People who have tried everything to lose weight to no avail often turn to bariatric surgery to drop the unwanted pounds. Out of all the bariatric procedures currently available, gastric sleeve surgery is by far the most popular bariatric procedure around the world. Let’s take a look at this revolutionary treatment for obesity to discover why so many are choosing to go under the knife and come out the other end slimmer, happier, and healthier.
What Makes the Gastric Sleeve Different from Other Surgical Procedures?
When you visit a bariatric surgeon’s office to discuss weight loss surgery, you will be examined to determine which procedure is right for you. There are several options a bariatric surgeon can take when confronting a patient’s obesity problem. There is the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, laparoscopic gastric banding (Lap-Band), and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy or gastric sleeve surgery. Other surgeries also exist, such as the duodenal switch, but those three are the basic options that most people will undergo in order to achieve a healthier body mass index (BMI).
Read our article: What Does Body Mass Index Mean and How is it Calculated?
All three surgeries restrict what you can eat by affecting the stomach. The Lap-Band, for example, involves placing a prosthetic device around the stomach to reduce the capacity for food. This limits how much you can eat. The Lap-Band is reversible while the other surgeries are not.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass involves the removal of up to 80% of your stomach. The remaining stomach tissue is converted into a banana-shaped pouch. That pouch is then rerouted to a portion of your small intestine. This restricts your food and limits the number of calories your body is able to absorb.
Gastric sleeve surgery also involves the removal of a majority of your stomach tissue. That tissue is converted into a “sleeve”. As you can see, the gastric sleeve involves the first portion of gastric bypass surgery without rerouting the digestive system. Bariatric surgeons found that conducting the first part of the surgery was enough to help patients lose a significant amount of excess weight, and thus the gastric sleeve became world-famous.
Watch our video: Sleeve Gastrectomy Animation
Take a look at this table by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery to see how the gastric sleeve outperforms all other weight loss surgery options.
Gastric sleeve surgery is less risky than gastric bypass surgery by some accounts, and yet patients can still drop the excess weight.
In addition to restricting how much you can eat, the removal of the stomach tissue also affects the hunger hormone ghrelin in the body. Other hormones are affected too, such as those responsible for fullness and the regulation of blood sugar. The result is that you feel less hungry, fuller faster, and your blood sugar stays even keel following the gastric sleeve procedure. This makes it much easier to lose weight than it was before surgery, which is why so many patients around the world love this procedure.
Read our article: How Weight Loss Surgery Affects Hunger & Fullness
What Are Some Other Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
The ability to lose weight quickly with fewer risks to the body is an amazing benefit all by itself. But the gastric sleeve takes things further for patients who undergo this cutting-edge bariatric procedure.
Rapid Weight Loss:
Patients who choose gastric sleeve surgery eventually lose up to 50% to 80% of their excess weight in the first 12 months. If you are 100 pounds overweight, that amounts to a whopping loss of 50 to 80 pounds! Go to your local gym and try to heft dumbbells that heavy. You’ll see how significant that amount of weight can be. Imagine how much lighter you’ll feel without having to lug that weight around.
Contributes to Healthy Eating:
The gastric sleeve forces you to eat less because of the diminished space available for food in your stomach. This helps you choose smaller portions and overall smaller meals. As a side note, think of all the money you’ll save on food!
Easier Weight Loss Maintenance:
Since you won’t feel as hungry and you’ll become satiated faster during meals, maintaining your weight loss is a cinch after gastric sleeve surgery. You might regain some weight in the years after your procedure. This is normal and is why your bariatric surgeon will keep up with your progress to ensure you are keeping up with your healthy lifestyle and getting regular exercise. Overall, most people are able to maintain 50% of their excess weight loss.
Read our article: Can Belly Fat Return After Gastric Surgery?
Read our article: 5 Habits to Adopt for Bariatric Surgery Success!
Safer on the Body:
Unlike gastric bypass surgery, where your digestive system is rerouted, all your organs are left intact, aside from your stomach. The stomach tissue that is removed is not essential, by the way. You can live perfectly fine without a larger stomach. You’re also unlikely to experience nutritional deficiencies which can be one of the risks of procedures like Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.
No Worries Over Dumping Syndrome:
Some bariatric surgery patients have to worry about dumping syndrome, which is when you get discomfort from eating or drinking too quickly. When you undergo the gastric sleeve, dumping syndrome is less likely to occur. That’s because your stomach outlet (pyloric valve) is left intact, which would not be the case with gastric bypass surgery.
Read our article: What is Dumping Syndrome and How Can You Avoid It?
We mentioned that gastric sleeve surgery comes with lower levels of risk than other bariatric procedures. The reason is that the laparoscopic gastric sleeve is performed with laparoscopic tools. These are serpentine tools that are inserted into the body via tiny incisions. Unlike “Open” surgeries where the surgeon has to open your body cavity, the surgeon operates the tools robotically inside your abdomen while viewing the action on a monitor nearby.
Tiny incisions mean near-invisible scars once healed, and fewer risks from things like excessive bleeding and infections. In short, the gastric sleeve is safe and effective for long-term weight loss because of the cutting-edge techniques used by your bariatric surgeon.
Read our article: How to Keep Lost Weight Off Long-Term
Effectively Treats Obesity Comorbidities:
Most people assume that procedures like gastric sleeve surgery are only for defeating obesity and attaining a healthy BMI.
However, the disease of obesity can often be accompanied by other ailments such as heart disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, and many, many others. There are over 60 comorbidities that can affect someone suffering from morbid obesity.
Here’s something you should know. Gastric sleeve surgery is an effective treatment for obesity and weight-related ailments that may come after it. That means you could find yourself tossing out your medications for things like high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes once your weight is under control (with your doctor’s approval, of course). When you undergo a procedure like gastric sleeve, you truly are taking control of your health in more ways than one.
Weight Loss Can Be Advanced if Necessary:
Earlier, we mentioned that gastric sleeve surgery involves the first portion of procedures like Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Because of this fact, your bariatric surgeon has the easy option of converting the gastric sleeve to the gastric bypass or other procedures like the duodenal switch if additional weight loss is needed later on.
Gastric sleeve surgery involves general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep during the surgery. That also means you won’t feel anything while the surgical procedure is being performed. When you awaken in the recovery area of the hospital or surgical center, you won’t remember a thing. This is the same for most bariatric surgeries.
Gastric sleeve is different in that there is a short hospital stay of only two days at the most (unless complications occur, which are rare). You’ll be home before you know it. This is another reason to thank advances in bariatric surgery. The minimal nature of the gastric sleeve procedure means you’ll be up and around before you know it as you heal from your surgery and begin your weight loss journey.
Less Expensive than Other Bariatric Surgeries:
Gastric sleeve is often less expensive than surgical options like gastric bypass. Let’s crunch some numbers.
How Much Does Gastric Sleeve Surgery Cost When Compared to Other Bariatric Procedures?
Gastric sleeve surgery costs around $14,900. That’s low compared to the higher cost of gastric bypass surgery at $23,000.
Read our article: Cost Breakdown of Weight Loss Surgery
If nearly $15K seems high, consider that medical financing is available through companies like CareCredit to help you cover any costs leftover from insurance (assuming your insurance provider covers bariatric surgical procedures).
Read our article: Gastric Sleeve Insurance and How to Afford Surgery Without Coverage
Read our article: Insurance Denied Your Claim for Bariatric Surgery Coverage? Now What?
Not only will you save money by choosing gastric sleeve surgery over other weight loss procedures like gastric bypass, but you’ll save even more money over your lifetime in saved medical costs.
Weight loss surgery results in a 29% reduction in health care costs over five years following the procedure. That means gastric sleeve nearly pays for itself, with most patients recovering the cost of the surgery within 2 and 4 years post-procedure due to decreased costs in treating obesity-related comorbidities.
Are You an Ideal Candidate for Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve?
You now know why so many people worldwide have chosen gastric sleeve surgery to conquer morbid obesity once and for all.
By now you may have questions, such as: “How much weight can I lose with a procedure like the gastric sleeve?”
Read our article: Gastric Sleeve Surgery: How Do You Know It’s Time?
The answer to that question is complex. The amount of weight you can eventually lose after undergoing a procedure like a sleeve gastrectomy depends on several factors.
Your bariatric surgeon will take into account your age, the excess pounds you are carrying, your ability to achieve regular exercise, and your level of commitment to maintaining healthy dietary guidelines and a regular fitness routine.
Read our article: Gastric Sleeve Pre-Op Diet & What Happens if You Cheat?
There are external factors to consider, as well, such as the motivation and cooperation of those around you, including your friends and family, as they can contribute to your weight loss journey, or drag you down if you’re not careful.
If you want to know if you are a suitable candidate for this life-changing bariatric surgery, you are recommended to schedule a consultation with Southern California’s best bariatric surgeon, Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Moein
Dr. Moein (for short) has performed thousands of bariatric surgeries such as gastric sleeve surgery. Dr. Moein specializes in both minimally invasive laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and post-bariatric body contouring. That means if there is any excess hanging skin or other bodily changes after surgery, those can be recontoured to help you fall in love with your newly slimmed body once more.
Read our article: Finding Body Acceptance After Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss
During your consultation, you will undergo a short physical exam. The purpose of the exam is to measure your body mass index (BMI). It will also assess whether you suffer from obesity-comorbidities such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and others. You can then discuss your weight loss goals, the risks of surgery, and benefits of the gastric sleeve surgery.
You can schedule a confidential consultation with Dr. Moein by contacting Healthy Life Bariatrics.
At Healthy Life Bariatrics, Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki – as your bariatric surgeon – will work with a multidisciplinary team who will collaborate with one another to provide the best action plan for your weight loss journey. This team may consist of a dietician, physical fitness expert, psychological expert, and specially trained nurses. These professionals will be by your side when you need them. They will offer support and guidance to ensure you achieve success with your weight loss goals.
Want to learn more about what the gastric sleeve can do for you? Join the millions around the world who have been successful with this weight loss surgery by scheduling your consultation with Dr. Moein in Los Angeles, California. Don’t forget to ask about our medical tourism program for those living outside Southern California. Dial 310-694-4486.