Everything You Need to Know About Sleeve Gastrectomy

If you have been consistent in your weight loss efforts without significant results, you may wonder if gastric sleeve surgery could be an option. Your weight loss surgeon Glendale, AZ may recommend this procedure if your weight puts you at risk of potentially life-threatening health problems such as heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, and infertility. Below is a brief description of sleeve gastrectomy.

What is sleeve gastrectomy?

Gastric sleeve surgery or gastrectomy is a bariatric surgery that induces weight loss. The procedure involves reducing the size of your stomach by about 80%, leaving a small tube-shaped pouch about the size of a banana. Your surgeon performs the procedure laparoscopically through multiple small incisions in your upper abdomen.

The procedure aims to reduce your stomach size, so you eat less in one sitting and feel fuller faster. Besides restricting the amount of food you eat, this procedure minimizes the hunger hormones your stomach produces. As such, your appetite and cravings decrease; this prevents the impulses that can cause you to regain lost weight.

Who is eligible for sleeve gastrectomy?

To qualify for gastric sleeve surgery, you should have tried but failed to lose significant weight through exercise or diet plans. Your specialist may consider you for surgery if you have a body mass index of 40 or higher (extreme obesity) or your BMI is 35-39.9 but a serious weight-related health problem like type 2 diabetes or severe sleep apnea. You should also be willing to make permanent lifestyle changes; patients usually need to participate in long-term follow-up plans. For this reason, if you are thinking about sleeve gastrectomy, it is best to consult your doctor to establish your eligibility.

What are the risks of sleeve gastrectomy?

All surgeries are associated with some risk of complications, gastric sleeve surgery being no exception. However, complications are rare and occur in less than 1% of the procedures. Examples of common complications associated with gastric sleeve surgery include bleeding, infection, the reaction from anesthesia, and leaking from the staple line.

You can also develop long-term complications after surgery, which are usually easy to treat. Examples include scar tissue formation, causing your stomach to be narrow. This slows down or blocks food from moving in your stomach, causing nausea, vomiting, and difficulties eating. Other long-term complications include nutritional deficiencies, acid reflux, and gallstones.

How do I prepare for gastric sleeve surgery?

If you qualify for sleeve gastrectomy, your specialist will put you on a two-week liquid diet with specific guidelines to follow. The aim is to lose some fat in your abdomen and liver to make the procedure safer. Your doctor might also ask you to start a physical activity program and stop tobacco use in the weeks leading up to your surgery. Before surgery, you should avoid eating or drinking anything for 12 hours before the procedure. That is to ensure you have an empty stomach during the process. During the procedure, food or liquid in your stomach could cause unpleasant side effects.

To learn about what gastric sleeve surgery involves, consult your surgeon at AZ Weight Loss Clinic.

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