Once a Skeptic Surgeon. No More.
Dr. Grossbard was 50 years old and morbidly obese. At 5 feet 5 inches, he was pushing 300 pounds. After too many failed diets to count, this surgeon started his journey for a solution that would change his life. OCC delivered a renewed sense of hope and an unexpected future.
At 50 years old I was morbidly obese. I weighed 265 pounds and at 5 feet 5 inches, felt miserable. As a result, I tried to lose weight so many times but it was always without success. I am also a surgeon in the United States.
I’ve lost 50 pounds at least ten times in the last ten years. Do they have a discount for the baker’s dozen with Weight Watchers? I looked to the Internet for some of the answers. The Internet leads to many sites that are informative; however, they are often filled with nonsense and misinformation. In fact, the worst part of the Internet resources is that obese people are generally confronted with disinformation.
Once the decision to have surgery is made by the patient the next question is: what type of surgery? Stay in the United States or do I go abroad? If I go outside of the U.S., do I go to Mexico, Australia, or Europe? All of these questions went through my mind, as I am sure they have gone through most patients’ minds.
And what about the primary question: will it be bypass or lap band? Prospective patients do eventually come, after research, to the conclusion that the adjustable bands are a safer procedure than a bypass. It really does not take a large amount of intuition for most to reach this conclusion.
The problem is now what do we know about the individual surgeons? I for one, have always heard bariatric surgeons state that their own mortality rates are well below 0.5%. However, when groups such as SAGES and the ASBS regularly state that the real mortality figures are much higher, who does the patient believe?
So, where do I get my own lap band done? The primary reason today for Americans to go to Mexico is for a particular surgeon with much larger experience and numbers of cases. We are starting to see larger and larger numbers of patients that go out of the U.S. because they want the lap band and their BMI is less than the requisite 35 for operation in the U.S. Also, patients below the age of eighteen are starting to make their appearance in other countries because of the FDA rules.
The lap band is a wonderfully simple tool, or aid, in weight reduction. I was an obese surgeon. My BMI was 44. I now have a BMI of 25. I had a lap band one year ago. I reached my goal weight after 10 months. I needed to lose over 100 pounds of weight and I did.
Now I personally perform lap band surgery through my Florida-based practice.