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Gastric Sleeve - 6 Common Questions You Need to Know

Gastric sleeve surgery, also called sleeve gastrectomy, is a weight loss surgery that removes about %80 of the stomach and restricts the amount of food that can be eaten. Like other weight loss surgeries such as gastric bypass, gastric lap band, and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy also promotes weight loss by changing and reducing hormonal hunger signals between the stomach and brain. The gastric sleeve, also known as a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is recently the most popular bariatric procedure, with over half of patients choosing and are being chosen this procedure for their treatment. In this article, we will present the most commonly asked 6 questions and their answers about gastric sleeve surgery for you to feel more familiar with this popular procedure.

READ: 6 Things You Should Know About Gastric Sleeve Surgery

What Is A Gastric Sleeve?

Gastric sleeve surgery is a type of weight loss surgery that involves the removal of a large part of your stomach. After the surgery, patients feel full after eating even a very small amount of food. They may also feel less hungry because a smaller stomach will produce lower levels of a hormone called ghrelin, which causes hunger.

How Does Gastric Sleeve Work?

Gastric sleeve procedure works by a sleeve-shaped tube created from a small part of the stomach. During the gastric sleeve surgery, your surgeon removes most of your stomach. The remaining part of your stomach is joined together using surgical staples. A long tube or banana-shaped stomach has been created when this process completes, and the small cuts(incisions) used are stitched closed. The entire surgery takes about 60 to 90 minutes.
Nutrients and vitamins are absorbed into the body sufficiently while calorie intake is minimal. As a result, patients experience weight loss and improvement both in metabolism and overall health and well-being.

Is Gastric Sleeve Safe?

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy carries some risks and complications like all surgeries do. These risks may vary depending on age, weight and the severity of the patient’s condition. Apart from the risks for anesthesia and surgery in general such as allergic reactions, blood clots, infections or breathing problems, there are risks for gastric sleeve surgery itself such as gastritis, heartburn, stomach ulcers, injuries, leaking, poor nutrition, scarring inside your belly and vomiting from eating more than your new stomach can hold.  Gastric sleeve recovery time is shorter than other stomach surgeries. A diet with high-protein and nutrient-dense soft foods such as low-fat deli meat, soft fish, low-fat cheese and eggs support speed recovery.

Bariatric procedures such as sleeve gastrectomy are considered relatively safe operations for obese patients seeking permanent treatment for excess weight and its detrimental side effects. Still, it is important to discuss these with a doctor and a bariatric and metabolic surgeon.

READ: 5 Celebrities Who Had Weight Loss Surgery

Do I Qualify for Gastric Sleeve?

The easiest and most certain way to determine if you are a good candidate for gastric sleeve surgery is to visit an experienced bariatric surgeon because each patient and case are different. However, if you want to learn if you qualify for gastric sleeve surgery, you may start by calculating your BMI (Body Mass Index). BMI is a measurement used to assess weight. If your BMI number is 40 or higher, you qualify for gastric sleeve surgery based on your weight. While it varies from patient to patient, there are other general rules which apply to most of the bariatric surgery patients:

• You don’t drink alcohol excessively.
• You are at least 18 years old.
• You have had a high Body Mass for nearly 5 years.
• You are ready to follow your bariatric surgeon’s instructions about gastric sleeve surgery diet and exercise.

Is Gastric Sleeve Worth It?

Gastric sleeve before and after results and reviews are remarkable and the surgery totally worth it if the patient is dedicated to the surgery and its rules about a post and pre-op diet and exercises. After the surgery, you'll start eating only liquid foods. Over the next few weeks, you will change your diet to pureed food, then finally to solid food. Your meals will be much smaller than they are before the surgery. You will need to make significant lifestyle changes include eating and exercise habits after your surgery to lose more weight and keep it.

Here are some important facts that prove gastric sleeve are worth it:

• Gastric sleeve results are remarkable, and the surgery provides weight loss (an average of 66% of excess body weight)
• Short hospital stays and quicker recovery thanks to the minimal surgical cut
• Permanent
• Limits the amount of food that can be consumed
• Provides significant changes to hormones and digestive organs, resulting in reducing hunger and having a more active metabolism.
• Losing enough weight after gastric sleeve surgery can improve many weight-related medical conditions you have. These conditions include asthma, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and gastroesophageal disease (GERD).

READ: The Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

How Much Does Gastric Sleeve Cost?

Type of bariatric surgery you’ve chosen to undergo will be one of the most important determinants for the cost. For example, in the USA, a gastric sleeve surgery may cost of around $15,000, while a more invasive procedure, such as gastric bypass will often cost something more which is around $21,000.

The cost of the gastric sleeve in itself still varies from patient to patient depending on the patient’s weight, health insurance, surgeon, hospital and the country in which the surgery is performed.

You may ask “Is gastric sleeve covered by insurance?”. Yes, gastric sleeve cost is generally covered by most health insurance agencies. However, some health insurances cover and some do not. You need to talk to your insurance agency or company about the coverage of your policy and the possible cost you should pay if any.

Here are some average gastric sleeve surgery costs abroad:

Gastric sleeve cost in Turkey: €6,600
Gastric sleeve cost in Poland: €6,100
Gastric sleeve cost in India: €6,000
Gastric sleeve cost in Australia: €12,000
Gastric sleeve cost in Canada: €16,000
Gastric sleeve cost in the UK: €14,000

This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in 2023.


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