About VSG

Sleeve Gastrectomy is a surgical weight loss tool in which the stomach is reduced to about 25% of its original size, by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach, following the major curve. The open edges are then attached together (often with surgical staples, glue and possibly cauterization) to form a sleeve or tube with a banana shape. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach and is performed laparoscopically and is not reversible.


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Friday, April 27, 2012

1 YEAR!!


1 year I've been rocking my sleeve and regained my love and zest of life!  I feel amazing!

My highest weight ever was 245 (around 2004), surgery day I was 223 lbs.

Today I am 132 lbs and living the maintain lifestyle! 

My single regret about my surgery?


If you're thinking about this surgery, do your research, ask questions, send me a message.... I will help any way I can!  This is about YOU, YOUR HEALTH, and the rest of your life.  Which will be longer because you will be healthier without that extra weight on your body!  Do it!!


  1. Happy Surgiversary!! Congrats on all of your accomplishments in the past year =)



  3. I have an appt Monday with a bariatric surgeon, I was considering the lap-band, what made you choose the sleeve?

  4. Hi Lakesha!

    The reason I chose against the lap band was the number of complications and failure rate long term. There was band slipping, erosion and of course issues with the port. As well, just having to constantly fill & unfill your band for me here would have been a HUGE inconvenience and costly!

    If you go onto sites like Vertical Sleeve Talk or Gastric Sleeve you can search and see how many people down the road end up going to the sleeve anyway. Not to mention that with the sleeve, they remove your fundus which is responsible for a large part of the hunger signals and cravings your body sends out to you!

    You have to do what's right for you of course, but I know that for me, it was the right decision to choose the sleeve over the band.

    Good luck and post back if you want with what you chose!

  5. Hi there,

    I followed you to your blog from the gastricsleeve.com website. I've been considering getting it done but I have a question.

    I think I gleaned from that site that you had it done while you were living in Alberta? I am also in AB and my question is, were you able to claim any of the price of the procedure? I'm not sure how to go about doing that.

    Thanks for any info!

  6. Hi jennilee,

    Yes, I am originally from Edmonton and I went to TJ to have my sleeve. When I was on the Weight Wise program I found out that the waiting list was years long and I had no intention of spending a few MORE years obese so I took matters into my own hands :)

    You can write off a portion of the costs through Alberta Health with this form. If you search out of country medical on the Alberta Health site you'll find more details.

    You must get an itemized receipt outlining the costs of anaesthesia, hospital stay etc when you have your surgery as Alberta Health will require you submit it with this form. When I had my surgery it was nearly $5,000 and Alberta Health gave me back around $2K and then I was able to claim the difference on my federal taxes (of which you can claim about 17% of that I think)... So after all was said in done I think I paid somewhere around half of the cost of my surgery out of pocket. FYI- You must claim Alberta Health within 1 year of your surgery.

    If you need any other info let me know! I'm over 2 yrs out now and still feeling amazing! Best decision ever!


    1. Thanks for the info Cheryl! I really appreciate it.

      The ability to claim part of the cost on taxes is really making this tantalizing for me. I never even thought about WLS until a few weeks ago when a friend brought it up she was thinking of doing it but I'm so over being overweight and yo-yo dieting. I've lost great quantities of weight over the years only have it find me again. I'm a little worried about doing it in Mexico but I've known 2 people now personally who've had it done with no complications. Would you recommend the doctor who did yours?

      Even though I'm young (27) and otherwise healthy besides having a BMI of 50 (omg it has gotten really bad again, last year I was at 43) I'm so worried that I'll be the 1 in 10000 cases that has a serious complication, either a leak or something really serious like a pulmonary embolus or even full blown ARDS and be stuck in Mexico.

      Anyway, back to the claiming and forms: did you need a family doctor or any doctor to fill out the form? Do you have to prove anything about how your surgery is a necessity and not elective? Also, did you get receipts in English or did you have to get them translated, and if so, was it expensive?


    2. Hi Jenn!

      Claiming the amount on taxes was definitely tantilizing for me too. I fell into the WLS mindset much as you did. I didn't think it was ever even an option for me as I assumed it was only for the majorly morbidly obese... once I got into weight Wise I realized that it really WAS an option for me. Once I learned of the wait times to get it approved/paid for, I went to the internet. That's where I found a (now) friend who helped me realize this sooner than our province could pay for it for me.

      Honestly, I was worried too about Mexico. I was more worried what my hubby would think... would he agree? Originally... he didn't. But, I took him to an info session with my friend who'd just gone through the process of her surgery with a mexico doc and could offer personal experience... by the time we were done, he was on board. Of course, he wasn't letting me go alone as he wanted to protect me from any potential worries but they turned up to be unfounded and honestly... he very literally sat outside while I was in surgery getting pickled with the owner of the clinic I was at! That he was that comfortable with being in TJ with his wife in surgery says alot to me!

      I can't discount the doc who did my surgery, for me, he did a good job and I had ZERO complications outside an allergic reaction to the medical tape which was not his fault! I know there's always going to be plusses and minus to each doc so its unfair to compare those that do a good job I think.... when there are alot of minus comments, well then that's something to think about!

      What can I tell you to alleviate your worries about complications?

      Nothing honestly... complications happen. They happen here, they happen in the states, they happen in MX. There is no way to predict some of them. If you know going in that you don't clot well and don't tell your doc, well then that's different obviously but the rest of the time is up to the surgeon's experience, your body, fate and how you handle your post-op recovery. It's up to your comfort level on how you react and worry about these possibles... no one can decide that except you and what you're willing to risk for those chances.

      Regarding the forms, I didn't' need any doc at all to fill out mine. I asked for an itemized receipt for insurance/tax purposes from my coordinator and she was able to help provide that to me from my surgeon... in English. I didn't need anything else in order to claim on either AHC or Federal Taxes.

      A caveat.... my experiences a couple of years ago may be different than how it works now with Alberta Health or your chosen surgeon (if you've chose one so far) but that's how it went for me :)

      If you'd like a referral to someone who helps Edmontonians (and beyond) have a sleeve procedure I can direct you to who helped me with mine. Just ask. :)

      Hope this helped, ask more if you need more!

    3. Thanks for the info! I hope things haven't changed in the couple of years and I can still claim this surgery through AB Health and fed taxes! I'm covered by AB Blue Cross through work, I'll see if they can offer up any information.

      I would love a referral to that person! I'm in Red Deer, so I'm pretty close to Edmonton! My email address is jennileePERIODtt at gmailPERIODcom. Obviously, take out the PERIOD and replace with a "." Just trying to spare my inbox/spam folders haha.

      Thanks again! I'm sure I'll have more questions; it's really nice to have someone with firsthand experience. :)

    4. You're welcome, I sent you an email :)