The gastric sleeve procedure is a surgical operation designed to help people lose weight. Several small laparoscopic incisions are made on the stomach to start the surgery. The doctor then inserts small surgical instruments through these incisions. A large portion of the stomach is removed during the surgery. The remaining portion of the stomach is then stapled to create a narrow sleeve. This sleeve will be roughly 20 percent of the size of your previous stomach. This essentially reduces the amount of food and fluid that can be comfortably put in the stomach, which makes it easier to eat less food on a daily basis. The gastric sleeve surgery generally takes between one to two hours to complete. You will be asleep the entire time. You will have to spend several days in the hospital before you are allowed to safely return home.
Why Is the Surgery Performed?
The gastric sleeve surgery is only performed on excessively overweight patients that have been unable to lose weight through traditional dieting and exercise. You must be at least 100 pounds overweight to qualify for this procedure. This excessive weight generally disqualifies gastric sleeve patients from other weight loss procedures. The goal of the surgery is to reduce the risk of life-threatening health problems associated with severe obesity. A few of the potential health problems that can be reduced include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and obstructive sleep apnea. This is not a cure-all procedure, so you must be willing to live a healthier lifestyle before getting the gastric sleeve surgery.
While there are risks associated with every surgical procedure, the gastric sleeve is very safe. There is an extremely rare chance that you may experience bleeding incisions or an infection shortly after the surgery. You will be monitored throughout the recovery process to ensure any issues are caught and treated immediately. The biggest risks associated with this procedure come from not following the recovery guidelines provided by the doctor. You must stick to a liquid diet for the first week of recovery. You can then transition to pureed food for three weeks. After a month of recovery, you can finally start eating whole foods again. Since you will be eating less food, you need to take multivitamins and supplements every day. Failing to follow these instructions can lead to an irritated stomach and malnutrition.
Since this surgery will reduce the size of your stomach by nearly 80 percent, you can expect to quickly lose some weight. The exact amount of weight loss will be determined by your commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. Most patients are able to lose 60 percent of their excess weight within 18 months of the surgery. You can lose even more weight if you eat healthy foods and exercise on a regular basis. If you continue to eat a bad diet after the surgery, then you will struggle to hit your weight loss goals. Losing weight will vastly improve your overall health. You should also notice that it is much easier to perform normal daily tasks after losing weight with the gastric sleeve surgery.