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So I have been saving for a year to get my revision from Band to Bypass at BariatricPal MX. I finally have the funds I need so I reach out to the hospital (which I found was hard to do, unless you want to “chat” online) and I am told my BMI is “too high” for a Bypass but I can do Gastric Sleeve....umm, isn’t Gastric Bypass ideal for patients with high BMI? Particularly more so than a sleeve? Idk y’all, I need help! With my history of acid reflux (&regain) with the Lapband, I’m scared to go to the Sleeve. Any advice?

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Hi Steph,

I am showing that you had multiple conversations with Dr. Illan and others at the hospital. Not sure why you’re saying we were hard to reach.

Your BMI is definitely way too high for a bypass and Dr. Illan has repeated this to you multiple times.

The gastric sleeve is safe for your BMI and that’s the only surgery Dr. Illan will perform on you.

We really would love to have you as a patient at BariatricPal Hospital MX but under no circumstances will we put your life at risk.

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And I appreciate that, i do. The reason I say it’s hard to get in contact with anyone is bc when I called, the line kept cutting out every few minutes and when I chatted, the chat would end randomly. It’s just concerning.

But the only reason I question the decision of doing Sleeve rather than Bypass is bc other doctors I’ve spoken to said the amount of weight I need to lose is better done with Gastric Bypass. With the Lapband, I lost 90lbs and gained it all back. I just don’t want that to happen with the Sleeve, and that seems to be a common occurrence.

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3 minutes ago, stephanie_dora291 said:

And I appreciate that, i do. The reason I say it’s hard to get in contact with anyone is bc when I called, the line kept cutting out every few minutes and when I chatted, the chat would end randomly. It’s just concerning.

But the only reason I question the decision of doing Sleeve rather than Bypass is bc other doctors I’ve spoken to said the amount of weight I need to lose is better done with Gastric Bypass. With the Lapband, I lost 90lbs and gained it all back. I just don’t want that to happen with the Sleeve, and that seems to be a common occurrence. 

Regain is a common occurrence with any weight loss surgery. I completely understand your reasons for wanting a bypass. Any surgeon that agrees to do a lap band revision to a bypass on a patient that has a super high BMI, is putting that patient at great risk.

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1 hour ago, Alex Brecher said:

Hi Steph,

I am showing that you had multiple conversations with Dr. Illan and others at the hospital. Not sure why you’re saying we were hard to reach.

Your BMI is definitely way too high for a bypass and Dr. Illan has repeated this to you multiple times.

The gastric sleeve is safe for your BMI and that’s the only surgery Dr. Illan will perform on you.

We really would love to have you as a patient at BariatricPal Hospital MX but under no circumstances will we put your life at risk.

Hey Alex,

Not a lawyer here, but have worked with healthcare orgs in the past to stay in-line with regulations. Fairly certain the above is a HIPAA violation. Might want to look into it and make sure any discussion of patient (or potential patient) info remains confidential and 1-on-1, as tempting as it is to publicly defend your hospital.

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Oh I know, Steph. I don't think he was speaking out of turn, but HIPAA violations are wild. For instance, if you post a yelp review for a hospital saying like, "I am a patient of Dr Smith and he's a jerk and he did XYZ," the office isn't even allowed to acknowledge you're a patient in their response. Even simply acknowledging you're a patient is a HIPAA violation, even if the patient has already self-identified as such. So yeah, just want Alex to know so he doesn't get himself in hot Water or whatever. :)

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Also, best of luck to you in whichever path you end up taking, Stephanie!

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My BMI is/was very high too. It was 57 and my surgeon said I could have either the sleeve or the bypass. I chose the sleeve because I’ve never had GERD and I know the complication rate is slightly less with the sleeve. Good luck with whatever surgery you have!!

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On 11/10/2018 at 11:43, linlew said:





Hey Alex,




Not a lawyer here, but have worked with healthcare orgs in the past to stay in-line with regulations. Fairly certain the above is a HIPAA violation. Might want to look into it and make sure any discussion of patient (or potential patient) info remains confidential and 1-on-1, as tempting as it is to publicly defend your hospital.


I believe Alex is the founder of Bariatric Pal - not an employee of the Doctor. What he said definitely doesn’t violate HIPAA.

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4 hours ago, CyndieRI said:
6 hours ago, linlew said:




Hey Alex,


Not a lawyer here, but have worked with healthcare orgs in the past to stay in-line with regulations. Fairly certain the above is a HIPAA violation. Might want to look into it and make sure any discussion of patient (or potential patient) info remains confidential and 1-on-1, as tempting as it is to publicly defend your hospital.

I believe Alex is the founder of Bariatric Pal - not an employee of the Doctor. What he said definitely doesn’t violate HIPAA.

Hey Cyndie,

Thanks for the reply. I'm really just trying to look out for Alex, he seems like a good dude running the show! I know he's not a doc himself, but I also know that from what I've learned, no staff is allowed to share patient info, as innocuous as it may seem, be they front desk or marketing or anyone. For instance, if I tag myself at St. Luke's hospital and say "such a great experience at St. Luke's!" they're not allowed to share that post. If I leave a review, they cannot reply confirming I'm a patient in any way. If I rant on twitter about a doctor, no one is allowed to respond, as much as they'd like to. The laws are strict, just want him to be careful since he's not a healthcare pro and likely didn't have this info repeated to him a million times. Again, not a lawyer, so I could be a bit off here, but I used to work with hospital marketing teams and doctors specifically on managing their reputations online, and these things came up often.

Apologies if I spoke out of turn, just trying to help out!

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I have read of people who have very high BMIs having a temporary option eg balloon until they lose some weight to make them eligible for surgical options. I assume that the very high BMI and associated health complications put's that person at higher risk when undergoing general anaesthetic and the length of time to do the surgery.

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I am curious about a sleeve being recommended when you have a history of reflux, I have been advised that there is a very high risk of reflux with a sleeve

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Right...that was my question too bc I was told bc of my acid reflux history, going to VSG would cause severe GERDS sometimes even leading to gastritis cancer bc of all the acid in the esophagus. But idk, I’m still doing my own research. I know either way I need to have the band removed even if that means no revision.

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9 minutes ago, elcee said:

I am curious about a sleeve being recommended when you have a history of reflux, I have been advised that there is a very high risk of reflux with a sleeve

Perhaps they are considering a two stage approach. BMI too high for the RNY surgery okay for VSG. Once weight is lower have a revision to RNY.

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