1. What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Gastric sleeve surgery, also called sleeve gastrectomy, is a weight loss surgery performed by removing approximately 80 percent of the stomach. The remaining part of the stomach through this surgery becomes a tube-shaped pouch which seems like a banana. The procedure reduces the size of your stomach and restricts the amount of food you can eat, helping you feel full without eating too much.
Patients who have eligibility for gastric sleeve surgery usually are at least 80 lbs (36 kg) overweight, between 18 and 75 years old and have a history of failed weight loss attempts such as failed diets.
If you follow the post-op diet and other guidelines, turn a deaf ear to surgery-related horror stories and replace bad habits with new healthy habits, then you can expect faster healing time as well as to lose more than 60% of your excess weight with gastric sleeve surgery.
2. Gastric Sleeve Surgery vs. Gastric Bypass
Both gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass reduce hunger and give remarkable weight loss results. However, Gastric bypass patients lose between 60 to 80 percent of body weight in one year whereas gastric sleeve patients lose between 50 to 70 percent of body weight in two years. The average length of gastric bypass surgery is about 2 hours, and the average length of gastric sleeve surgery is around one and a half hour. During gastric bypass, the surgeon makes a small pouch that skips most of your stomach, going straight to the intestine. Gastric sleeve surgery, on the other hand, is best for people who have a BMI (body mass index) of at least 40. It means you should 100 pounds or more over your ideal weight to be a candidate for this surgery. Some people are too heavy for gastric bypass surgery, so gastric sleeve surgery may be a good alternative for them.
Still, it is an undeniable fact that both are fairly safe surgeries as the survival rate in both of the surgeries is more than %95.
Gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass side effects are very similar. Nausea, nutritional deficiency, and feeling sore around incisions are some of the common side effects, which are likely to dissipate within 1 or 2 weeks after the operation is done.
3. Gastric Sleeve Surgery Complications
Gastric sleeve surgery has a survival rate of 99.8%, so it is usually a safe procedure. Sometimes patients can experience bleeding or leakage of fluid from their stomach. Also, the sleeve may expand over time, causing you to regain some of the lost weight.
Other Complications with gastric sleeve surgery are generally very rare but may include the following:
• Indigestion (Dyspepsia, upset stomach)
• Blood clots
• Wound infection
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
• Vitamin and minerals deficiency
4. Gastric Sleeve Surgery Recovery Time
So, how long does it take to recover after gastric sleeve surgery? Recovering fully from gastric sleeve surgery takes 4 to 6 weeks. Hospital stay right after the surgery is 1 to 3 days. Common side effects like nausea, digestive issues, and body changes go away in about 2 weeks.
There is a slow transition in diet from liquids to solid foods. You may use a blender to mash or puree the foods, and you should learn the difference between hunger and appetite and do not overeat because your stomach may stretch in time and stabilize in size.
You can gradually start to do your regular activities and exercise in nearly 2 weeks. The process of losing weight after gastric sleeve surgery is slightly slow but eventually, gives remarkable results.
5. Gastric Sleeve Surgery Cost
As you see in its reviews, the cost of gastric sleeve surgery depends on several conditions. The country and the hospital in which you have the surgery plays a key role in determining the prices. Most insurance agencies cover gastric sleeve surgery cost; however, you should still talk to your health insurance agent about your policy of coverage conditions before you have the surgery. If you want to have gastric sleeve surgery abroad, then transportation, hospitalization, and other additional expenses may increase the cost of your overall treatment.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in April 2019.