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my dr. has only done 6 sleeves...is that a concern??



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hi everyone. from the list of dr's that my fidelis insurance accepts, i chose the dr who had done the most sleeves, who also happened to be the dr with the most experience in bariatric surgery. that is dr. james mcginty and his number of sleeves is 6. the majority of drs on the list had done 0, and a few drs had done a few sleeves, with the dr i chose having done 6. hes done 100's of rny's and lapbands, but only 6 sleeves. hes had no problems or leaks with the 6 hes done. he also works out of a great well known hospital in ny, st. lukes hospital, with its bariatric team headed by another well known bariatric surgeon dr. julio teixeira. is this something i should be concerned about? obviously the more any dr does a procedure the better he will become at it and the more experiences he'll have with situations that may arise. but my choice comes down to choosing the best dr on my insurance's list or self-pay. obviously i would like my insurance to pay for it. this hospital also has a great pre-op and post-op team in place that really supports their patients well after the surgery. what do you guys think? thanks in advance as i sincerely appreciate all the good people who take the time to contribute here.

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Hi Lou. I read your story and you've really been through the ringer. I know I wouldn't be able to afford this surgery out-of-pocket, but 6 sleeves does not make for a good experience level. I know that a lot of people on this site go far away (Mexico etc...) for their surgeries. I would not want to be so far away from my surgeon. I'm lucky to have an experienced local surgeon who accepts my insurance- a sort of trifecta. It appears that you may need to give up one of those 3 things- insurance coverage, proximity, or experience. That's a really tough call that I don't envy. One thought is this: ask your surgeon who trained him in VSG, and ask if that doctor would be willing to be present in the OR. Also, ask your surgeon detailed questions about his technique, such as: size of bougie, method of closure (my bariatric practice has had zero instances of leaks b/c they over-sew the staple line, and then glue on top of that), etc... Ask if you can talk with other patients (do they run an ongoing support group?). Ask if they do a pre-op liquid diet (a responsible and conservative approach that reduces liver size and density, and evaluates patient ability and commitment to following critical liquid post-op diet). It's nice to have a surgeon with a good long successful track record in a procedure, but on the other hand, he's doesn't sound new at all to bariatric surgery, and VSG is less complicated than bypass. Just don't be afraid to ask ask ask. It's your body and your right. Good luck with this tough decision and hang in there!

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I was my doctors first sleeve the first for the hospital and the weightloss clinic I trusted my doctor it is one's own personal decision on how comfortalble u feel with the surgeon. I have no complications I am melting the pounds off good luck my friend we are here for you this site of fellow sleevers has been a huge support group for my journey.

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I was number 7 for my surgeon. He had done hundreds of bands and bypasses, but only 6 sleeves. I was the first at the local hospital to have a sleeve. I think I got far more attention and better care as a result- since everyone was learning and paying a LOT of attention.

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Research that has been done on the sleeve shows that once the surgeon has performed over 300 sleeves, their complication rate goes way down. I looked for a surgeon who met that criteria, and was self-pay so I did not have to go where insurance required me to go. I went to Mexico and Dr Aceves was my surgeon. He's done over 700 with no leaks to date. I was very pleased with his care.

I work in health care myself, and did a lot of research before choosing a surgeon, so I'd have the very best chance of a good outcome. The information I found on this forum helped me make my decision and I am forever grateful.

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Studies out show that the more sleeve staple lines performed show less complications, and better technique. It's a personal decision, and no one can tell you which way to go on this one. When you talk to your surgeon, ask questions, ask about the bougie size he uses to guide the staples, if he oversews, glues or clips the staple line, ask if he dissects the entire fundus (this is essential to help prevent stretching of the stomach which decreases chances of weight regain), fundus removal also helps get all the ghrelin producing part of the stomach out of the body. Everyone has to learn somehow, and many people that have been their surgeon's first, have done amazingly well.

Just go in well-informed, and confident.

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My doctor had only done maybe 20 sleeves by the time I was scheduled for surgery, but he has done thousands of RNYs and bands. It can be hard to find US bariatric surgeons who are in your area AND covered by your insurance AND have a lot of sleeve experience because the sleeve is just now starting to move into the mainstream now that insurance is starting to cover them.

I was very comfortable with my surgeon's credentials and trusted that his experience with RNY's and bariatric patients in general coupled with him having done at least a few sleeves before me would be enough. He does nothing but weight loss surgeries, the hospital is a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence and he's was very open, knowledgeable and awesome throughout the entire process.

Definitely do your research, but do be aware that even among veteran bariatric surgeons, they all just haven't had the numbers for sleeves that they might have had for RNY and certainly the band.

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Studies out show that the more sleeve staple lines performed show less complications, and better technique. It's a personal decision, and no one can tell you which way to go on this one. When you talk to your surgeon, ask questions, ask about the bougie size he uses to guide the staples, if he oversews, glues or clips the staple line, ask if he dissects the entire fundus (this is essential to help prevent stretching of the stomach which decreases chances of weight regain), fundus removal also helps get all the ghrelin producing part of the stomach out of the body. Everyone has to learn somehow, and many people that have been their surgeon's first, have done amazingly well.

Just go in well-informed, and confident.

I totally agree with Tiff on this one. Going in well informed and confident in your surgeon is over 1/2 the battle. Has he done DS? If so, those "count" as Sleeves too.

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thanks to everyone for their replies and input. my dr has not done any ds (which the first part is the sleeve). so his 6 sleeves done is all hes done. i definitely have had many conversations with him about the procedure and my concerns, and i am confident in his ability as a surgeon or i wouldnt of chosen him. of course i would of wished he had done more sleeves, but out of the insurance list i had to chose from (about 25 drs), only a handful had done sleeves at all. and as i stated, my dr had the most of anyone on that list with 6. i actually didnt chose him because of his 6 sleeves done, but i chose him because he seemed the most qualifed surgeon on the list out of the ones who had done sleeves with 100's of rny's and lapbands. and also he is working out of a well known ny hospital recognized for their excellence in bariatrics. the hospital, st lukes hospital in ny is also a major research center on bariatrics surgery too. i feel like im in good hands, and honestly, i couldnt afford to self pay right now, at least not in the states. so im kind of locked in to trying to find the best option that my insurance will cover. if i had to self pay, i would probably go to mexico to dr aceves as he seems to be very qualified as a surgeon and the price for going out of the u.s. makes a big difference. ill keep hoping for the best and hopefully it will all turn out ok. my first big step is meeting with my dr on june 30 (only 12 days away) and thats my final visit before he submits everything to the insurance. take care everyone and thanks again.

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