Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Review: Successful Weight Loss with the Gastric Sleeve

The VSG or Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy has become increasing popular in 2010 with the rise in insurance company approval. For those of you who don't know what the Sleeve is...
"The Gastric Sleeve is a restrictive surgical procedure done through laparoscopy in which a percentage of the stomach is taken out. Depending on the surgeon, this resection may be between 60-80% of the stomach." ~Alvarez, 2010, p14

In the book, Successful Weight Loss with the Gastric Sleeve, Dr. Guillermo Alvarez takes the reader on a basic journey of the VSG surgery and educates his audience on many of the questions we may have.

I remember hearing the buzz on the Obesity Help VSG board that the "Mexico surgeon" was writing a book on the Sleeve. I started doing some research on this "Mexico Doctor" who I now know to be Doctor Alvarez, and learned that he is one of the leading surgeons on this continent to be performing the sleeve. A few days later, I messaged Dr. Alvarez and learned he was going to be selling his book at the Houston, TX Obesity Help Conference 2010.

Funny story... I had the privilege and the pleasure of meeting Dr. Alvarez at the Houston, TX, Obesity Help conference this past November. I was all excited to head over to the Endobariatric booth and buy my copy of his book. I walked up and introduced myself to Dr. Alvarez and explained to him I was the one who messaged him the previous week to ask if his book would be for sale at the conference. It seemed he remembered me. He signed the book for me and gave it to me. When I went to pay him he told me it was a gift. I tried again to pay for the book and he refused. For the next 2 hours or so, I was so excited that this awesome surgeon, who everyone raves about gave me his book for FREE!!! Then I found out, Dr Alvarez was gifting his book to everyone at the conference! Oh well... I thought I was special. lol.

The point of that story, other than a small chuckle at my naive expense, is to show you one of the things I respect most about Dr. Alvarez. He could have made a few hundred dollars at that conference. But it's clear to me, that this surgeon really and truly cares about not only his patients, but the bariatric community as a whole. For those of you who know him as "the Mexico Surgeon" take the time to get to know him. He makes himself so accessible to our community via Facebook and Twitter.
"Dr. Guillermo Alvarez is a highly skilled Mexico bariatric surgery practitioner who specializes in numerous forms of laparoscopic bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve surgery and Lap Band in Mexico. Dr. Alvarez started his bariatric surgery specialization early in his general surgery residency. He worked in several hospitals in the United States, France and Mexico during his residency and has subsequently dedicated his life to helping obese patients." ~
The beginning of his book, Successful Weight Loss with the Gastric Sleeve, Alvarez starts off with a brief definition of obesity and the current "epidemic" our country is facing. Next an explanation of each of the popular surgical weight loss procedures that are available. The book also provides a basic image of what each finished surgery looks like. The writer goes on to to explain the Gastric Sleeve in greater detail, which includes providing a recent history of the surgery.

The bulk of this short educational book is information about life as a VSG post-op. Dr. Alvarez covers both pre-op and post-op diet, common risks, complications and complaints as well as vitamins and supplements and tips and guidelines for success.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the "Frequently Asked Questions" section. Dr. Alvarez took the time to answer over 50 frequently asked questions about the sleeve. Not only did he include this vital section in his book, he broke down these questions by Pre-op Questions, Hospital Stay Questions and Post-op Questions. Dr. Alvarez shyed away from nothing! He discussed, resuming sex after surgery, when you can drink again and even the infamous "Is my stomach going to burst!?" myth.

The book ends on a motivational note with several of Dr. Alvarez's sleeve patient testimonials and before and after pics! The book is written in lay language with very minimal medical jargon. All jargon is explained.

I have to say this is a great book! It was an easy and interesting read. I read the book cover to cover in one 70 minute sitting! 

Where to Buy:
This book can only be purchased directly from Endobariatric
Cost: $13.95 plus shipping

What people are saying:
"He [Dr. Alvarez] is a rockstar in the bariatric world, yet he takes the time to answer questions no matter how small." ~Waning Woman, fellow Blogger and sleeve sister

"I received my autographed copy in the mail this weekend. I was the monthly OH newsletter winner last month! I've already finished it. Loved it!!!" Chelle, sleeve sister

I hope you have enjoyed reading this review as much as I have enjoyed writing it!

Dr. Alvarez, thank you for all of your advice, encouragement and overall awesomeness!

Sleeve Pixie

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