“I showed up at Dr Kuri’s office for an unfill and he did not even recognize me!”
I have always been on the stocky side (200lbs) but was active, healthy, and played competitive High School and Collegiate tennis.
Shortly after getting married at 27 years old and changing career paths to a total desk job—Computer Programming—my weight began skyrocketing. I tried every variation of weight control; weight watchers, Optifast, Phen-Fen diet drug, behavior modification, and many years in and out of The UCLA Weight Control program. At my highest weight I reached Over 325lbs.
Around 1987, I was tested and discovered I had serious obstructive Sleep Apnea and I underwent 4 different surgeries to correct it. Dr. Powell at Stanford University performed the majority of these surgeries and the final one in 1993 reattached and extended my jaw giving me almost total relief.
Eight years later at 47, I still was almost 300lbs and felt hopelessly trapped. Ready for a life change I searched the Internet for a final answer for big time weight loss. The answer was—the Lap-Band.
The Lap-Band had so many positives; minimal surgery, very little recovery time needed, proven— with long term results, not based on modifying or redesigning your food processing system—and the Lap-Band was adjustable and even reversible (removable). However, I saw the Lap-Band as just a tool or device and since every patient poses a dynamic challenge on how to best place the Band, prevent it from slippage, maximize the stomach’s restriction without inflicting long term irritation or other bad effects. The surgeon installing the Lap Band, therefore, makes all the difference in its success.
In 2001 the Lap-Band was not approved for use in the US, I sought other options and then found Wayne Smith’s website pointing to Lap-Band Surgery in Mexico. Networking through various internet ‘Bandster’ groups, I was really impressed by Dr Kuri’s reputation, experience and distinctively caring attitude. I contacted his office and Dr Kuri himself contacted me and very confidently questioned my health background, current state of health, and all surgical factors relevant to Lap-Band Surgery. We both committed to a thorough physical exam and a surgery date of 2/14/2001.
Surgery was quick—around 1 hour—it was a Wednesday morning. On Thursday, I was up walking around and at my Hotel. Friday morning I drove my stick shift Honda CRX the 150 miles home.
A few months later I had my first ‘fill’; it was about 1.8cc. This ended up my only fill and I was on my way. I showed up at Dr Kuri’s office in March of 2003 at goal weight and ready for an ‘unfill’ and he did not even recognize me!
His office chart showed my starting weight was 291lbs before surgery—and now I weighed in at 191 lbs, wearing a size 36 waist pants. I could tell they were all searching their minds to figure out WHO I was!
Now, approaching 6 months of very little restriction, my weight is still holding at goal.