Gastric Sleeve Surgery has become the most popular weight loss procedure in the world. This is because it causes rapid and significant weight loss. In addition, when people see how successful their friends and family members have been with their sleeves, they often want to achieve the same result. Thus it’s the preferred method for most people who want to reduce their weight permanently.
Gastric sleeve surgery, or also called laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a surgical procedure for weight loss. Gastric sleeve procedures are usually carried out laparoscopically, which means few small instruments are inserted into several tiny incisions in the upper part of the abdomen.
In this procedure, a portion (approximately 80%) of the stomach is removed to make it smaller, resulting in a tube-shaped stomach about the size and shape of a banana. By limiting the size of your stomach, gastric sleeve restricts the amount of food that you’re able to consume. The procedure also causes hormone changes that can accelerate the weight loss process. A similar hormonal change can also alleviate being overweight, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.
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Sleeve gastrectomy helps you lose excess weight and decreases your chances of developing potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems, such as:
Evidence indicates that type 2 diabetes should be easier to control if you have it.
In comparison with other weight loss surgery, Gastric Sleeve surgery has several advantages. Among them are:
Even though your stomach capacity is reduced, you’ll still be able to enjoy most foods, just in small quantities. Also, as the upper part of the stomach, which is responsible for manufacturing the hormone that stimulates hunger (ghrelin), is removed, your appetite will be reduced. The chance of an ulcer is reduced as there is less acid production in the stomach.
Due to the intact intestines, severe conditions such as intestinal obstruction (blockage), anemia, osteoporosis, and protein deficiency are less likely to occur. Another advantage of this method is that foreign bodies or adjustments that could cause obstruction, slippage, or erosion are not present. If desired, it can be converted to a gastric bypass.
Some of the positive effects of the gastric sleeve are mentioned below:
One of the drawbacks of Sleeve Gastrectomy is the likelihood of long period vitamin deficiencies, but it is possible to be avoided through an improved diet. In addition, it has been shown that people can survive without part of their stomach, based on the results of these operations.
Since the lower part of the stomach (the Antrum) is maintained during the Gastric Sleeve procedure, vitamin B12 absorption remains unchanged and iron, calcium, and folate levels.
In most cases, sleeve gastrectomy is only recommended after trying to lose weight through improved diet and exercise. Whether you are a suitable candidate for this surgery or not, you must first know your body mass.
By measuring weight compared to height, the Body Mass Index (BMI) determines whether a person is healthy. If an individual’s weight is outside the normal range, they may be at greater risk for obesity-related illnesses.
It is also crucial to understand that a person’s BMI is not always the best way to estimate their body mass. For example, bodybuilders, older adults, and children may not fall within the same BMI ranges as other individuals. Below is a list of specific BMI ranges:
You may be considered an appropriate candidate for sleeve gastrectomy surgery if you own a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or over (extreme obesity). Or if your BMI number varies from 35 to 39.9 (obesity), and you encounter weight-related health issues, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or severe sleep apnea. In several cases, you may qualify for certain types of weight-loss surgery if your BMI is 30 to 35 and you have serious weight-related health problems.
It is essential to know there is a need to change your lifestyle to a healthier one. Your doctor may set up long-term follow-up plans for you that include monitoring the quality of your nutrition, lifestyle, and behavior, in addition to monitoring your health.
There are few preparatory steps before this surgery to make sure that this method is suitable for you. First, all the patients will be examined for a blood test to determine their blood group, a full blood count, level of cholesterol, vitamins and minerals base level, inspect the function of thyroid, kidneys, and liver, and a screening test for diabetes.
Based on the medical history of some patients, it may be necessary to perform an electrocardiogram(ECG) or/and chest radiography(X-ray). In addition, in some cases, your doctor may find it necessary for you to get examined by other specialists, such as a cardiac doctor, a bariatric physician, a metabolic specialist, or a respiratory specialist.
Preparation for the procedure may include losing weight, beginning exercises, or changing a patient’s diet. The specific preoperative instructions will be discussed with you by your doctor. However, in general, patients will have to do the following:
Our staff will contact you before your operation to inform you about everything you need to know. In general, only a few things are required. Among them are:
The Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure involves three significant steps. The first step is to make a few tiny incisions about the size of a keyhole that will be made on the upper abdominal wall to perform the procedure. For minimal scarring, one of these incisions may also be made at the umbilicus.
Through these incisions, specialized surgical tools and a tiny camera will be inserted into the abdomen; in this way, the surgeon can view the inside of the belly through a monitor connected to the small camera. In the next step, the outer section of the stomach is removed to reduce its size by 80 percent.
The final step is to close the sides of the stomach sleeve (tube) by using a specialized stapling tool that will not be removed and remains inside the patient’s abdomen. These incisions are strategically positioned to make sure there are no visible scars. To close skin wounds, hidden absorbable sutures are used. These sutures do not have to be removed afterward.
It takes less than two hours for the procedure itself. Still, the pre-op checkups, post-op recovery, and observation will require an overnight stay in the hospital.
The staple used for this surgery is completely safe and used in other common procedures such as lung and colon operations. In addition, these staples are very small and do not even activate the airport and security metal detectors, so you do not need to worry.
The pain that patients may experience after the surgery is significantly reduced, as the operation is performed using the Laparoscopic surgery method. It is not uncommon for patients to experience chest tightness immediately after surgery. In addition, some patients reported a stitch feeling in the upper abdominal area (especially on the left side, up under the rib cage) or minor pain in the left shoulder tip. Only a few days usually suffice after the operation for these sensations to disappear.
During your hospital stay and following discharge, you will be offered various medications to make sure you are not in pain. Still, you usually do not need more than panadol or similar medicines for pain relief when you return home. However, this is not a limiting condition, and you will be able to sit up and walk with ease.
A large majority of patients feel well enough to be discharged within 24-48 hours following their procedure. Unfortunately, it means spending an overnight or two in the hospital. It is important to understand that the healing rate in each patient varies based on their medical history and the surgery complexity.
Once you feel ready, you will walk around the ward the day of your procedure. Blood clots and chest infections are prevented this way. In the first few days following the surgery, patients with a Gastric Sleeve recover quickly.
By two weeks, most feel that they have fully recovered and are ready to return to work. Intense exercises such as gym, running, and swimming should be avoided at least for a month; but taking part in a light exercise like walking can be resumed right away. It should be noted that pregnancy within 18 months is not recommended.
It is crucial that the patients eat healthy foods, regularly engage in gentle physical activities, and maintain a healthy lifestyle as part of the weight loss and recovery process. And you can only consume food in small portions, about a few ounces in each meal.
Following the surgery, you can only eat a liquid diet for the first three weeks. After that, pureed foods are also allowed for an additional three weeks. From this point, you can start eating soft foods, and around two months after surgery, patients can put normal foods in their diet.
Patients should avoid overeating as the stomach tissue tends to stretch, which will affect the efficiency of their weight-loss program. Maintaining a sufficient intake of fiber is also important. It is recommended to take soluble fiber supplements.