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Who Was Your Gastric Sleeve Surgeon



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Hi, My surgeon was Doctor Lyass and I had surgery at Northridge Hospital. Both excellent. I stayed one night but could have stayed a second. I was self paid and the package price included a year of post op labs and doctor visits.

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My surgeon was Nancy G. Marquez, M.D., FACS at Southwest Bariatric in Austin,Texas http://www.southwestbariatric.com/Marquez.asp. I was self-pay my hospital was St David's Medical Center 919 East 32nd Street, Austin,Texas http://www.stdavids.com/home.aspx.

I am so very lucky I had great care from my Doctor and all of her staff and the hospital staff was great.

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Hi, New to Vertical Sleeve Talk. Glad I found this site. On May 16th 2011, I had surgery at Harper Hospital at DMC. (Detroit)

Dr. Michael Wood is the director of the bariatric surgery program at the Harper Bariatric Medicine Institute and he did my surgery.

Today 3 weeks from day of surgery and I have lost 30 lbs.

He's a great surgeon and very experienced caring and thoughtful. He's the only surgeon I would recommend.

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I was a self-pay and my surgeon was Dr. Irani from Bakersfield, CA. My surgery was performed at Mercy SW in Bakersfield as well. Dr. Irani (and his PA Kristen) are AWESOME. i would recommend him to ANYONE in California's central valley.

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Hi, I am from the UK, but as a self pay patient went to the Czech Republic with Cosmetic Bliss, a company based in the UK, that arranges everything for you, and stays with you through the surgery journey. They were excellent. My surgeon was Dr Michal Cierny at Braclav Hospital and Bariatric Centre. Fab from start to finish. The op cost £6490 there, but would have been £10,500 in the UK.

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I am using Dr ganta in austin texas and the procedure will be done at north austin medical center. I am scheduled for june 21st 2011 1 week and counting.

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Thanks for this info. I jsut recentley saw him on The Doctors, and have been trying to find someone closer to me (I am in GA) who does it. There is a doctor in FL, that is probably closest. I am also trying to determine if it is available anywhere for less than around $18,000. That is the cash estimate from Dr Merema in FL. Please let me know if you can help answer this/ THanks!

My surgeons were Dr. Brian Quebbemann and Dr. Justin Braverman at The N.E.W. Program in Newport Beach - Orange County, California. I actually saw Dr. Quebbemann on the Doctor's TV Show. He showed how he does the gastric sleeve through the belly button. You can't see any scars! I contacted them and my insurance required a facility with a Center of Excellence and these surgeons and their facilities had what I was looking for. Their after-care program is great and their staff support is everything a patient can ask for. I HIGHLY recommend The N.E.W. Program.

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I had my surgery at the INT hospital in Tijuana, Mexico. My surgeon was Dr. Jose Rodriguez. He was very good, very caring, and seemed to know exactly what he was doing. I had done a lot of research before setting up my surgery in Mexico, I wanted to be sure that I would get good care. Many of the employees there spoke at least basic English, and there was a translator on staff who checked in with me at least twice a day. I did have some concerns though.

1.) They didn't put a name band on me, and no positive identification was ever done prior to giving me medications. (I am a nurse and this REALLY stuck out. EVERY hospital here in the US puts a name and on their patients on admission!)

2.) No one even asked me if I had any allergies. Luckily I am only allergic to adhesive tape. But if I had an allergy to some kind of medication, I could have easily been given that med and no one would have realised what was wrong.

3.) When my pre-op lab work was drawn, the tech didn't speak english, and did not label my tubes of blood prior to leaving the room. Where I work we draw all our patient's blood work, and the rule is you label the tube with patient's name and birthday, your name, date drawn and time drawn before you leave the patient's room to make sure the tubes are NEVER mixed up with someone else's blood. (Think what a disaster it would be if someone needed blood post op, and the tubes were mixed up and the lab cross matched the blood they were going to administer with someone else's blood, could be a Fatal mistake!)

4.) I started on ice chips the day after surgery, and tea and apple juice later that same day. The next day they didn't serve me anything. I went out to the nurses station to ask why, and if I could get something. Was told by the nursing staff that I wasn't allowed to eat anything. When I stated I had ice chips, juice and tea the day before the nurse said "WHO gave it to you?" I don't know if it was language problem or what, but the surgeon had JUST told me I could have all the liquids I wanted. Minor frustration.

5.) Very minor, but wireless internet was supposed to be available, and it was very erratic, some times working, some times not.

6.) Was supposed to get a copy of the operative report prior to discharge from the hospital, but still have not received it. Coordinator told me she would email to me, but still haven't received it. Maybe will come later today or tomorrow. Again, very minor.

7.) All in all, most of the experience was good. But I have major concerns about numbers 1,2 and 3. Would think twice before I went back there. Luckily I am a nurse, and could watch out for myself, as I knew what was what (and I told my husband not to let them give me any blood or blood products!)

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Thanks for all that info. Wow, most people would have never noticed most of the things you did unless they were a nurse. I would be so nervous I really wouldn't think about # 1 and #3.. maybe #2. I was talking via email to a nurse who works for Dr Alvarez in Mexico- can't recall the city but I know someone who had her sleeve done by him. Anyway, I explained to the nurse that 15 years ago, when I was 35, I had a DVT and PE that put me in the hospital for a week and it was also found at that time that I had Factor V Leiden in my blood- an inherited clotting disorder, basically. I had taken a long plane flight among other risk factors as well. Anyway, that was 15 years ago. So, a hemotologist had me taking Coumadin for the next 10 plus years. I kept going back to see what the latest research said about whether I needed to stay on it since Factor V Leiden is relatively newly discovered I guess. Finally I saw another hemotologist, she tested me again, took my whole situation into account and took me off. I have taken only a daily baby aspirin since. Meanwhile, I have had one surgery since- a total knee replacement in 2008. That surgeon was not concerned about my history and the surgery was definitely needed and a success.

So, after I put all of this in an email to the nurse, she quickly said I was no longer a candidate for any surgery with Dr. Alvarez. I was crushed but confused still. I did have concerns anyway about taking a long plane flight back to GA and maybe that factors in to his decision, no pun intended.. Since then, I have spoken with nurses for two different docs in the US and they both said they didn't believe my history would rule me out, that I would simply need to get special clearances. I am going to an informational seminar tomorrow here in the Atlanta area with one of those doctors- Dennis Smith, MD. I would like to hope I can still do this! We shall see. Thanks for your post!

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This is an awesome thread, it would be even better if there was a way to sort the information by state or country.

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So glad you are taking this so seriously and looking after your health. Being your own informed advocate is so important. I decided against going to Mexico for some of the same reasons, and because I learned about how there are differences in their hospital system should a true emergency arise than U.S. hospitals. I am sure if there are no problems there are many skilled and sensitive surgeons there, but those uncertainties plus being that far from my surgeon the first week or so made me nervous. Plus, if you have problems develop which need a good experienced bariatric surgeon to fix, many U.S. doctors, understandably, will not jump in to take care of you.

Dr. Mohammad Jawad of Ocala/Orlando is my surgeon, and I can't say enough good about him and the hospital (Ocala Regional Medical Center) and his staff. They were extremely careful. He has done thousands of laparoscopic and bariatric surgeries, including over 200 sleeves, and has only one mortality over those thousands. I would trust him to help decide it all. And, I believe a self pay is around $12-13K, hospital included, plus whatever clearances are not covered by insurance. Not sure how long I would stay in the area before going home, but a few days to a week might be a good idea. There are hotels, and suites hotels, which have great hospital rates. I believe Homestead Suites in Ocala has an under $100 a night hospital rate, and it's across the street from one and around 3 miles from ORMC). Have the post-op doc visit and get the staples out while there would be super careful and conservative.

Good luck.

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So glad you are taking this so seriously and looking after your health. Being your own informed advocate is so important. I decided against going to Mexico for some of the same reasons, and because I learned about how there are differences in their hospital system should a true emergency arise than U.S. hospitals. I am sure if there are no problems there are many skilled and sensitive surgeons there, but those uncertainties plus being that far from my surgeon the first week or so made me nervous. Plus, if you have problems develop which need a good experienced bariatric surgeon to fix, many U.S. doctors, understandably, will not jump in to take care of you.

Dr. Mohammad Jawad of Ocala/Orlando is my surgeon, and I can't say enough good about him and the hospital (Ocala Regional Medical Center) and his staff. They were extremely careful. He has done thousands of laparoscopic and bariatric surgeries, including over 200 sleeves, and has only one mortality over those thousands. I would trust him to help decide it all. And, I believe a self pay is around $12-13K, hospital included, plus whatever clearances are not covered by insurance. Not sure how long I would stay in the area before going home, but a few days to a week might be a good idea. There are hotels, and suites hotels, which have great hospital rates. I believe Homestead Suites in Ocala has an under $100 a night hospital rate, and it's across the street from one and around 3 miles from ORMC). Have the post-op doc visit and get the staples out while there would be super careful and conservative.

Good luck.

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Thanks so much! I would consider your surgeon in Ocala. I think someone else here mentioned Ocala also. In Atlanta where I am looking at (Dr Dennis Smith at Advanced Obesity Surgery) charges around $16,000 not including clearances.. I hate that - knowing I could save 2-$4,000 in Fl or TX but I've been told this particular doctor will NOT follow people who had surgeries in other states. I haven't checked on that with every bariatric surgeon in Atl. though. There are only 4-5 in the metro area I think. I'm still investigating and thinking.. Thanks again!

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Thanks so much! I would consider your surgeon in Ocala. I think someone else here mentioned Ocala also. In Atlanta where I am looking at (Dr Dennis Smith at Advanced Obesity Surgery) charges around $16,000 not including clearances.. I hate that - knowing I could save 2-$4,000 in Fl or TX but I've been told this particular doctor will NOT follow people who had surgeries in other states. I haven't checked on that with every bariatric surgeon in Atl. though. There are only 4-5 in the metro area I think. I'm still investigating and thinking.. Thanks again!

Really check out their experience. The surgical techniques -- laparoscopic surgery in general, gastric bypass, and sleeve are critical. The cutting and stapling for the VSG are similar to the first stages of gastric bypass, particularly Roux en Y. Experience with lap-band is different. So, get someone who has done hopefully a couple of hundred VSGs and many, many more bypasses. Ask about leaks and other bad outcomes and make sure you get a report of any statistics on mortality and serious problems post surgery. How long will you stay in the hospital? I stayed one night but probably should have taken Dr. J up on his offer to stay a second. Make sure you are covered for problems for at least 90 days post surgery and followup visits. Good luck!

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