What's a "Sleeve"?



 First of all, let me say "Go Jets!"…

I am actually writing this before the game, so if you are reading this after the game or some time this week, and the Jets lost we can at least fondly remember a great season when they made it to the championship game.  If the Jets won then…."GO JETS!"


Personally I am really more of a Giants fan then a Jets fan, but it's sort of fun to see the local teams do well.  If you really don't know what I am talking about, then you probably aren't a football fan anyway…so lets move on to today's topic.




I am addressing this email to people who think there are really only two options for weight loss surgery, the band and the bypass.  There is now actually a third option called a "sleeve".  If you are reading this and you know someone who wouldn't consider bariatric surgery because they didn't want to do the bypass or the band please feel free to forward this email to them and let them know there is now a third option.


The other group of people who might be very interested in this new option are patients who did a band (because they were nervous about doing a gastric bypass) several years ago and have not had success.  It is technically possible to convert a band to a sleeve and so far the patients I have done this for have had good success.  If you personally are in one of these groups, or you know someone who is, this email is for you.  Again feel free to forward it to anyone you think might be interested.


There has been an increasing amount of talk about the sleeve in the "blogosphere" so I thought it was time for me to discuss it in my newsletter.  I have not previously discussed the sleeve because many insurances were not covering it and we didn't want to get patients excited about a procedure that wasn't being covered by insurance.  As of this writing (1/23/11) basically all the major insurance companies cover it…the one exception is Medicare.  If you have any type of Medicare plan this procedure is not covered by your insurance.  That will hopefully change in the future and when it does I will send out a newsletter to let everyone know.


Obviously I can't cover every detail of the procedure in a short newsletter like this, but I will attempt to give enough highlights so that if you think it is something you (or someone you know) might be interested in you can come in for an appointment or come to one of our free informational seminars and get more details.  So with all that background…what exactly is a sleeve??


The formal name of the operation is a "Sleeve Gastrectomy" and essentially what we do is remove a portion of the stomach (so the stomach is reduced in size from 32 ounces to about 4 or 5 ounces..about the size of a banana).  The operation has some characteristics of the band, for instance there is a restriction in how much food a patient can eat, there is no affect on the absorption of nutrients (food is absorbed the same before and after the surgery) and patients do not get "dumping syndrome" with the sleeve.  You can look on my website www.gsbwc.com to get a better idea of what dumping syndrome is.  So to summarize it is like a band in the sense that is restrictive, it has normal absorption of nutrients and no dumping syndrome.


The sleeve also has some characteristics of a bypass, first as I mentioned already it restricts the amount of food a patient can eat (all bariatric procedures do this), but also like a bypass it shuts down your appetite for a significant period of time (as long as a year) after the surgery. I call this dramatically decreased appetite "the honeymoon".   It is always easier to lose weight when you don't feel hungry..one of the main reasons diets fail is after you've been on them awhile your appetite increases and makes it hard to stay on the diet.  The sleeve and the bypass both have this very dramatic decrease of appetite which in  my opinion is one of the things that makes them successful (the band does not have this affect, by the way).  The sleeve is also a permanent operation (similar to a bypass), meaning once it is done it cannot be undone.  So to summarize it is similar to a bypass in the sense that it is restricts the amount of food you can eat, it is permanent and dramatically decreases your appetite for a period of time after the surgery.


I know this email has been a little more technical than usual, but I thought it was important to give you a sense of the procedure.  This way you would know if the sleeve is something you might be interested in.  The 'take home message' is that there is now another option available for weight loss surgery which combines some of the features of both the band and the bypass, but tends to be more successful than the band.


For those patients who were on the fence and didn't think either the bypass or band was right for them (or have done a band in the past and not been successful), this maybe a good alternative.  Again feel free to forward to anyone you think would be interested.




You can always check our website for the latest informational seminars, the next one will be on Wednesday, February 2nd starting at 6:30 pm and like always it is free and open to anyone.  Please register by calling the office or emailing us at laf@gsbwc.com





Support Groups will meet February 2, 9 and 16th!  Our guest speakers will Dr. Debra Gill and Dr. Gary Goldberg, Licensed Psychologists, who will discussing issues associated with long-term weight management and how to stay strong emotionally throughout the year.  Hope you can join this lively discussion and learn something at the same time.


In March, we will be combining all the support groups and meet on March 9th.  Our guest speaker will be Dr. Lalla, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon,   who will be presenting Plastic Surgery Options and Body Contouring after Weight Loss Surgery.


All support groups will take place at the Saint Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center from 6:00 – 7:30.  The address is 200 South Orange Avenue, Livingston.  Any questions please call 973-322-7433.




Thanks for reading and trusting me with your healthcare

Michael Bilof


Contact Information

web site address: https://www.gsbwc.com
phone: (973) 218-1990

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