Gastric Sleeve Surgery (Sleeve Gastrectomy): Things You Need to Know
Gastric sleeve surgery is performed to help you with weight loss. The surgery reduces the size of your stomach, which limits the amount of food you can eat.
What Happens During the Surgery?
During the gastric sleeve surgery, your surgeon will remove a large portion of your stomach and use a stapling device to create a small stomach “sleeve”. It can be a single weight loss procedure or the first step before other surgical weight loss procedures such as gastric bypass.
What Is Involved in a Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
The gastric sleeve procedure is performed laparoscopically under general anesthesia. Your surgeon can view the inside of your stomach using a laparoscope. They will make 2 to 5 small incisions in your stomach and pass the instruments required to perform the surgery through these incisions. Your surgeon will remove the large portion of your stomach and join the remaining portions using surgical staples.
Who Is the Right Candidate for the Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Gastric sleeve surgery may be the best option for patients who are interested in limiting their food intake without interfering with the absorption of food. Your surgeon will advise whether you are the right candidate for the surgery.
Are You Eligible for a Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Doctors usually recommend a gastric sleeve surgery if you:
- Have difficulty losing or maintaining weight by dieting or making lifestyle changes
- Have serious health problems resulting from obesity
- Have a body mass index of 40 or above.
- Are extremely obese and have a body mass index of 60 or above
What Are the Benefits of the Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Gastric sleeve surgery provides substantial benefits to patients, which include:
- The surgery will greatly reduce your hunger and calorie intake by decreasing the size of your stomach
- It does not affect the absorption of foods, so you won’t experience nutritional deficiencies
- It allows food to stay in your stomach for a while, making you feel full
- You will be more confident, finding it easier to move around while performing routine activities
- Reduced risk of developing high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
What Are the Complications of the Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Most patients do not develop complications after surgery, but some may experience complications depending on their health condition. The gastric sleeve complications include:
- A leak from the staple line is possible but rare
- You may have nausea, constipation or vomiting right after the surgery
- Stomach ulcers or heartburn
Before Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- You should be physically and mentally prepared for the surgery and commit to making the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes going forward
- Inform your surgeon about the medications you are taking, as they may ask you to stop taking certain medications before surgery
- Ask your surgeon about the foods you can eat after the surgery
- Be ready with the medications that are required after the surgery
After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- You should consume liquid foods for a few days after the surgery
- Do not lift heavy weights for a few weeks
- When you are ready to take solid foods, make sure to eat a small amount of food