Weigh-Ins are on MONDAYS - Updated July 3, 2017

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Did You Watch 20/20?

I watched Friday's 20/20 episode this weekend called "Losing It: The Big Fat Money Pit."

I was fascinated by the approximate 7 minutes that was spent on the 1-800-Get-Slim surgeons, the Omidi brothers, who may have allegedly caused the deaths of FIVE Lap-Band patients.  Wow. Check out the video here. (ABC News)

This makes me so glad that I thoroughly researched which surgeon would do my surgery.

I even researched the option to go to Mexico and have my surgery.  No way, not for me.

In my first appointment/consult with my surgeon back in August of 2009, I had a post-it note full of questions that I asked my surgeon.  I hope he felt like I was interviewing him for a job, 'cuz that's exactly what I was doing.

Research your surgeon, OK?  Promise?  Go to the Lap-Band site and see what surgeons are in located in your area.

Onwards to the Lap-Bander, named "Cassie," in the 1-800-Get-Slim commercial that was shown in the 20/20 episode.

I have serious issues with her quote from the TV and billboard ads:

"The Lap-Band is the easiest thing I've ever done."



I wonder if Cassie came up with that tag line on her own?  I doubt it.  Probably the crafty work of an advertising agency.

I can think of LOTS of things that are easier than being cut open and having a silicone device put inside me.

I can think of LOTS of things that are easier than going through the recovery and pain of surgery.

I can think of LOTS of things that easier than having to follow a new way of eating and making exercise a priority for THE REST OF MY LIFE.

And let me tell ya, all that HARD WORK is absolutely worth it!

What did you think of the 20/20 episode?


  1. That episode of 20/20 caused me to decide to never waste my time watching 20/20 again.

    The weight loss industry is a multi million dollar industry. And some people died after having lap band. And some rich people can go to a pricey fat camp.

    That's about all I got out of it. An utterly pointless show, in my humble opinion.

    1. Valerie, I just finished reading your blog. My name is Felipe Renteria my sister Ana Isabel Renteria, passed away on Feb/14/11, due to complications of the so called Lap Band. I've always said let a woman be a woman, your all beatiful

  2. Yup, shore did!!! I AM glad that the emphasis was on the predatory nature of the Omidi brothers as opposed to being a one long argument for why lap band is terrible.

    While I believe it is a tragedy that those people died, I believe it reinforces the personal responsibility involved in making the decision to have WLS and the importance of doing adequate research regarding your surgeon.

    My surgical center was a center of excellence and my surgeon board certified. She was a graduate of one of the top medical school/residencies in the country.

    Even more, at the time of my surgery, she had only lost 1 patient and that was due to a pulmonary embolus due to patient non-compliance with post op guidelines.

    As for Cassie's statement, I would like to believe that either the Ad agency made up her quote or took it completely out of context. For me, my Lap Band has been both the easiest AND the hardest thing I have done all at the same time. Hard -- for all the same reasons you listed above. Easy -- the same way that having the proper tool for any job is easier. I can drive a nail with a spoon or I can drive a nail with a hammer -- the hammer is much easier but either way that nail ain't gonna drive itself. :)

  3. I wrote a blog entry about the 1-800-Get Thin guys last week and I didn't even know they were going to be discussed on 20/20...LOL The point of my blog was that people do due diligence when it comes to their surgeons and these guys were nothing more than money grubbing quacks. I'll have to watch this show on hulu if it is available.

  4. I did not see it, but I will try to watch it. I work in healthcare and I am amazed at the number of people who just take what a Dr. tells them at face value. Be it a surgeon or any other doctor. People need to ask lots of questions, and they also need to ask WHY?. I went through this in March when I was going through the issues with my band and my beloved surgeon was out of town teaching for 5 weeks.

    One of his partners, who is a board certified surgeon,from a Center of Excellence as well, pushed Gastric Bypass on me and thought I was NUTS for even considering having the sleeve surgery. He told me the risks to my health from leaks were too high. He said and I quote "I am not a BAND guy, I am a Bypass guy", he does not like the band and only treats patients when it is necessary. I would never allow him to do surgery on me ever!!!!!!!!

    He did not want to revise me to sleeve because he had never done it before! I asked him if he had. That was enough for me to know that I did not want this Excellent surgeon to touch me!

    Everyone needs to do their homework on surgeons before believing whatever hype the ad might say.

    As for Cassie and her statement. I wonder if CASSIE is even real. You can never be sure of anything in advertising. For someone to say it is easy living with a band in my opinion has never really had one.

    Living with the band is hard, it takes constant commitment and dedication to it! It takes turning your food addiction around and the BAND cannot help you do this. Trust me! You have to deal with this separately! You have to learn how to eat all over again. Some have issues with being too tight no matter what they do. I was tight even with NOTHING in my band. I lost my first chunk of weight 80 pounds with a single drop in my band. So, yes the big bucks in the weight loss surgery world is reason that many get involved in it. Do your homework, ask questions and find a surgeon you trust who has a complete program.

  5. "Cassie" is probably just a stock photo or a paid model who's never actually had the surgery, if this whole thing is as shady as it sounds. Things you never want to shop for a discount on: surgery and tattoos.

  6. I watched it, I liked the one guys quote that if there were an "easy" way then everyone would be slim and healthy.

    I had read about the brothers on Steph Js blog earlier in the week. I have to say I was disappointed in the overall story though I think they put a lot of emphasis on the extreme money that the diet industry makes. I didn't feel there were any real solutions for people looking for information on where to go for a real solution. You have the celebrities saying that this is a scam, the surgeons doing LB killing people and Carnie almost seeming like a joke getting her band over bypass procedure.

    It was disappointing for sure. I'm still glad I watched though, thanks for bringing it to our attention. * heart*

  7. I didn't watch this, but my dad did. I talk to him only a few times a year and when he called me for Mother's Day I told him about my band and he went on and on about this story.
    It took a lot of effort to explain to him that I had done my research, understood the risks and my surgeon was top notch. He is only partially convinced....sigh.

  8. Well, unfortunately, there wasn't a very positive spin on the band, but oh well. I still have the opinion that the absolute key to success is aftercare. I self paid for my surgery. I interviewed several surgeons and centers before I made my decision. I even backed out of one surgeon a week prior to surgery. In the end, I decided on True Results. Aside from surgery, I can go to the office as much as I need to for the first year. I've gotten 13 fills/unfills and several visits to the nutritionist. It is adjustable for a reason, ya know? I think the people that are most successful are those that visit monthly, even if not for a adjustment, just to check in. That's my two cents. The band has helped me control my hunger, but it doesn't control how much I can eat.

  9. Thank goodness I didn't see that, I might have thrown my pint of Ben and Jerry's at the television set.

    Oh, Cassie, you are such a liar.

  10. I watched it... I think they covered way too many weight loss avenues for a short hour long show...right when you were getting to the point of digesting one clip, they were on to the next. It also really made me question Carnie's surgeon choice after hearing of her issues (I had read up heavily on her situation way prior to her 30 secs on this piece)....

  11. All I've got to say to the Omidi Bitches, hope you rot in Hell