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Memorial Applauds Medicare’s Decision To Cover The Laparoscopic Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

July 03, 2012

Jacksonville, FL - The Centers for Medicare Services, CMS, is now granting coverage for the Laparoscopic Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure for Medicare beneficiaries.  With the rise of obesity reaching epidemic proportions and the directly associated co-morbidities it is valuable to allow another surgical option to patients in the treatment of morbid obesity. 

The Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy is proving to be a very effective and safe option with excellent results. Studies show 60-70% early excess weight loss and maintenance of excellent weight loss at intermediate term follow-up. These results are comparable to the traditionally accepted options of Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass (bypass) and Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (band).  

The bypass is generally thought of as the traditional bariatric procedure, but has higher early complication rates, and potentially higher malnutrition rates compared to the sleeve.  The band is considered to be extremely safe and effective, but some feel it is associated with slower rates of weight loss, a greater overall risk of failure, especially in less mobile or higher weight patients.  The “Sleeve” provides the benefits of restriction without the risks of malnutrition.  By covering this procedure it allows patients that perceive the band as “not enough” and the bypass as “too radical” another opportunity to find the “right fit” for bariatric success instead of choosing to do nothing.

If you have questions about any bariatric surgical options contact the Memorial Bariatric Surgery Center at 399-6360 for further information.