Patient Stories


 

I elected to have LapBand surgery with the Carolina's Lap Band expert - Dr. Donald Balder in September 2008. Dr. Balder and his bariatric staff and overall program were outstanding. We reviewed several programs before making the smart choice with Dr. Balder, who at the time certainly had the best experience with the Lap Band and the lowest complication rates throughout the Carolinas (and over 13 years of dedicated care to Bariatric patients like me who are/were suffering with obesity and its attendant health problems). He was the first surgeon in South Carolina to offer laparoscopic weight loss surgery, a (safer) option for his patients’ care; the first to offer LapBand® and the LapBand Total Care Program® in South Carolina; & the first to set up an outpatient LapBand® program in South Carolina.

To give you some insight into how important Dr. Balder, his staff, and their care are to me, I am including my testimonial as published previously on his prior Advanced Surgical Associates website January 4, 2010

My journey to weight loss surgery began innocently enough. I had braces on my teeth in high school... I was skinny and always hungry. But the braces came off before my senior prom and I began to eat. I wound up dieting off and on while in college... and through the years I've used medications, diet aids, acupressure, and diets of all kinds. Each of my two pregnancies gave me the extra weight that seemed part of me forever. The deaths of my parents each added more pounds. A big shake-up at work added more... then a move to SC and the changes involved, including regular weight-training, helped me shed some weight. I was doing fine for awhile... but I gained more weight the older I got. Finally, I got up to 200+ pounds and felt there was no hope for me. I had given up.

I first met Dr. Balder and his staff when I was referred to him for a hernia repair. When this hernia near my navel developed, I was at the highest weight I can ever remember, 230 pounds. I am 5'4" tall. All that weight was contributing to many health problems: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and joint problems. My doctor had been helping me with medication, and diabetic education was helping too, as was regular exercise at Curves... but no matter how hard I tried, the one thing my doctor said would help me most I could not seem to do - lose weight. While in Dr. Balder's waiting room after my hernia repair I had overheard some of his bariatric patients talking about the amazing results of their surgeries, so I asked him if I might be a good candidate... yes, but my own doctor and a psychiatrist would be the ones to make a final determination. My own doctor was more hesitant when I went to him asking for a referral; he wanted to do some tests... a sleep study yielded a confirmed diagnosis of sleep apnea, and he gave me his referral for this life-changing surgery. In all, it took about six months from the time I first started checking into it, until I finally had LapBand surgery in September 2008.

My surgery went very well... and I began losing weight. I've had three "fills" to tighten (adjust) the LapBand, and now I am down to the last few pounds I want to lose. My overall health has improved: A1C is back to normal (diabetes resolved), blood pressure and cholesterol levels are greatly improved with some medications eliminated and other dosages reduced, sleep apnea is no longer a problem, and my knees are no longer painful. With the vitamins and protein drinks I use every day, I feel great! My friends always tell me how good I look. My husband is very happy with my weight loss, and has been my biggest supporter through the whole process. I finally feel in control of my weight and my life. Dr. Balder and the rest of his staff are sincerely interested in me and my success... helping and advising at every turn. I will be forever grateful for this partnership. I am retired and a grandmother... and feel I will enjoy my life with a vigor and delight.

MWM
Contact info on file. She would be happy to communicate with anyone about her personal success with Dr. Balder and the Lap Band!

 

In June of 2009, I made the decision to permanently address my weight issues. I had struggled for years trying numerous options – weight loss programs, exercise programs, specialized diets, medical support – all of which did not achieve my end desire – a reasonable and maintainable weight.

For almost two years I had been researching the laparoscopic banding system – on the Internet and speaking with Lap Band® patients. I reviewed multiple practices and ultimately decided that I would pursue this option with Dr. Balder’s assistance.

As I researched this procedure, it became evident that Dr. Balder has remained at the forefront of lap band progress. He was the first surgeon in South Carolina to offer laparoscopic gastric bypass options for his patients’ care. He was the first to offer Lap Band® and the Lap Band® Total Care program in South Carolina and the first to set up an outpatient Lap Band® Program here in South Carolina. All of these were factors in my decision to work with Dr. Balder. My research indicated that Dr. Balder has been a leader in the field of bariatric care.

I attended Dr. Balder’s introductory seminar in the early summer of 2009. I was amazed by the fact that in a world of the delegation, it was Dr. Balder who ran the seminar – educating potential clients on the lap band (as well as other) system. This could have easily been handled by one of his staff members but was not – clearly showing Dr. Balder’s dedication to his clientele.

Over the next few weeks, I met with Dr. Balder as well as his staff. During that time, he educated me on the changes that I would experience with the lap band. Every time I met with Dr. Balder, I was amazed by his compassion and dedication. Each appointment began with a heartfelt greeting; his bedside manner is comforting and encouraging. I was never rushed through an appointment. As an engineer, I can assure you that my questions were endless – and Dr. Balder took the time to answer each one, thoroughly and honestly. Dr. Balder’s philosophy is, in my opinion, one of mutual success. I believe that he considers his success to being hand-in-hand with his patient’s success.

On August 22, 2009, I underwent the lap band procedure. I am absolutely thrilled with the outcome. My weight loss has been gradual but steady – a factor in ensuring success. The support from Dr. Balder AND from his staff has been amazing. Follow-up visits have been enjoyable because it is not only nice to see a continued weight loss but also because it is refreshing to work with a staff of individuals who truly enjoy their work.

There is absolutely NO question in my mind that I made the correct and best decision. I can honestly state that my quality of life has improved – I am happier, healthier and loving life more and more each day. I am very fortunate to have partnered with Dr. Balder and his staff – and I am very thankful to Dr. Balder for his understanding, care, and skills.

Kindest regards, 
MGS
Contact info on file. She would be happy to communicate with anyone about her personal success with Dr. Balder and the Lap Band!


I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone the services of Dr. Donald Balder.

He did lap band surgery on me a year ago, and it was clearly the easiest surgery I have ever had. He was able to do my surgery through five small incisions, all of which healed without any problems. I was up walking the halls the same afternoon, and when discharged the next morning, my husband and I went to look at rental houses. A month later, I moved into our new home.

I can't help but compare my experience to that of my daughter in NY, who had the same surgery about six months before I did. Her incisions were larger, she complained of pain for several months, and if I'm not mistaken, was treated for postop infection. She experienced a lot of nausea and vomiting for several months, and a year and a half after surgery developed ulcers above and below the band and had to have it removed.

I guess the biggest recommendation came from one of Dr. Balder's coworkers. The physician who did rounds on me postoperatively said it all when he made the statement "Dr. Balder sure knows how to play with them tinker toys."

Sincerely,
KM
Contact info on file. She would be happy to communicate with anyone about her personal success with Dr. Balder and the Lap Band!


Dr. Balder is a very knowledgeable & compassionate physician. He is always willing to answer any questions and very informative. I had my LAP BAND® surgery 12-2008 and lost over 100 lbs in 17 months with a goal of 40 more pounds to ideal body weight. His program and bedside manner are both wonderful; I would recommend Dr. Balder to anyone!

I have not had any problems with my lab band experience it was the best decision I have ever made!

NR
Contact info on file. She would be happy to communicate with anyone about her personal success with Dr. Balder and the Lap Band!


I presented to Dr. Balder’s Bariatric Surgery Office in October of 2009, excited with goals of weight loss and improved health through the benefits of weight loss surgery (laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic band; revisional endoscopic surgery; revisional laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery). Dr. Donald Balder and his Surgical Bariatric office and overall program were outstanding! I had many expectations with regard to the changes that would occur in my life and was pleased with Dr. Balder’s compassion, gentle care, and attitude for improvement of my life.

At that time, Dr. Balder had over 13 years of dedicated care to Weight Loss Surgery (OBESE) patients’ like me. He is a pioneer in weight loss surgery as he performed the first laparoscopic weight loss surgery in South Carolina (increasing the safety spectrum for weight loss patients in the South!). He was one of the first surgeons to offer Lap Band® and was the first certified Lap Band Total Care program here in South Carolina, and now the first to offer endoscopic or incision-less weight loss surgery options as well! His close follows up, and ability to assist me and his patients through the journey of successful weight loss surgery was the best. We are very happy to have had him as my Bariatric Surgeon! I can honestly say that none of my life’s positive changes would have been possible without Dr. Balder’s dedication to the quality of his bariatric surgery and the leadership of his bariatric care team.

Sincerely,
CAC
Contact info on file. She would be happy to communicate with anyone about her personal success with Dr. Balder and the Lap Band!

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