Christie's Band


Don't worry, I am not suddenly getting political in my newsletter, but unless you've been living under a very large rock you have probably heard that our governor has gotten bariatric surgery. Before we get started, show of hands….does anyone think it's strange that the governor of NEW JERSEY went to NEW YORK for his surgery?? Anyway, are there any lessons we can learn from our governor's recent surgery, I think there are a few….
Gov Christie2  

There are really two things I want to discuss regarding our Governor's choice to pursue bariatric surgery because I think both are instructive for anyone considering it (and please feel free to forward this to anyone who is considering it).  First is why he had surgery at all and second his choice of procedure (the Lap Band).

So we start with the basic assumption that politician's always tell the  gospel truth!!   OK…perhaps I jest…. but what did Governor Christie say about his reasons for pursuing bariatric surgery.  Essentially, he had reached a milestone in his life (he turned 50 last September) that gave him pause and an opportunity to reflect on his own mortality and sense of priorities.  His youngest child is in grammar school and (like all parents) he wants to see that child graduate high school (and perhaps college) and start his own family and then in Governor Christie's own words "I can go from the father business, into the grandfather business".

In other words, despite all his worldly success and accomplishments (NJ district attorney, NJ Governor and now national political figure) he realized the most important thing in his life is his family.  He also realized the thing most likely to prevent him from seeing his family grow up and start their own families was his health and the biggest threat to his health was his obesity (sound familiar to anyone?). He mentioned in the press conference I watched that he had been struggling with his weight for almost 20 years and had not had any success (and, in fact things were getting worse) and needed to do something else.  So, I applaud the Governor for diagnosing the problem correctly and getting into action.

Now, let's discuss the treatment he chose, the Lap Band.  Since I did not personally treat Governor Christie it would be impossible for me to say what the best treatment would be, that is between him and his physician.  The governor said he spoke to a friend of his (Rex Ryan, coach of the NY Jets) who had the surgery and got his opinion.  This is also very common, it seems almost all patients seek out the opinion of someone who has had the surgery (which is reasonable).  Rex Ryan had a Lap Band and so recommended it to Governor Christie, also the governor says he ruled out the Gastric Bypass as 'too risky' (I'll have more to say about that below).  But just because your friend had a particular procedure does that mean it is best for you??

Again since I did not treat the governor I cannot say what would be best for him but as an experienced bariatric surgeon I can certainly comment about the Lap Band.  In the course of my career I have put in hundreds of Lap Bands (well over 500 at least).  In my experience, of the three procedures (band, sleeve and bypass) the band will tend to have the least amount of weight loss over time and also unfortunately the highest failure rate.  That may not be a  problem if you only need to lose 80 or 90 lbs but if you need to lose 150 or 200 then the band is often not adequate.  That is also not to say that there aren't successful band patients (there are plenty) but what it DOES mean is that to be successful you have to be very clear on what it will take and stick with it.

Dietary compliance and consistent follow up are absolutely key to succeeding with the band.  My concern for the governor is the hectic lifestyle of a public figure (constant meetings, campaigning etc) may make it difficult to follow up with his doctor as consistently as he will need to in order to be successful….but I guess we will see over time.

In the meantime I will make the governor this public offer…should he NOT be successful with the band and perhaps want to look at other bariatric procedures in the future he is more than welcome to come to Garden State Bariatrics (you know…Garden State, as in New Jersey is called the "Garden State"). "Hey Guv…there are some good surgeons right here in your home state, no need to go across the river!!"

Now, what about the Gastric Bypass being "too risky" as the governor stated.  I hear this quite frequently and without getting too technical and including a bunch of links to articles (that will probably make your eyes glaze over) let me just say the gastric bypass is a safe operation!! This has been very well studied and the bypass is as safe (in many cases actually safer) than knee or hip replacement surgery or colon surgery or really any other major surgery.  I suspect that if the governor needed to have a knee or hip replacement he wouldn't think it was 'too risky' he would simply do it.

Bottom line is it sounds like the governor did this surgery for many of reasons that most people do it.  To live a longer (and more importantly healthier) life and to be around for the people he loves and are important to him. If you, or someone you know, is considering this surgery that is exactly the reason to do it.  As far as his choice of procedure I am a little concerned he may have fallen prey to some of the misconceptions that are out there (even someone like the governor of the great state of New Jersey is not immune!) and therefore did a procedure that is "easier" but not actually better….time will ultimately tell if the band was right for him.

I was interviewed by The Star Ledger and CBS News about the Governors surgery. The quotes in the Star Ledger article include some of the ideas/opinions in this newsletter. The link to the Star Ledger article is here:



Last thing is a couple of 'shout outs'.  When the Star Ledger and CBS News called looking for comments about the governors surgery, in addition to speaking with me, they also wanted to speak to some actual patients.  Several patients graciously agreed to be interviewed about their experiences with the band: Eric Wade, Judy Torres and Kimberly Fletcher….thank you all!



Not sure if everyone is aware but our very own Registered Dietician, Marisol Vazquez is a TV star!! She appeared on Telemundo di
scussing Spanish, no less…the link is here:




surgery pics for newsletter




From the Gut... by Glynn Fluitt
Mr. Fluitt is a patient, member of the Century Club and graciously contributes his thoughts and insights as a patient, a champion and an advocate for us all!


100 Sacks of Potatoes????


I've lost over 1200 pounds!!!!!


Take THAT Dr. Bilof!! Uhn uhn uhn go Glynn go Glynn.


The other side of that coin is that I've gained over 1100 pounds. Doesn't sound quite as awe inspiring now, does it?


There's a sense of being "real" about our achievements. Sometimes I hold on to the grandeur of things for my social story telling. It is great to be able to say "I've lost over 100 pounds". The oo's and aw's are rewarding. It is an attention grabber.


I can quickly pull out my key chain and show the Century Club pendant that GSBWC presented to me after having lost 107 pounds. I'm a member of a special group, and I'm touted as such wherever I come across other WLS patients or candidates.


Flip the coin, I've put some weight back on. Over the 4+years since my surgery I have gone down from 324 to 217 and am now hovering between 232 and 236. So, at worst I've lost 88 pounds. STILL, an amazing turn in my life — but not Century Club worthy.


What is my point to all this? The point is that I took the Century Club pendant OFF of my key ring. It sits on my dresser where I get ready for work each morning. Just steps away from the scale where I weigh myself. I remind myself that I need to EARN the pendant back!


That's what I'm working on. The winter is gone (FINALLY!!!) and the bike is out. I bought a tennis practice ball that is on a long elastic string and I'm playing "tennis" in my driveway. I'm doing the Chase Corporate Challenge in June. All great things. All activities to help me be healthy

— which should be a pursuit of Everyone (morbidly obese or not)!


But I'm not a member of the Century Club. Yet.


Follow me @BariatricDude.


And keep it REAL!ReferralImageBB




Recently I was online looking for a tasty burger recipe and came across this vegetarian version.  I altered the recipe to make it easier to prepare during the week and I have to say I am hooked!  Enjoy!


Black Bean Burger

Makes 5 Burgers


    2 Tablespoons of olive oil
    1/2 of small onion, diced
    1/8 tsp of crushed red pepper
    1 garlic cloved, diced
    1 can of black beans, drained
    1/2 cup cooked barley*
    1 egg, slightly beaten
    1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
    1/8 cup chopped fresh basil
    1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    1/4 teaspoon of salt
    Fresh ground pepper to taste

*Barley, once cooked, is a soft grain that takes about 30 minutes to prepare.  Bring 1 cup of low sodium broth (chicken, beef or vegetable) to a boil.  Add 1/2 cup of dry barley, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 – 35 minutes.  1/2 cup dry barley will yield about 1 cup cooked.   



    In a small skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
    Add the diced onion and cook over moderate heat until softened.
    Add the crushed red pepper and garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes.
    In a food processor, pulse all but 1/2 cup of the beans to a chunky puree; transfer to a bowl.
     Fold in the remaining 1/2 cup of beans, the barley, the onion mixture, eggs, Panko bread crumbs, basil, cilantro, pepper, and salt.
     Form the mixture into 5 patties. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the remaining oil.
     Add the burgers and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned and heated through, about 6 minutes.
     Serve with your favorite salad.  Yields 5 burgers.  


Click Here for More Recipes to Enjoy!     

Upcoming Free Informational Seminars

The next Free Informational seminar  at our Millburn office is on Wednesday May 15th 2013 starting at 6:30pm.  Dr.Yurcisin leads the discussion on weight loss, your surgical options and if 'Bariatric Surgery is Right for Me? Please be sure to invite friends to attend – promise it makes a difference

to Pay it Forward!  Give us a call to register or click here : Sharon's Email to Reserve your Seats! to reserve your seats! If you cannot make the May 15th seminar, be sure to check out future dates on our website: Click Here to see Upcoming Dates!

In This Issue Governor ChrisiteFrom the GutMarisol's Nutritional CornerEnd Quotes

This Designation  is the 1st line of Defense for All Patients when looking for a Certified Center of Excellence Bariatric Surgeon.  GSBWC has proudly been Certified since we began our practice.

CLICK HERE to Share Your GSBWC Journey on Obesity Help!!!!
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GSBWC Office Happenings

May 2013 Team Happenings!

May is all for Sharon – Happy Birthday to Sharon – May 16th!  Sharon is taking a real vacation this year – to her Favorite Place – The House where Mickey Mouse lives – DisneyWorld – We Know She will have a Blast!!
people in arms


1% club  

Help your friends, family and colleagues join the 1% club and permanently cancel their membership in the 99% club.


" Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have"   — Margaret Mead   


Pay It Forward 2013
We will adding a new section to our website:
BIZ BUZZ?? (Please Help Us with a Great Name for the New Section on our website dedicated JUST to Patient's business):
 allowing patient's to list their businesses on our site! We know so many up to good things, creating businesses and taking on their dreams and want to give you an opportunity to let others know what you are up to in life!
If you are interested in your business being featured on our website, please email Laurie at: to get started.


Upcoming Dates and Locations of Support Group in Your Area:

Next Support Group at ACC in Livingston, NJ is June 12th, 2013 from 6pm to 7:30pm.  Support Group attendance and participation is an important part of keeping and maintaining your health and weight goals!

Thanks For Trusting Us with Your Health!

End Quotes:  

Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.— H. L. Hunt

  Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not. — Mark Twain



 Yours in Good Health,  
  Michael Bilof, MD
 Basil Yurcisin, MD

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