LapBand for Diabetics? Is it Safe to Get in Mexico?

I have been reading that lapband has been helping alot of the diabetics. Is this what you all feel is happening? I also saw the price and I can only afford the ones they do in Mexico. Do you think it's safe? Is this worth it? I am on insulin. 3 times a day. I only have 25% of my pancrease left. I had a tumor that was on my pancreas, spleen (i don't have a spleen no more) and stomach. I am 40 years old Female.

Doctor Answers 3

Diabetes Improvement / Resolved with the Lap-Band

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The resolution of diabetes is related to the weight loss, but also due to the fact that a patient's caloric intake is dramatically reduced after Lap Band surgery. The Lap-Band System has been shown to help resolve or improve many weight-related health conditions. In fact, study shows that 80% of patients with diabetes who underwent Lap-Band surgery were resolved or significantly reduced. 

Mississauga Bariatric Surgeon

Gastric banding not best option for treatment of diabetes

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There are two general types of diabetes; Type 1, where the pancreas does not make enough insulin, and Type 2, a disease of insulin-resistance.  Type 2 diabetes is also called adult-onset diabetes, and is very common in the obese.  Metabolic surgery (a fancier name for weight loss surgery) has been used for treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.  This type of diabetes will respond to surgery, though gastric banding is the least effective option.  When one considers that long-term failure rate is high and patient satisfaction is low, gastric banding is not a good choice.  You have surgically induced Type 1 diabetes, so your pancreas may not make enough insulin.  You haven't shared your BMI.  If you are significantly overweight, you might benefit from bariatric surgery; if not, I wouldn't recommend it.


Your second question is about safety of surgery in Mexico.  I would echo what Dr. Ortiz says, but with this warning.  Many Mexican surgeons do not operate out of full-service hospitals.  There is no ICU; no CT scanner; no blood bank.  If things go well you may save some money and have a good operation.  If you have a complication, you will be in serious trouble.  So you have to ask yourself this one question, "Do I feel lucky?"


Mark Pleatman MD

Mark Pleatman, MD
Bloomfield Hills Bariatric Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Weight-loss Surgery and Diabetes

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Dear Diva,

 Diabetes can be controlled by substantial weight-loss. Usually we see it in response to weight-loss surgery. Some of the these surgical procedures tend to be more effective than others in correcting the blood sugars, sometimes weeks after the surgical procedure.

 Lap-Band (commercial name) or gastric banding will influence blood sugars and diabetes after weight-loss happens. Usually we are seeing a correction after the first six months. O'Brien and Dixon have a good paper on this. 

 It is recommended that your doctor individualizes your treatment since you have a very specific surgical history.

Is it safe to come to Mexico?

Media has a way of misinforming viewers. Thousands of patients travel to Mexico for medical services, especially weight-loss surgery.

 Safety travel tips apply anywhere, keep away from problem areas in the town your are visiting, don't travel at night alone etc.

Is it safe to have surgery in Mexico?

Look for a recognized weight-loss surgery center. Don't believe their websites... look for specific recognitions and designations awarded by the United States, such as International Center of Excellence and Surgeons of Excellence.  This is the highest distinction a Weight-loss Surgery center can obtain in or outside the United States. Don't let price be your sole can regret it after!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.