Life With Slimband: Impending Rant

Ugh. It’s some godforsaken hour in the morning of Christmas Eve/Day and I can’t sleep.

No, I’m not excited for Santa Claus to bring me a pony or a pair of moon shoes.

Rather I am so pissed off with my current situation with Slimband that I can’t sleep and have composed an angry rant instead.

For a list of all other Slimband related posts, please click here

I’m getting fat again and am not impressed***. I have spent 2 years and over $16,000 trying to lose weight and have only had middling success. Every other day I get an email or a comment on this blog about others in the same position and it makes me so angry that Slimband as a company doesn’t care about what happens with their patients after the wounds heal.

Oh, there are some individuals in the company that may care. I have met them. Slimband discovered how much traffic I get for my articles on having the band that both they and competing clinic CIBO approached me about it. Both tried to buy me off; as some kind of damage control, I suppose. Personally I think that was a silly idea. It’s better to get me on board and on your side and use my expertise to help fix things, than just to get me to shut up. I am a mouthpiece for the people, y’all.

I thought I was getting somewhere with Slimband. They told me about a new program they are hoping to get in place for post-op patients. There were a few little parts to it that sounded promising. But overall it sounds like they still have no clue on how to do it right and fix their reputation.

That’s right, my Slimband friends. Despite your best efforts, you have a shit reputation that will continue to get worse if you don’t take some fast actions and fess up to your mistakes. Some in your company have recognized this and sought my assistance with the situation. Did you know that I have a stellar marketing and advertising background, and specialize in social media? (Duh, I write this blog and stole your Google search rank, didn’t I?) I am an outspoken fattie and made some great suggestions as to how you can develop a truly helpful post op program for patients like me. For whatever reason, the powers that be in your company nixed that idea.

And now me, and my fellow fatties are back at square one. Stranded, abandoned and not sure whether our lack of steady weight loss is our fault or Slimband’s fault. At this point I’m going to lay most of the blame on Slimband because they have thus far chosen to turn a blind eye to our plight. Which from a social media, word of mouth and PR perspective is a dangerous thing. We’re definitely more numerous than the patients that have reached their goal weight.

Want to know what my suggestions for the company were? Since I created them based on knowledge and assumptions readily available to the public, and used my expertise as a marketing consultant to craft them, they are MINE TO SHARE. You saw them here first, folks.

Weight Loss System, not just an installation of a plastic chunk

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a decent post-op program that was part of the Slimband system? I don’t even know who to talk to when I have a problem. No check ups from the company who sells you based on their 4 years of support. I recommend (and as far as I know individuals working at Slimband agree) that I come on board and help evaluate this program they want to get going. Ashamed of our inability to lose weight, many of us don’t speak up and tell Slimband what works, what doesn’t and what we need more of. I can do that. I can be your voice and help develop a kickass program to help you reach your goals.

OMG! Someone that cares and can help you! You’re not alone!

Wouldn’t it be cool to know that there is someone out there just like you, who isn’t afraid to share her story and strive for success in weight loss? I recommended myself as the Patient Champion. The person that you can contact if you don’t know where to start, and the person who cares about your plight and will get you the help you need. It’s all there, the company just doesn’t know how to pull it all together. I do. And I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that can actually get shit done the right way. Because I’m REAL and not drinking the gastric band koolaid. I won’t stand for anything less than happy customers.

Hell, none of these companies seem to know how to do this shit. Imagine if they actually had it all together the success they would achieve! It seems obvious to me, but then again I’m just a dumb little fattie who is $16k poorer.

Let it all hang out

Ok, screw this. Here’s the damn document I went out of my way to prepare for the folks at Slimband. It was their idea to get me on board and involved in the first place, by the way. All the info is based on the emails readers have sent me, my own experiences, anecdotal information gathered from online forums and other public online sources. Again, I am a marketing professional so I have some of my own insights to share. None of this is private or confidential, since I wasn’t given anything to go with. I could write something like this for any company. Fuckin’ Marketing 101 here, folks.

Please note that if you’re thinking of just stealing my ideas and trying to do it yourselves for whatever clinic you work for… well, go ahead. But you won’t do it as well as I would, and in the end you’ll probably fail again and end up with another herd of upset patients. But hey, if it works, all the more power to ya. I hope you can help me lose the last 80 fucking pounds I have to go.

Challenges

Poor Brand Image

Slimband is perceived by many as lacking warmth, caring and the human element. Anecdotally, many clients feel the following:

  • Abandoned after the procedure was completed. Post-op care was not as expected. “Slimband just wanted my money & doesn’t care about me”.
  • Unhappy with their weight loss results, experiencing minimal loss, or a plateau
  • Confused about the post-op process, ongoing support system and who to reach out to if they need help

These feelings toward the company may result in negative PR/Word Of Mouth, or no Word of Mouth where there might have been some if the client felt valued. Further research is recommended.

 Post-Op Program/Education

Older clients do not know what the band does and how it works. Now that the North American medical community has a better understanding of the most effective way to use the band; It is critical that patients receive a more accurate description of the band so that they can properly utilize it. (Ed. note, Slimband is aware of this also and all new patients receive the updated information. But I’m an older patient so I didn’t know until recently and was totally confused. But now I understand things better. All other North American clinics will or should inform their past patients of this new development).

This should be handled in a delicate manner; many clients may feel deceived, confused, upset, etc. by the news despite it being helpful & informative.

Additionally, the new support program should be introduced in a friendly way, and targeted to existing clients that have not experienced full success with their band.

A case study or “poster girl” for this situation would help bring some warmth back into the company, help clients relate, and be a good point of contact for clients.

How May I Help You?

Post-Op Program Consultant

As a current client and influencer/blogger, I have no trouble sharing my thoughts on the effectiveness and accessibility of a post-op support program. My experiences thus far, combined with my insight into the bandster community and my communications expertise can help Slimband create and/or refine their support system to a best-in-class program for existing and future clients.

As I myself go through the process to “get back on track” I can take notes, make suggestions and give quality feedback to Slimband professionals on the best way to approach existing clients and implement the new program of personalized medicine with each individual.

Patient Champion

As discussed previously, a friendly face for the post-op program may be just what the doctor ordered.

I am willing to have my journey through the post-op support program documented and shared with the patient community. This would be a spokesperson role, with or without patient interaction (TBD).

Known for my unbiased and straightforward manner, I can reach out to the clients who feel lost and help them get on track, while being an inspiration and encouraging trust. I would help inject some warmth back into the Slimband image.

Here are some additional ideas and thoughts on this potential role:

  • I have a marketing and customer service background
  •  Currently the exact type of client you need to assist and help satisfy
    Unique insights
  • Outgoing, positive, honest, warm and charismatic, many people trust me and will open up to me
  • My role could function as a spokesperson for the second stage of Slimband, and/or:
  • Gatekeeper/General community outreach
  • Address any concerns that bandsters have & direct them to the right resources
  • Gathering information & insights from clients, conducting surveys, focus groups, coffee meetings
  • Contribute articles & participate in online community
  •  Help Slimband provide a full weight loss program, and not just the surgery

 ***Disclosure:

The folks at Slimand are trying to help me, as a patient but are doing a very poor job of it so far which is why I’m so darn upset. I got my band de-filled, but now I’m not getting enough follow up or any of the other fancy post op support options they were promising me when we still thought I would be helping the company. I feel totally abandoned again and have no idea what to do or who to talk with to get this band shit figured out! So frustrating! My dietician is trying her best, but she seems limited in her abilities to assist me in my journey. And I’m gaining weight. This make me PISSED TO THE EXTREME.

Additionally, I AM trying to get a job with Slimband. The kind where I get paid real money because I provide real services and results. Despite the vitriol and frustration I have just unloaded, I think that if they just brought me on board, let me figure out where they’re going wrong, how to fix it, and then DO IT they could be a great company and be able to help so many people, past, present and future. A company with a good reputation is going to do very, very well in today’s social media world and bring in the big bucks. I’m trying to balance my desire to fix something broken and make it succeed with my desire to help all those past patients like me that don’t realize that THEY DESERVE BETTER.

Disclaimer: This is my personal online journal. I am not trying to sully the reputation of a company, but rather express my frustrations and personal experiences with said company. And hope that they listen to me and talk to me before getting lawyered up or anything because I think we could be beautiful together.

SLIMBAND: I BELIEVE IN YOU! MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE AND EMBRACE CHANGE! I know you can become a great, national company that does right by its’ patients. You just need a little help, is all. Call me.

READERS: I think they should hire me to get things going. Do you? Please show your support in the comments below or you can contact Slimband directly and tell them you want me (Lisa M) to help them help you. Because if you’re happy you’ll recommend the procedure to your friends. If Slimband becomes as awesome as I think they can be, then everyone is happy and new patients and money will flow in. Yay for fitting in your skinny jeans!

43 thoughts on “Life With Slimband: Impending Rant”

  1. My wife had a slimband put in and so far it was the biggest waste of money we could not afford. I would do anything to see her happy and happy for her meant winning the long battle with weight problems she’s had. Slim band banks on this desperation in people. She’s had it over a year and lost almost nothing. A few months ago her port area became sore and swollen. It progressively got worse. This is where slim bands horrible post op care comes in. To see the surgeon she first had to talk to a secretary who would pass the info to a nurse who called and then told her to come in. The nurse told my wife it was not infected and made her feel stupid for wastin her time to which my wife demanded to see the surgeon as it was clearly infected. Reluctantly the nurse set up an appointment. A week later!!! At 6:45 am no less!!!! The surgeon of course confirmed it was infected. Gave her antibiotics and sent her home. The antibiotics started helping and ran out before it was fully healed so she went back and he said it will continue to heal on its own. It got worse!!! Last night we had to go to emergency because the port has caused an incision and is now protruding through her skin!!!! Emerge doctors made her comfortable and made sure she wasnt in grave danger but made it clear they don’t want to deal with it and that it’s the slim band surgeons responsibility. (same thing her family doctor said after prescribing her meds for the infection). It’s now wed and slim and said they can’t fit her in until next tues. and it can’t be that bad if the hospital sent her to them. Unacceptable!!!! The slim band nurse was rude and in careing to the point of being condescending. My wife cannot move the pain is so bad and they simply don’t care. Don’t even start me on how useless slim bands 24 line is. They pay someone to just say ok go to the hospital or ok I’ll leave a note for the nurse that’s all it seems. Slim Band makes the care so inconvenient and slow that you inevitably end up at emerge or your family doctor. Seems they want to let them handle thier mess. And of course the emerge and family doctor want no part of it and redirect you back to slim band. We have been playing that game until now and my wife cannot move with a port hanging out of her stomach!!!!!! Emerge and md’s take care of you to make sure you won’t die but they fully expect slim band to take responsibility for your care and slim band tries to send it back it’s a crappy cycle. Slim Band also doesn’t have thier own labs so to get anything done in an urgent situation takes forever because you have to go to a private lab and wait for them to send results. They won’t take the blood work from the hospital!!!!! Also the surgeons dont work on weekends or Monday emergency or not!!! The best you can hope for is that if it was dire they may speak with the er surgeon to consult. This company is run improperly and staff are not trained well. Once they’ve got your 16k and the band is in anything else they are forced to do is at a loss to them and they clearly don’t want that. I would never recommend this company!!!! The look of disdain the er doctors and md have when you mention slim band makes total sense to me now. They don’t give a shit about you. Only your money!!!! Not to mention slim bands owner has done jail time for fraud!!!!! Slim band also removes negative comments from there boards!!!! So it’s harder to find out the real risks and complications involved!!!! I’m so angry!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Shane, you are so right about Slimband . I had the surgery january 2012 I started having problems this past may ,had to go for a defill helped but again problems in oct. The SLIMBAND staff suck there is no care compassion or reasonaning with them. Also try to talk with a DR impossible. I live 5 hours away from Toronto and i asked for a appt. they told me DR. does not meet with patients until steps are followed . Ihave not kept food down for 5 weeks and even liquids are making me sick. They just keep sending me for defills forget checking me out to see what the problem is . Also starting to think worst 16000 i ever spent . Line

  3. Well I have had the Slimband in since Aug 4 2012. And so far I am so very disappointed. I lost 30lbs within the first 6 months which I was happy with. I was eating as I was told to eat. Then I hit a plateau in January of 2013 and nothing happened for a few moths. I called slimband and they suggested a fill so I went in. Only a month after the fill I gained 10lbs back and did nothing different. I was so upset I called them back. They tried to tell me I was doing something wrong or not eating healthy….which is actually funny cause the first thing the doctor said to me before I had the surgery is I can eat what I want when I want. If I wanted to eat chocolate till I'm sick of it I should. I didn't I followed the plan. Once I bitched enough they sent me in for a de-fill. The doctor who did it for me here in Edmonton asked me where I started as a weight and I told him….he said that I should have lost more. After my de-fill which was about 66 months ago I didn't loose anymore weight but I have actually gained another5;bs. So, so far I am $16000 into the hole, only lost 15lbs realistically every time I eat the food does not go down very easily and it is painful to which their answer was smaller bites….well if they are any smaller I might as well puree my food. I wouldn't recommend the Slimband to anyone….they make it sound like a miracle and when you start asking questions once you realize you aren't getting the results you were pretty much promised they say it's your fault and you must be doing something wrong.

  4. As someone who has the Slimband and have been successful with it, I am quite shocked to see these negative comments. I have lost 75lbs this year AND I find their post op support very helpful (especially their dietician Kelly who is a doll).
    Ginger, no offense, but it sounds like you are blackmailing them by telling them to hire you or you will keep spreading the word about their "bad rep"? !

  5. hi, I had the lap band put in in 2007. I initially lost about 60lbs. I have since regained the weight. When I went for my consult with TLBC I was guaranteed I would be provided fill. defills and support for life. My husband even questioned what would happen if the Dr stopped doing this procedure. Again I was assured I'd be taken care of. I have had many fills and defills over the years, trying to find that mythical "sweetspot" they speak of. I can think of other imaginary spots that are probably easier to find! Anyway, I called last week to request a fill. At that time I was informed that when Slimband took over TLBC they only had to cover previous clients for five years. If I need anymore fills I need to do a full dietary assessment and pay $200. Are you kidding me! I'm so frustrated but don't know what action to take from here. Any suggestions??

  6. Funny I ran across this site. Not only did I have the band put in, though it was previously called TLBC (Toronto Laproscopic Band Center), I worked for Slimband. I didn't lose the weight and I'm the first employee to have it removed…

  7. OMG! I was banded in 2008 TLBC and was told the same that I had to pay $200 SB this week to get some infornation from my medical file and was again told that it would cost me $25 for the administration. This has to be sooo wrong there has to be something in our contracts we paid for LIFETIME! I am sure if we all got together and got a contract lawyer something could be done. I feel totally abadoned from the support that I had paid $18000 for!

  8. Hi, we are two journalism students from University of Montreal. We are currently working on a journalism project about Slimband and it would help us a lot to hear what people had experienced with this program. If you're comfortable with a mini Skype interview, feel free to write us contact.enquete2014@gmail.com

  9. Same here, nothing but problems, no support, argumentaive staff, hardly lost any weight and when they reajusted gained all back, now they wont fill it or remove it. Total BS. Worse investment of my life. Been to three doctors, none of them impressed and told me to have it removed! Biggest scam out there! Now Slimband keeps putting me off nobody will give me any answers. Perhaps we should all "BAND" together and launch a lawsuit!

  10. WOW.. Reading this makes me mad.. I just went to have a "adjustment" done with my band as all of a sudden I have NO restriction. Last week I was still controlled not able to "over eat" and the next thing you know I can eat a 10oz steak and potatoes.. I called slim band and a polite nurse calls me back to say "don't be alarmed this could just be something stuck in your band that is causing food to pass" Last fill left me at around 6cc's I went for an aspiration and a .5 fill and find out that there is only .5 of a cc in the band.. Where did the other 5.5 go? well slim band says " It could be a couple things 1) the doctor doing my fills/ defills over the last 1.5 years could have taken out more then instructed ( NOT EVEN POSSIBLE he has always shown me what he is doing) 2) Could be a leak caused by missing the port while having the fill done. HMMM.. Then why all of a sudden am I not restricted? I have had problems with these guys since they took my 20K. They were all sweet and lets make a difference to your life then BAM like we are nothing.. Got your money now go away? I sent an email to the Doctor that preformed my procedure lets see if he messages me back. Slimband says in order diagnose the issue I need to go through 4 to 5 months of fills and de-fills.. This is ridiculous.. They advertise that you can "eat what you want lose weight and feel satisfied.. Well we have paid our money already and not getting the "results" we paid for.. Its time to step up Slimband and do what you promote..

  11. Wow is right!!! I had the band put on march 2013 and am having a specialist take it out on May 22. I have had nothing but problems and have received nothing from slimband!! The doctor has ignored me and i have had blockages where i couldn't eat for 7 days. It wasn't until Dr Yau was gone!!!! THat their new doctor started to say he was concerned about me etc. I told him too late for the conrer! I have found a specialist that is going to take this piece of garbage out. THe port protrudes out and is huge and hurts. THen this new dr gets pretty nasty as says "well you will just gain all your weight back!" So I told him "crap! I have lost my 40 lbs by working out and of course some by not being able to keep food down" I am going to be speaking with a lawyer and see what I can do about this fraudulent company…I have sent emails and get no where. I get told "you still have to pay!!!"

  12. To further add to my story. At christmas time when I couldn't eat for 7 days!! I finally get a hold of slimband and because I wouldn't travel 2 plus hours to toronto to see a nurse I was treated like a piece of garbage and then told that there was a satelite dr in London where i live but they didnt know her holiday hrs. i asked for the phone number so i could call and was told no that i would get an email with all the information with in an hr. well about 4 hrs later….and only because I sort remembered the name of the dr the slimband person said….i google the dr and found a number. i called the number and asked if the dr had anything to do with slimband and their receptionist said yes. i told her what was happening and she got me in the next day. So about 3 am I am pissed because I still haven't got any email!!! I sent a nasty email and rant. low and behold I get the email the next morning about 5 minutes before slimband calls me!!! To say the least I was not impressed. So I go to the satelite dr and she says that she has never seen a port look like mine. and when she attempts the emergency defill she can't get anything out. it is not working. she goes and calls slimband and they tell her try the defill with me standing so she does…nothing!!!! slimbands answer…..drive to toronto!!!

  13. To further add to my story. At christmas time when I couldn't eat for 7 days!! I finally get a hold of slimband and because I wouldn't travel 2 plus hours to toronto to see a nurse I was treated like a piece of garbage and then told that there was a satelite dr in London where i live but they didnt know her holiday hrs. i asked for the phone number so i could call and was told no that i would get an email with all the information with in an hr. well about 4 hrs later….and only because I sort remembered the name of the dr the slimband person said….i google the dr and found a number. i called the number and asked if the dr had anything to do with slimband and their receptionist said yes. i told her what was happening and she got me in the next day. So about 3 am I am pissed because I still haven't got any email!!! I sent a nasty email and rant. low and behold I get the email the next morning about 5 minutes before slimband calls me!!! To say the least I was not impressed. So I go to the satelite dr and she says that she has never seen a port look like mine. and when she attempts the emergency defill she can't get anything out. it is not working. she goes and calls slimband and they tell her try the defill with me standing so she does…nothing!!!! slimbands answer…..drive to toronto!!!

  14. When i have the band removed i will also find out if slimband actually did fix a moderate hiatus hernia that they claimed to have done! And if they didn't and just put the band around and said it was fixed….i will be calling ohip to see if they billed them for the hernia operation!!!

  15. I was banded Dec 13, 2013. I’m nearly 5 months in and only 2lbs lost. I’ve emailed complaints to Slimband support. Had a rep call me today and tell me it’s my own fault I’m not losing. I asked to have it removed & I wanted a refund. I suggested that I will speak to a lawyer about it as I believe that Slimbands commercials are false advertising. She was condescending & made me feel like garbage at the end of the conversation. The original lady I spoke to last November won’t even reply to my emails. She does reply to others about my posts on the community board saying that failure and negativity is all patient behaviour. She reeled me in to get my money, but won’t offer any support now. I am so depressed. I went into debt because I was convinced that this was the answer to my prayers. Wonder if this can be reported to the BBB??

  16. I am scheduled for surgery to "fix" the problem my band has caused since Oct 13 this Friday. Why aren't we all getting together for a class action lawsuit???? As a nurse told me 60% of bands are successful, which I told her leaves 40% that ARE NOT? This then said I've twisted her words and I can swear on the lives of the people closest to me its true and they've said even worse. When trying to get a surgery date the surgery coordinator told me that new surgeries that the spots first as they are a business to make a profit. Guess who recorded that conversation, YEP! THIS GIRL! Why haven't I went to a lawyer sooner? Because I want the band out and my life back in MY hands first. My email is rvt_2006@hotmail,com if you would like to join me at having Slim band shut the **** down!

  17. I've had the same experiences as all of you and looking at the sites to see what I can do to stop this company! I'm in Ottawa and there are approx. 6 of us (just that I know of) that have had enough and want to legally pursue action against them. I'm In worse shape now that I ever was before surgery (3 years ago). I've lost 50 pounds then gained it, had a second surgery due to slipped band. I was so tight all of a sudden that u was vomiting blood for a week since they couldn't "see" me right away. Went to hospital and they wouldn't touch me. I've lost a ton of hair due to lack of vitamins, my teeth have been stripped due to vomiting three times a day and it goes on and on. I even went to the Slimband meeting to gain a new perspective since I was determined for this to work and the rep even said "puking a couple of times a day is a small price to pay for not being overweight". I walked out. If anyone wants to discuss, email me at ttjlanglois@hotmail.com.

  18. I'm having ecruciating pain with mine from day one. I have been to the hospital and I was waiting around so long that I had to go to them and ask what's taking so long and the answer was "to find a doctor that knows what to do with slimband." I was so mad and sick and tired of waiting around I left. I just now sent Slimband an email to their support@slimband.com and right away I got an email to go to my nearest hospital. A hospital where they can't find a doctor that knows anything about slimband. In the last 24 days, I have had maybe an hours sleep per night from the pain. They have my money and now I don't hear a word from them. Not a follow-up call only emails on what day I'm on and what I can eat. I don't give a shit about that….I want this pain to go away because I don't think it's normal. There is no oozing or anything, but it hurts like hell!!

  19. i had slimband put in on dec 2011 to date i havent met a dr. i was also told pre surgery that i would lose weight even if i Drank liquid calorie as band would restrict. i mentioned my pop addiction. i havent list anything and am more stressed and in major debt.

  20. Hi there. I am dealing with slimband as well and going thru the same story you are

    I have been trying to have it removed for three months with no luck and no contact from them. I am doing all the work. Sick of it. Would love to talk to you.

    Thanks Anne ingram

  21. Hi there. I am dealing with slimband as well and going thru the same story you are.

    I have been trying to have it removed for three months with no luck and no contact from them. I am doing all the work to insure my health is ok. I started break in our in hive 6 months ago and my allergist feels that it could be my band. I called the office and of x purse they denied it. I am so sick of these people. I feel like i have be abandoned on slimband island and expected to survive without any support. They are crooks.
    Anne Ingram´s last blog post ..Pre-Opening Sneak Peek at Tatyana’s new Boutique in Toronto!!!

  22. Hey guys,

    I was banded in 2010, lost 40lbs, everything was going smoothly until I went in for a small defill to relieve so acid reflux issues. Well the nurse took out way more than I requested then told me if I wanted a fill in the future, I’d need an upper GI, to log my food, and a doctor to review my case. Well now it’s as if I have no band at all and the doctor is refusing even a small fill. I’m rapidly gaining what little weight I lost back and Slimband is basically saying tough shit! Are you kidding me???? If I wanted to diet like I did pre-band I would of spent the $16000 on Jenny Craig. Let me know if anyone plans to sue cause I don’t see another option at this point and I’m pissed!!!

  23. ARE THERE ANY LEGAL ACTIONS AGAINST THIS CLINIC , I WAS BANDED IN 2007. I NEED A FILL AND SLIMNBAND WILL NOT SERVICE ME. I LIVE IN THE STATES AND I AM NOT SURE HOW TO GO ABOUT TAKING LEGAL ACTION,. THIS IS PATIENT ABDONMENT!!!! LIFE TIME SERVICE PRETTY SURE NOT!!! MY EMAIL IS nikki41@roadrunner.com PLEASE IF ANYONE IS INVOLVED IN LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THESE PEOPLE PLEASE CONTACT ME THANK YOU

  24. Needless to say I’m just as disappointed as everyone else who has left comments. I was banded Oct 2010 and lost 90lbs ….10 lbs shy of my goal weight. A year ago I started to notice that I could eat more than I normally could with the band. More than the 1 cup of food per meal suggested by SB. I followed the program to the letter and started to notice weight gain starting Aug 2014. Keep in mind I had some fills as I thought I has no restriction. I had to do the photo food log and speak to SB after they reviewed my log and they said I needed a fill. Three fills later still no restriction. Finally one fill nurse suggested I have an upper GI test which revealed I had a dilated esophagus. SB nurse now said I needed to defill I’m order to allow esophagus to heal. 2 defills and 2 upper GI tests done. I have my 3rd upper GI this Thursday Dec 11th and I’m crossing my fingers that third time is a charm. I’ve since gain 20 lbs and extremely sad about this whole process. Wish me luck.

  25. I just found this blog and I would really like to comment. I'd also like to thank you for solidifying my concerns and my decision to start the process for removing this "thing".

    Banded in July 2009 – almost 6 years ago
    Current weight: 189lbs
    Weight loss is approx. only 21 pounds from date of surgery
    When my band slipped in (2011?) I was told “nothing was wrong” when the clinic reviewed the upper GI. I was vomiting every day at almost every meal. I couldn’t eat much. I got several de-fills and when I finally convinced the doctor to do an “exploratory surgery” he said “if this happens again I’ll remove it”. He told me it was my fault, that I did something wrong and told me “it’s not that hard” to eat the “slimband way” while attending university, etc. (note: the slimband way has now changed and I don’t necessarily need to eat protein first. – according to the new information). Turns out I was right – my band had slipped. And while I appreciate the doctors “encouragement” that it’s “not that hard”… really… you don’t know anything.

    Now years after my revision surgery I have not lost weight, but gained weight. I am still struggling to find my “sweet spot” (if that exists). I still vomit some food up, have pain at least once a day (not all day every day but at least once a day). Takes me 2 hours in the morning to get coffee or hot water down. I wake up with fluid coming up my throat every night and it takes hours to get back to sleep. I deal with constant gurgling, gas and other unpleasant noises constantly which is really bothersome when it happens at the most inopportune times (in meetings, in the bedroom, around new people)—my friends equate this to my “inner demons” escaping (which that’s what this thing is to me!). I have trouble eating certain foods (breads, meats, etc.) and I can taste my meals hours after eating them. I have constant heartburn and acid reflux and frequently get what I call a “gut rot” feeling in my stomach where my band would be. All of this is affecting my eating – how often I eat, what I eat, etc. I don’t even want to look at food half of the time. Sure I could go for defills but before my fills I wasn’t losing weight that’s why I got them, why would it work now? And the support doesn’t give me answers to these questions. They must have a script to follow because I keep getting told/asked the same thing over and over – are you taking small bites? (if they got any smaller I might as well purify my food); are you eating every 2.5-3 hours (no I’ve been doing this for 5 years and decided I better only eat once a day…bc that sounds better *rolling eyes); Well you could be over filled (but I can eat a portion the size of my head?). SO FRUSTRATING. I finally told a nurse to stop speaking to me like I had the band yesterday… 6 years… I’m a veteran. When will they admit that it’s the band and not me? As a person in my 20s with a band I have given up my late night parties and munch outs, going out binge drinking with friends, eating some of my favourite foods… so don’t tell me it’s ME. I am committed… scratch that—WAS committed.
    When will they stop lying and just tell us the truth? I even had a support line staff tell me that the removal was covered by OHIP—no no it’s not! Only in an emergency! If it was do you really think people would have YOU GUYS remove it? I would rather die than go see Dr. Yau again (to which I thought he was gone… he’s back… and they’re lying for him too!—nurse told me he only had “two complaints” about his “communications” and is now back and has no complaints. They should check the internet….)

  26. After years of fill/defill/fill/defill I can’t invest any more time off of work or time out of living my life to do this. I don’t feel like when I got the band (at 21!) the “complications” were properly explained to me. Of course I knew that it was a low rate of SERIOUS complications but I would also call the above complications as well. Maybe not serious but they are definitely affecting my everyday life. Now I’m worried about the rest of my life — getting pregnant, having a baby sitting next to what could be a ticking time bomb or having to jump through hoops to get a defill or fill or even being able to eat enough for nutrition! I am only 27… at this point I would rather be overweight and live life than have this nightmare in my stomach and live my life around it. This doesn’t feel “freeing” at all.

    Now I am starting the journey to get this contraption taken out of my body – getting a referral from my family dr. (WHAT??) and setting up a meeting with the “demon” dr – Yau himself, so that he can determine whether it’s elective or medical… and when I ask if I can be refused – the answer – you’ll have to talk to the doctor.  And to be truthful I am terrified to speak to him after reading recent reviews explaining how he yelled at them and was condescending about getting it removed. Wish me luck… I’m going to need it.

  27. Is any one in Ottawa with the band that would like to meet up?? I'm having trouble losing weight…and now I found out they closed the Ottawa fill clinic AND the Montreal one so I have to travel to Toronto to get a fill. I'm having trouble losing anything…and would love to meet with fellow Slimbanders to discuss and maybe get some tips from you guys??? Let me know. Email me: brigettemariamurray@gmail.com

  28. Is any one in Ottawa with the band that would like to meet up?? I'm having trouble losing weight…and now I found out they closed the Ottawa fill clinic AND the Montreal one so I have to travel to Toronto to get a fill. I'm having trouble losing anything…and would love to meet with fellow Slimbanders to discuss and maybe get some tips from you guys??? Let me know. Email me: brigettemariamurray@gmail.com

  29. I seem to be in the same boat. I thought I was alone until I read the stories of the others. I was banded in December 2013. I have lost 40 lbs, but now it's coming back. After a long fight with Slimband and jumping through their hoops I finally got an appointment to see a nurse (who is wonderful). She did a fill and I'm now filled at a 8.0, which I'm told is high. I feel no difference since the fill and am concerned as to how many more fills I can get as I'm told that I'm getting to the "danger zone". I paid an ENORMOUS amount of money for this surgery and had to travel 4 hours away. I feel like once Slimband gets your money and has you one the hook, that's it! Now I'm gaining weight and travelling 1.5 hrs away for each fill (if they will give you an appointment). I feel duped!

  30. Hi

    I am dealing with the same issues with Slimband. I’ve just been informed that my support has expired and Slimband requires an additional $1500 to continue. Or alternatively, they will send a training packet out to my family physican who can assume support for my band, and lastly they can out me in contact with the surgeon who performed my surgery.

    Shortly after my band surgery in August 2009 the fill nurse here in Ottawa punctured my port line. Despite my continual complaints that I felt no restriction, I was accused of “cheating” and made to feel awful. When they discovered the puncture, I had 0 fill level. I underwent a port revision in October 2011. I had a very hard time getting to the bottom of the reason for the leak. Eventually they admitted what had happened and reassured me that my support contract would reset from that date. I was never offered any apology, or compensation for lost work time, travel to Toronto, etc. but I decided to put my faith in the process and had a fresh start. I was horribly naiive.

    Since that time I have struggled with the band, endured ups and downs with fill levels and had a whopping 8 lb weight loss change from August 2010 to today February 2015. At $16,000, that’s horrifying $2000 per pound!

    To top it all off, I am in the middle of having my band placement and fill level assessed. I just finished the upper GI ( all was fine) and Slimband’s next step for me as communicated by one of their nurses: Dr x would like you to book a fill and have an expiration to assess the fill level, and then determine what needs to be added”. I booked the fill and was sent an email that Slimband assessed my file and that support has expired. Wow. So now what? Give these charletans another $1500? NEVER!

    This has been an epic, depressing, frustrating failure. Support protocols constantly change, their messaging about how to DIET – yes folks you MUST diet or you will not lose weight. How many of us were sold on “never diet again?” I suspect that as I an an unsuccessful and difficult patient, that I have been dumped.

    I’m open to emails angela.prouse@gmail.com

    Angela

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