible for these deductions or if there have been changes since the last publication date.

A variety of payment options are available. These include cash, cashier’s checks, and wire transfer. Another option is private financing. There are a variety of lenders out there that are are eager to provide medical loans. Interest rates are generally based on credit history and the process generally takes two weeks. Some companies offer deferred interest payments for 6-12 months, and many offer no pre-payment penalties. The following are a few that have been very helpful for previous patients.

Any wound is susceptible to infection, but infections are rare. The hospital staff takes every precaution to avoid this problem. The patient receives antibiotics after surgery.

All surgeries have a certain level of risk; obesity raises the level of risk during any surgery. Lap Band surgery is the least invasive bariatric surgery available, and any risks are greatly reduced with a team of experienced bariatric surgeons such as ours. Overall, this procedure has a risk level that is equal to an appendectomy or gall bladder removal.

When a patient arrives at Hospital Angeles for surgery, there are a few steps they will go through in the check in process. These steps involve: preoperative tests (labs, EKG, med history, and Physical), a meeting with Dr. Kuri to discuss any questions or concerns, registration into the hospital, and settling into private suites. We understand that the patient has been fasting and will do our best to get the labs drawn as quickly as possible. We recommend that the patient packs a quick snack to tide them over once this is done. Please be patient as the process can change in order, but nonetheless, all steps will be taken.

Yes, a huge advantage over other types of bariatric surgeries.

The surgical procedure is minimally invasive—described as a “keyhole” surgery—with minimal pain. You will be given pain medication for any discomfort you may experience.

You will have four to six, 1 to 1.5 inch incisions.

The surgery itself takes 25 minutes. Including the anesthesiologist’s time, the lap band procedure lasts about an hour. In most cases, you will be up and walking about 5-6 hours after.

Yes, You will need a valid passport to travel to and from Mexico for surgery.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: For the latest entry requirements, visit the Embassy of Mexico’s website or contact the Embassy of Mexico at 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006, telephone (202) 736-1600, or any Mexican consulate in the United States.

Since March 1, 2010, all U.S. citizens – including children – have been required to present a valid passport or passport card for travel beyond the “border zone” into the interior of Mexico. The “border zone” is generally defined as an area within 20 to 30 kilometers of the border with the U.S., depending on the location. Regardless of the destination in Mexico; however, all U.S. citizens age 16 or older must present a valid U.S. passport book or passport card to re-enter the U.S. by land. A passport book is required to return to the United States via an international flight.

All U.S. citizens traveling outside of the United States by air, land or sea (except closed-loop cruises) are required to present a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document such as a passport book or a passport card to return to the United States. Legal permanent residents in possession of their I-551 Permanent Resident card may board flights to the United States from Mexico. Travelers with passports that are found to be washed, mutilated or damaged may be refused entry to Mexico and returned to the United States. While passport cards and enhanced driver’s licenses are sufficient for re-entry into the United States by land or sea, they may not be accepted by the particular country you plan to visit; please be sure to check with your cruise line and countries of destination for any foreign entry requirements.

The U.S. passport card has been in full production since July 2008. Beginning March 1, 2010, Mexican Immigration began to accept the passport card for entry into Mexico by air; however, the card may not be used to board international flights in the U.S. or to return to the U.S. from abroad by air. The card is available only to U.S. citizens. Further information on the Passport Card can be found on our website. We strongly encourage all U.S. citizen travelers to apply for a U.S. passport well in advance of anticipated travel. U.S. citizens can visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs website or call 1-877-4USA-PPT(1-877-487-2778) for information on how to apply for their passports.

As of May 1, 2010, non-U.S. citizens with valid U.S. visas may enter Mexico with the U.S. visa, and do not have to obtain a Mexican visa.

No matter how many food plans you try, healthy or unhealthy, there are some fundamental things you must know in order to be successful in a weight loss program that, believe it or not, have nothing to do with food.

1. Readiness- Are you ready to make change in your life right now?
In order to have true lifelong weight loss experience, you have to commit to trading your old habits in for a new healthier lifestyle. This has more to do with readiness for change than a desire to shed pounds — there is a big difference.

2. Developing a Vision
It is crucial to have another more heart-felt reason to lose weight other than losing pounds and appearance. This is because when times are tough — and they will be during any change process — you will need an internal reason to lose the weight to keep you motivated.

3. Be Prepared For Change
All weight loss requires us to change a habit yet no one warns us about the process of change. The first thing to know is that the beginning of change is difficult and uncomfortable. This is because it forces us to switch off the autopilot and focus on our new behaviors. Luckily it takes about 21 days to make a new habit and the uncomfortable part goes away and our new habits become autopilot.

In addition to those lifestyle changes, success with the band requires you to follow all of the recovery diet orders, and follow all 10 of the Lap Band rules. Personal responsibility includes:

Following up with fills when necessary;
Listening to your body;
Using the band as a tool in your overall plan;
Making better food choices and implementing a healthier lifestyle that includes daily activity;
Being a self advocate for what you may need during the post-surgery period;
Asking for support when you need it. We are here to help you with any need you may have.
Simply put, the Lap Band is not a magic wand but rather a valuable tool that when used with a modified healthy diet, regular physical activity, and healthy lifestyle, can lead to many years of permanent weight loss.

The Lap Band is meant to provide long-term weight loss through a permanent reduction in your capacity to eat large portions. You will feel comfortably full with a small amount of food. Laparoscopic placement of an adjustable gastric band around the stomach creates a small upper pouch in which food is funneled slowly through a narrowed passage into the large lower portion of the stomach where digestion takes place in a normal fashion. Due to the slower emptying of your pouch, you will continue to feel full longer, which reduces the urge to eat between scheduled meals and snacks.