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.
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.
- Long-term outcomes after bariatric surgery: fifteen-year follow-up of adjustable gastric banding and a systematic review of the bariatric surgical literature.
- Sustained weight loss after gastric banding revision for pouch-related problems.
"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."
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.
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.