Gastric Sleeve

Babak   Moeinolmolki, MD -  - Bariatric Surgeon

Healthy Life Bariatrics

Babak Moeinolmolki, MD

Bariatric Surgeon located in Los Angeles, CA

Gastric Sleeve Specialist
Sleeve gastrectomy, commonly known as gastric sleeve surgery, is a low-risk bariatric procedure that’s easy on the patient with the least chance of long-term diet deficiencies. Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki of Healthy Life Bariatrics in Los Angeles recommends the gastric sleeve procedure for his patients from around the LA area, including Glendale and Encino, with a body mass index from 30-65 or greater, to reduce weight and resolve the health problems caused by morbid obesity. To learn more about the potential benefits of sleeve gastrectomy, call or click today to book an appointment.

Gastric Sleeve Q & A

by Babak Moeinolmolki, MD

 

What is gastric sleeve surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery is a bariatric procedure considered an alternative to gastric bypass or duodenal surgery, which are invasive procedures that require a significant time under anesthesia. During a gastric sleeve procedure, most of the patient’s stomach tissue is removed, leaving behind a narrow vertical tube, or sleeve. That sleeve is approximately the size of a banana. The patient is unable to consume large portions of food at once, which lowers caloric intake and leads to weight loss.

 

What should patients expect as they prepare for gastric sleeve surgery?

Patients are often anxious about any surgical procedure, even one that is minimally invasive. As the surgery approaches, patients will go on a special diet and will be asked to avoid eating in the hours leading up to the procedure. On the day of surgery, patients will be checked in and will meet the team of professionals who will perform and support the procedure. Consent forms will need to be signed and an IV will be inserted. Once the anesthetic medication begins working, the patient will grow sleepy and will likely not remember the point where they fell asleep.


What can expect during the recovery process?

After surgery, the patient will go through a period of recovery. This is a time when it will be important to take in plenty of liquids, as directed by one’s bariatric surgeon. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to ensure that the healing process is on track. Patients may experience changes in bowel function, which will subside over time. Prescription medications will be available to assist with any discomfort. Patients can speed their recovery by being physically active, and walking is an especially effective means of promoting healing. Most people can return to work within 2 to 4 weeks after the procedure unless their job is very strenuous.

What are the benefits of sleeve gastrectomy?

In addition to losing excess weight, this procedure can help improve many medical conditions that often go hand-in- hand with obesity, such as:

  • Asthma
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • High cholesterol
  • Gastroesophageal disease

However, gastrectomy alone  isn’t a quick or permanent fix for obesity. As with any weight loss procedure, continued success requires lifestyle changes including following a healthy diet, portion control, and regular exercise.


Often this surgery is the first of two procedures. It may be used to facilitate initial weight loss in grossly obese individuals and later followed with either gastric bypass surgery or duodenal switch surgery.

Why is sleeve gastrectomy a preferred bariatric procedure?

The gastric sleeve procedure has benefits for both the patient and the surgeon. Compared to other bariatric procedures, the sleeve gastrectomy is more conservative. Your stomach is resectioned from its normal pouch shape to a slender, banana-shaped tube that’s about 25% of the original volume. There’s no additional rerouting of intestines, and the procedure is shorter than a traditional gastric bypass.

Your chances for weight loss success are higher with the gastric sleeve procedure. Compared with lap band surgery, you’ll lose most of the weight within the first 18 months, while lap bands can take up to three years and depends heavily on lifestyle changes for success.

Does the gastric sleeve procedure have drawbacks?

Every surgery carries risk, but the sleeve gastrectomy is comparatively low-risk for a bariatric procedure. While the gastric sleeve procedure can be performed endoscopically, it’s not yet perfected. This means that further risk reduction for the sleeve technique is likely, though sleeve gastrectomy is permanent and can’t be reversed.

Your gastric sleeve can stretch after the procedure. Some stretching and contracting is a normal part of digestion, but some care must be taken not to overfill yourself after the procedure.

You may be at risk of deep vein thrombosis, stomach leaks, bleeding, hernia, or a narrowing of food passages called strictures. These complications are usually rare. Many patients require hiatal hernia repair procedures to prevent gastroesophageal reflux disorder and encourage effective weight loss.

However, the weight loss related to sleeve gastrectomy may also result in improvements for those with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, delayed gastric emptying, back, and knee pain, often including the pain associated with osteoarthritis, so risks of the gastric sleeve procedure are well-balanced.

Is the gastric sleeve procedure covered by insurance?

Not all sleeve gastrectomy candidates qualify for insurance coverage. Patients with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 35 are considered cosmetic patients by health insurance providers. If your BMI is over 35 and you have two or more chronic conditions related to obesity, you would likely qualify for coverage, and those over 40 BMI qualify automatically.

Costs of the surgery depend on your location, though California costs less than the national average. Sleeve gastrectomy is substantially more affordable than gastric bypass.

 

What is the recovery process like?

After surgery, the patient will go through a period of recovery. This is a time when it will be important to take in plenty of liquids, as directed by one’s bariatric surgeon. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to ensure that the healing process is on track. Patients may experience changes in bowel function, which will subside over time. Prescription medications will be available to assist with any discomfort. Patients can speed their recovery by being physically active, and walking is an especially effective means of promoting healing. Most people can return to work within 2 to 4 weeks after the procedure unless their job is very strenuous.

 

 

Gastric sleeve representation


actual patient before and after gastric sleeve surgery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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