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Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Get The Facts

gastric sleeve surgery

In recent years, gastric sleeve surgery has gained widespread attention among the various types of bariatric procedures that are performed to permanently reduce stomach size. Also known as gastric sleeve resection and vertical sleeve gastrectomy, gastric sleeve surgery helps patients lose weight by diminishing hunger and thus food intake. Unlike other weight loss surgeries, gastric sleeve surgery does not use intestinal rerouting or food malabsorption.

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Top 10 Facts about Gastric Sleeve

  1. Gastric Sleeve Surgery is Permanent

    It is important to note that the gastric sleeve procedure is not reversible. The procedure is done to create a stomach pouch that is smaller than in that seen in other types of weight loss surgery. The surgeon will remove up to 60-80% of the stomach, leaving just a slender tube, or “sleeve” for the new stomach pouch. As a result of this procedure, hunger can be controlled due to the smaller sized stomach. Also, the part of the stomach that is cut out is completely removed from the body, unlike in other procedures that leave it in place.
  2. Gastric Sleeve Surgery can be done laparoscopically

    The benefits of gastric bypass being done laparoscopically is that there will be less incisions.  This means less change for infection and a much quicker recovery time.
  3. Hunger is Reduced- Ghrelin

    During the surgery, the section of stomach that is removed is the location that produces Ghrelin.  Ghrelin is responsible for creating the feeling of being hungry. Therefore, you will produce less of this hormone and you will feel less hungry.
  4. Gastric Sleeve can be a ‘one stage’ or ‘two stage’ surgery

    In the past, bariatric surgeons used the gastric sleeve surgery as the first procedure in a two-stage operation. At a later date, surgeons typically did a second procedure – the gastric bypass or a duodenal switch surgery.
  5. Gastric Sleeve Surgery is a Safer Option

    Separating the surgeries into parts was intended to make the procedure safer for high-risk patients, particularly those with a BMI (body mass index) of 50 or 60, or who had other health problems that ruled out having only a single restrictive and and/or malabsorptive surgery.
  6. No Foreign Objects

    One of the benefits to the gastric sleeve over the lap band (gastric banding procedure) is that no foreign objects or mechanisims are left in your body.  There is no worring about lap band slippage or erosion.
  7. Gastric Sleeve Is Covered by Insurance

    Most major medical insurance providers cover the cost of gastric sleeve as they see the long term benefits for the patient and cost benefits for their insurance company.
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  9. Gastric Sleeve Is no longer considered investigational

    The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, The Obesity Society, and American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, cosponsors of "Clinical practice guidelines for the perioperative nutritional, metabolic, and nonsurgical support of the bariatric surgery patient 2013 update," reclassifed sleeve gastrectomy as a proven method of weight-loss surgery, rather than an experimental one.
  10. Digestive system remains intact

    Now more and more bariatric surgeons are doing the gastric sleeve surgery as an independent operation for patients who have a significant amount of weight to lose.
    Overall, it is a less complicated operation than either gastric bypass or duodenal switch surgery, since the pyloric valve and small intestine are left intact.
  11. Gastric Sleeve Patients Lose 80% of excess weight in 24 month

    Studies have shown that patients who have the stand-alone procedure typically lose from 60-80% of their excess weight in a two-year period. Patients who feel their weight loss has been insufficient may choose to have a second, malabsorptive weight loss procedure, such as the duodenal switch.

Of course, healthy weight loss following bariatric surgery depends on the patient’s willingness to adopt a new lifestyle, which includes changes in eating habits and getting regular exercise. It is essential for patients to avoid high-calorie, high-fat foods and drinks. Most bariatric surgeons advise their patients to eat several small meals throughout the day. In the immediate aftermath of gastric sleeve surgery, a patient will be required to stay on a liquid diet for up to two weeks, in order to let the body heal. For the first couple of years after weight loss surgery, a patient will drastically reduce calorie intake, which is limited to about 600-800 calories daily. When the weight target is reached, this may increase to 1,000-1,200 calories per day. Within about 6 weeks of the procedure, the diet can progress from liquids to solid foods.


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