Gastric Sleeve Surgery: What is a Gastric Sleeve Procedure?

PUBLISHED 28 May 2014

What is the gastric sleeve? How does gastric sleeve surgery work? Find out more about gastric sleeve and if it is the best weight loss option for you at Right Weigh.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: What is a Gastric Sleeve Procedure?

What is a Gastric Sleeve? How Gastric Sleeve Surgery Works

Gastric sleeve surgery (or gastric sleeve resection) is one of the newer types of weight loss surgery. This bariatric surgery procedure is sometimes also referred to as sleeve gastrectomy, vertical sleeve gastrectomy, tube gastrectomy and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. So how does the gastric sleeve work?

Let's start out by discussing the basics of gastric sleeve surgery. During the gastric sleeve procedure, a bariatric surgeon removes about 85 percent of the stomach so that it takes the shape of a tube or sleeve. The operation is performed laparoscopically, meaning that the bariatric surgeon makes small incisions as opposed to one large incision. He or she inserts a viewing tube with a small camera (laparoscope) and other tiny instruments into these small incisions to remove part of the stomach. The tube-shaped stomach that is left is then sealed closed with staples.

A non-reversible procedure, gastric sleeve surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes about one to two hours. Afterward you will probably stay in the hospital for one or two days; recovery from gastric sleeve surgery may last a few weeks. Following surgery, you will need to become re-accustomed to eating solid foods. Normally this starts with two weeks on a liquid-only diet, two weeks of semi-solid, pureed foods and then solids.

What to Expect After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

TAKE-HOME POINTS ON GASTRIC SLEEVE SURGERY

  • 50-80% of excess weight loss in first 6-12 months
  • Non-reversible procedure
  • No adjustments necessary
  • Relatively new surgery

As far as weight loss goes, most people who have gastric sleeve surgery lose 50 to 80 percent of their excess body weight over the first six months to one year after surgery. Studies have shown that after the gastric sleeve procedure people show improvement in other weight related health problems, including but not limited to diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea within one to two years. These health improvements are comparable with those seen after other weight loss surgeries.

As this is a relatively new procedure, limited data is available on the long term weight loss benefits of gastric sleeve surgery (beyond five years after surgery) or overall health improvements. Following recovery, certain lifestyle changes and follow-up care occur; people who have gastric sleeve surgery must:

POST SURGERY TIPS: GASTRIC SLEEVE

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Learn behavior modification techniques.
  • Follow very specific dietary instructions for the rest of their lives, including eating very slowly, consuming only small quantities of food at a time, chewing thoroughly and swallowing food only when it is mashed, and not eating and drinking at the same time.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40. This is the equivalent of being about 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds overweight for women. People with BMIs between 35 and 39 may also be candidates for weight loss surgery if they have obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. A BMI takes height and weight into account to measure body fatness. A BMI of 30 or higher in adults is considered obese.

Gastric Sleeve versus Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Should you get gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery? If your body weight is high enough, you may need to do both weight loss surgery procedures. In cases with those who have very high BMI (60 or higher), the gastric sleeve surgery may be followed by a gastric bypass surgery, but only after the person has lost a significant amount of weight. Called a "staged" approach to weight loss surgery, this makes the second gastric bypass procedure much less risky than it would have been had it been the first and only weight loss procedure. The timing of the second surgery varies according to the degree of weight loss. The second gastric bypass surgery usually occurs within six to 18 months after the initial gastric sleeve surgery.

Gastric sleeve surgery also may be appropriate for people who can't return as often for the follow-up visits required by gastric banding procedures such as Lap Band surgery.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Risks and Complications

Please schedule to attend a seminar and consult with Dr Shina or another bariatric surgeon performing weight loss surgery in your local area. Your bariatric surgeon will fully discuss the risks, benefits, and possible complications of the gastric sleeve procedure.

Is Gastric Sleeve Covered by Insurance? Gastric Sleeve Price

Since gastric sleeve is a relatively new type of bariatric surgery, not all insurance will cover it. Our all-inclusive self pay price for the gastric sleeve procedure is $13,500. When you come for your consult, your doctor will verify your insurance and let you know whether gastric sleeve is an option under your individual health insurance plan.

NOTE: This guide to gastric sleeve surgery is only a representation of the bariatric surgery for basic informational purposes. Dr. Shina and other bariatric surgeons will have more complete graphics, accompanied by a detailed description of the surgery at the seminar. We encourage you to sign up for a detailed seminar at which he will discuss all the risks, benefits, and lifestyle changes required with this surgery.

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