This story ran in the Los Angeles Times today:
Allergan CEO criticizes Lap-Band billboards.

The offending campaign reads/exhorts “1-800-GET THIN”, and was created by a San Diego marketer generating leads for area obesity clinics.  Allergan says it does not approve of the campaign – both radio and billboards –  because it does not contain adequate disclosure of the risks of the adjustable gastric banding procedure for which it’s LAP-BAND system is the leading brand.

Hospital Angeles is actually located in the radius of this advertising, and the obesity surgery team frequently deals with consumer questions – and misperceptions  – created by these advertisements.

“LAP BAND surgery is minimally invasive, but it is still major surgery,” says physician nutritionist Dr. Carmen Calleja.  “Nor is it a magic bullet; the patient must still make real and lasting changes to the way he or she approaches food.  LAP-BAND is a tool for the very overweight to commit to that healthy change.”

The procedure takes about 20 minutes, sometimes less if the patient is working with an expert surgeon such as Dr. Lopez Corvala at Hospital Angeles, who is Allergan certified and has performed thousands of LAP-BAND surgeries on American ‘health travelers’ – i.e. patients who cross the border not just for the expertise, but historically lower Mexico pricing.

At Hospital Angeles, part of the largest private hospital network in Mexico, the LAP-BAND surgery program is $5,000 and is an all-inclusive package for US patients – medical records transfer, follow-up care from a US-based doctor, a twelve-month post-procedure tracking and motivation program, and free band fills for one year.

If you are interested in LAP BAND you can submit your personal medical profile to the Angeles obesity team to see if you are a candidate for the procedure.  Or speak to a bariatric RN at 866.668.9263 ext 129 to discuss Gastric Band Surgery and other weight loss surgery alternatives such as Gastric Bypass Surgery, Gastric Sleeve and the new Gastric Sleeve Plication.

If you’re the concerned parent of a severely overweight adolescent, please submit a profile for your child and set up a consult with Dr. Carmen and Dr. Cleysa – Angeles specializes in working with the physical and emotional complexities faced by obese teens.