Gastric Sleeve Surgery: 7 Things You Need to Know

7 Things You Should Consider before Gastric Sleeve Surgery

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Also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy or sleeve gastrectomy, gastric sleeve surgery allows you to lose weight by reducing the size of your stomach. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that over 15 percent of American adults suffer from obesity. Before you can receive gastric sleeve surgery, the National Institute of Health (NIH) requires you to be more than 100 pounds overweight as a man and more than 80 pounds overweight as a woman. This procedure combines a high weight-loss success rate with little side effects. If you are considering gastric sleeve surgery to overcome obesity, take into consideration seven key factors before undergoing gastric sleeve surgery.

Obesity Health Concerns

If you are suffering from obesity, you are risking severe health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and stroke. Studies show that approximately 112,000 people die every year due to obesity-related conditions. If health issues that evolve from obesity are left untreated, the results may lead to death. When obesity begins to affect your health, your doctor may decide that gastric sleeve surgery is your best treatment option. If your obesity condition worsens, your doctor may need to perform a biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, which is a riskier and more complex form of bariatric surgery.

Surgery Advantages

To reduce your chances of suffering from health issues, the surgeon will remove 70 to 80 percent of your stomach and reconstruct it into a thin tube shape. The reduced size of your stomach will restrict your food intake, and the removal of excess stomach tissue will reduce your Ghrelin hormone production to minimize your hunger. With gastric sleeve surgery comes several advantages, such as a 30 to 60 percent weight loss within a year of the procedure. Because gastric sleeve surgery is less invasive than undergoing gastric bypass surgery, you won’t have to worry about the alteration or disconnection of your intestines, the risk of suffering from “dumping syndrome,” and the insertion of a foreign device in your body. You will also be able to stick to a less-restrictive dietary guide after surgery. If you suffer from extreme obesity, a surgeon can perform gastric sleeve surgery laparoscopically.

Procedure Risks

Because of the in-depth process of this surgery, you may experience bleeding, blood clots, or infections in your legs shortly after the surgery. The surgeon will need to staple your stomach, resulting in a chance of the staples not holding and a leak occurring. As time passes, your ability to absorb certain nutrients may decrease, and strictures may develop in your intestines. You may also have an increased risk of developing abdominal hernias. If you do not follow the post-surgery diet, you may regain weight.

Surgery Preparation

Before you undergo gastric sleeve surgery, your health care provider will perform a physical exam and blood tests to determine your current health. Nutritional counseling will help prepare you for the necessary dietary changes you will need to implement after the procedure. If you smoke, your doctor will require you to stop smoking several weeks beforehand. Smoking will slow down your healing time and may cause other health issues after surgery. You also may need to stop taking ibuprofen, aspirin, and blood-thinning drugs before surgery. After midnight on the eve of your surgery, you should not drink or eat anything.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Recovery Time

Gastric sleeve surgery recovery time may last a few weeks. After your surgery is complete, you will need to stay in the hospital for several days. For the first few days, you will be on a pureed diet. Once you have been released, you will need to practice healthy dietary habits by eating small meals and chewing slowly. You should avoid hard-to-eat, sugary, and fatty foods to stop unpleasant cramping and nausea. Your doctor can help you determine what foods will suit your new dietary lifestyle. Getting on the right supplements, such as iron, a multivitamin, and vitamin B12, may help you obtain the necessary nutrients your body needs. During the first year after surgery, you may need to get blood tests done in order to ensure you are not suffering from anemia, low calcium levels, or high blood glucose.

Plastic Surgery

Even though you may not see a difference in weight loss right away, you will need to consider plastic surgery at some point, especially if you have undergone massive weight loss. Plastic surgery will remove any excess fat and skin and help you obtain a shapelier figure. Common post-bariatric surgeries include body lift procedures and arm-lift surgeries.

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