Fy0GI

Lap Band Loans – Finance Your Weight Loss Surgery New From Apollo Endosurgery – And I qualify! GO MM.

I should preface this press release with my opinion because it dragged my sorry butt out of the not-posting-to-my-blog-corner to share it.  (Don't ask.)

Why is that?  

Because I am the Bariatric Bad Girl with the dissenting opinion that is screaming on the inside NOT TO FINANCE A DAMNED THING LET AND LAWD BABY JESUS NOT A GASTRIC BAND. 

Call Suze Orman.  Ask her what she thinks about financing a gastric band. 

Via American Healthcare Funding – (NOT AN AD.  I SWEAR.)

  • Loan terms up to 60 months
  • Rates starting at 7.00% (Starting APR for best borrrowers)

If it is anything like a car loan — you are not a best borrower.  Go get your free credit score first.  That 7.0% APR will jump to 12 – 20++% and HEY, look, you're paying $800.00 a month for, your weight loss!

Have you paid for weight loss before, how much per month?  

Then please look at the rates of success in the Lapband in the time it will take you to pay off your loan. 

Fy0GI

"But, Beth, I've got to lose weight For My Health!  Lap-Band Surgery Is My Last Option!"  

Fair enough.  I understand.  I totally do.  I have lived the roux en y gastric bypass weight loss surgery lifestyle for ten years and four months.  I am married to a roux en y gastric bypass patient.  We have, collectively twenty years of bypassed-belly between us.  Add his family members, thirty years of gastric bypass experience.  I will tell you anything that you want to know, and it is not all good.    I am not your typical WEIGHT LOSS MADE THE WORLD GLITTERY AND SHINY BLOGGER.  

I can validate that urgency of wanting to do anything it takes to get the weight gone, even paying $$$.$$ per month to do so, because (for many!) it is desperation.

You know, for what it is worth I understand the feeling because of the MARKETING check this out – "LAGB is the least invasive surgical option among bariatric weight loss procedures. LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System, the number one brand in the category, remains the only bariatric weight reduction surgical procedure approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for people with a BMI of at least 30 with one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions."

I qualify for a LapBand, Apollo, in approximately  less than three BMI points, at my lowest adult weight.   That there is some smart marketing.   Apollo could totally band my ass in three points.  That is me, adding back bagels with butter and quitting my gym habit, and I am a revolving credit account JUST. LIKE. THAT.

This is my "I qualify for a band face."

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Do you realize HOW many adults that qualifies?  I wear a size 8.  

Right. 

No.   I am sorry and I reserve the right to say it.   

I can understand the desire, put me back in my size 28W and I would likely be signing the loan documents right now.    Ten years of history and watching the weight loss community has changed that.

Please talk to MANY long-term band patients first and long term debtors as well because both have lots to share with you.  I am not a band patient, I only speak to patients on a support level and I can only imagine the frustration of those whom will now have the added stab of a monthly incurred payment along with any potential band failures.  Again, please talk to current banded patients, revisals, removals, and such.  

For some, it may be the right decision.  Talk it over with patients, family, friends, your therapist, get a good support group.   

____________________

PR below in full —  Not my PR.   They don't pay me.  They might pay others.  

(Business Wire)

Apollo Endosurgery, Inc., a leader in minimally invasive endoscopic surgical products for bariatric and gastrointestinal procedures, today announced the company has partnered with American Healthcare Lending to offer affordable financing for the LAP-BAND® System to increase patient access to the weight loss solution. The patient financing service is part of Apollo Endosurgery’s ongoing efforts to provide physicians and patients with high quality services and support beyond the LAP-BAND® procedure. The LAP-BAND® System is FDA approved for weight reduction for people with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m2 and is the only FDA approved device for weight reduction for people with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater and one or more weight-related health problem.

“There are millions of people struggling to lose 30 or more pounds on their own who are eligible for the LAP-BAND® System but do not qualify for healthcare insurance coverage for weight loss treatments due to their BMI,” said Dennis McWilliams, President and Chief Commercial Officer of Apollo Endosurgery. “Weight loss with the LAP-BAND® System is about more than just a procedure. This is why we are working with innovative companies, like American Healthcare Lending, to provide the best services and support to our physicians and patients throughout the weight loss journey.”

“Studies show that obese patients spend significantly more money on healthcare costs each year than non-obese patients as well as have an increased chance of developing other conditions, like diabetes and heart disease, that can impact their quality of life,” said Vafa Shayani, MD, FACS, FASMBS, Chairman of Surgery, Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital and Vice President of the Illinois Association of Bariatric Surgeons. “Patients with a lower BMI are often not covered for any weight loss treatment options, despite the health and economic benefits. By investing in their health with the LAP-BAND® System, patients have the opportunity to finally achieve their weight loss goals, allowing them to live a healthier life by avoiding potential health concerns as well as reduce their healthcare costs associated with obesity.”

The Apollo Endosurgery and American Healthcare Lending partnership was designed to offer a financing service that is beneficial to both physicians and patients. American Healthcare Lending has assisted over 300,000 individuals in obtaining over $5 billion in loans. In partnership with Apollo Endosurgery, American Healthcare Lending is now offering patients low monthly payment plans to cover the cost of LAP-BAND® System procedures and aftercare, including deductibles, self-pays, and co-pays. Patients can be pre-qualified for a loan in two minutes or less by visiting www.lapband.com orwww.americanhealthcarelending.com/lapbandloan/.

Once a patient is pre-qualified for a loan through American Healthcare Lending, the program also provides assistance in finding a physician offering the procedure that is engaged with the financing service. Physicians who are enrolled in the LAP-BAND® financing program benefit by having only one low annual fee of $2,990, regardless of how many of their patients utilize the financing service, rather than paying a merchant fee of up to 8% per loan, which is standard with other financing programs.

About Apollo Endosurgery, Inc.

Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. is a leader in minimally invasive endoscopic surgical products for bariatric and gastrointestinal procedures. Apollo Endosurgery was cofounded with the Apollo Group, a unique collaboration of physicians from the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, Medical University of South Carolina, the University of Texas Medical Branch and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. This collaboration developed a broad portfolio of patents in the field of endoscopic surgery that became the foundation of Apollo Endosurgery. For more information regarding Apollo Endosurgery, go to: www.apolloendo.com and follow us @Apollo_Endo.

APOLLO ENDOSURGERY and LAP-BAND are worldwide trademarks or registered trademarks of Apollo Endosurgery, Inc.

About LAP-BAND® System

In a LAGB procedure, a band is placed around the upper part of the stomach. As the band inflates, it shrinks the size of the stomach. This helps individuals reduce the amount of food intake and slows emptying into the lower stomach. This helps individuals feel full sooner, stay full longer and reduce hunger urge.

The LAP-BAND® System was acquired in late 2013 by Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. of Austin, Texas, from Allergan, Inc.

Warnings: The LAP-BAND® System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Adverse Events: Placement of the LAP-BAND System is major surgery and, as with any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedures, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Band slippage, erosion and deflation, reflux, obstruction of the stomach, dilation of the esophagus, infection, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2085568#ixzz38x9xQ4O7

BBGC Donates to the WLSFA

Null and Void. #WLSFA2013 Post #1 Good Tried To Do Good

PHILANTHROPY is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

BBGC Donates to the WLSFA

Donating $1000 to the WLSFA
  1. To be informed of the organization's mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  2. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization's governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
  3. To have access to the organization's most recent financial statements.
  4. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  5. To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
  6. To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
  9. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
  10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

I'm going to add one more:

Don't do this to your donors – particularly when they're YOUR PEOPLE.

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That is a scanned image of the check I donated to the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America or WLSFA organization.  

I was not home twenty-four hours before I received a letter from the CEO of the foundation and this image with the letters V O I D enscribed across it.  I have not slept much yet – so – forgive my even sharing this with you –

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I especially like how I wronged the sponsors.  Because many of them are also mine.  (*See sidebar.  I love my sponsors.  Click their links.  Buy stuff.)

That feels really good, Antonia.  That makes my heart swell with pride and stuff.

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It's a day later and I've received no response as to what I did, aside from hand the WLSFA $1000 in a non-confrontational manner.   I actually had to beg them to take it – we were skipped over in the first round of donation announcements – they took it publicly and gave it back like this.  

The event itself?  Was a non-issue.  I only have two or three issues that I'd concern myself with — and they wouldn't involve this check.  At all.  One issue was big enough for me to want to blog – but – I've refrained so far.

My bariatric support group's fundraising is obviously not wanted in this exclusionary non-profit.  I do not know if it's legal to shun a cash donation from legal fundraising.  Lawyers?

As a group we are more than disgusted.  I have spent hours promoting this event, and spent thousands of dollars, and frankly I sit here ashamed that I asked my peers to donate to the cause.  

Consider for a second how much I spent just for myself

  • BBGC Donation – $1000
  • WLSFA Ticket – $150
  • Carnie Wilson Luncheon – $99
  • Flight – $600
  • Hotel – $100+ night
  • Travel (Shuttle, cabs, etc.)
  • Food
  • Discretionary stuff
  • Ticket for a friend 

I am more sickened that I suggested friends JOIN ME at the event — and asked them to spend their hard-earned money on the event as well just to be shunned so specifically.  Friends brought husbands — this isn't cheap.  

I am not a happy MM.  I apologize to YOU.  We learned a hard lesson here.

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We have have offers to take our GOOD elsewhere, of course.   I got offers of help in the middle of the night.  And we will, if you donated or made a purchase – your money is going to another reputable non-profit.  Thank you.  


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Allergan Pulled Teen Lap-Band Plans

Allergan Inc. won’t seek U.S. clearance to sell its popular Lap-Band stomach shrinking device to an increasing population of obese teenagers.  Not. surprising. 

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The LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System is the first adjustable medical device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States for individualized weight loss for obese patients whose weight is affecting their health. The LAP-BAND® System was originally approved by the FDA in 2001 for use in weight reduction for severely obese adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more, or for adults with a BMI of at least 35 plus at least one severe obesity-related health condition, such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and asthma. In February 2011, the FDA approved the expanded use of LAP-BAND®for adults with obesity who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as diet and exercise and pharmacotherapy, and have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-40 and at least one obesity related comorbid condition. In addition, the LAP-BAND® System has been approved internationally since 1993. The LAP-BAND® System is now the first and only FDA-approved device for weight-loss surgery in patients with a BMI of 30-35.

Businessweek

Allergan Inc. (AGN) won’t seek U.S. clearance to sell its popular Lap-Band stomach shrinking device to an increasing population of obese teenagers.

In the wake of congressional criticism and lawsuits, the Irvine, California-based company has decided to shelve any plans for marketing its Lap-Band device to adolescents, among the fastest-growing group of obese Americans.

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FDA Warns Second LapBand Firm

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And here we go again!

Los Angeles Times

"The FDA sent a letter to the owners of Lap-Band VIP, warning them to change their billboard and television marketing or face disciplinary action. The allegations were similar to those the agency made in December against 1-800-GET-THIN, another company that marketed Lap-Band weight-loss surgery.

Lap-Band VIP, based in Tarzana, has promoted its weight-loss surgery on television, the Internet and freeway billboards throughout Southern California. One billboard featured a photograph of a thin woman with the pitch:

"Tiffany lost over 100 lbs. Actual patient. Results may vary."

Results DO vary with banding!  

Those ads were misleading, the FDA said in a June 25 letter, because they failed to include adequate warnings about the surgery's risks. The agency said Lap-Band VIP "should take prompt action to correct the violations" or risk "regulatory action."