Here at Healthy Life Bariatrics, Dr. Babek Moeinolmolki specializes in sleeve gastrectomy and provides the support you need to achieve weight loss success. He explains why sleeve gastrectomy is an ideal bariatric procedure.
Surgery always represents a potential risk for every patient, but when you’re obese, your risk is higher. And the longer you’re under general anesthesia, the riskier it becomes.
The length of your surgery is directly related to the chance of developing complications such as deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in the deep veins of your body, usually in your legs) or other concerns like postop infections.
During a sleeve gastrectomy, Dr. Babak removes about 80% of your stomach, changing it from its pouch shape into a slender banana shape. This procedure is less complicated and performed more quickly than your other option for permanent weight loss surgery: gastric bypass.
With a sleeve gastrectomy, the connections at each end of your stomach, between the esophagus and small intestine, stay the same as they were before surgery. Only the size of the stomach is changed.
By comparison, a gastric bypass involves cutting the stomach, removing the top from the bottom portion, then cutting the small intestine and reconnecting both loose ends of the small intestine to different places.
In other words, your time in surgery is much less with sleeve gastrectomy compared to gastric bypass. As a result, gastric bypass has double the risk of complications compared to sleeve gastrectomy. Safer surgery is an important reason why sleeve gastrectomy is a great choice for weight loss surgery.
You don’t need to choose a longer or more complex surgery to get results. The sleeve gastrectomy produces rapid weight loss in the first year and comparable weight loss to the gastric bypass over three to five years.
Patients who have sleeve gastrectomy immediately notice the impact it has on their hunger, with some saying they simply don’t feel hungry. Sleeve gastrectomy has a big impact on hunger because the procedure removes the portion of your stomach that produces ghrelin.
Ghrelin is a hormone made in your stomach that stimulates your appetite and makes you feel hungry. Reducing the amount ghrelin is one of the keys for successful weight loss.
After you undergo any type of weight loss surgery, you’re continuously monitored for nutritional deficiencies. With a smaller stomach, you eat less food, so you may not get the essential vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.
When it comes to getting optimal nutrients from the food you eat, sleeve gastrectomy has the advantage because it keeps your small intestine intact. On the other hand, after gastric bypass surgery, the food you eat truly bypasses part of the small intestine.
Why is your small intestine so important? Because that’s where nutrients are absorbed. Bypassing the small intestine makes you more susceptible to nutrient deficiencies.
Although you’ll need supplements with both sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass, there’s less chance of significant nutrient deficiencies with a sleeve gastrectomy.
It’s estimated that 90% of those with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, so it’s good to know that sleeve gastrectomy lowers your blood sugar. In some patients, blood sugar returns to normal after sleeve gastrectomy, and diabetes goes into remission in more than 60% of patients who get a sleeve gastrectomy.
Many patients who take medication find they can reduce the dosage or stop taking it. You may also find that diabetes-related health problems improve, too.
Long-term complications due to any type of weight loss surgery only develop in a small percentage of patients, but this is another area where sleeve gastrectomy has an advantage. The primary problem following sleeve gastrectomy is heartburn. Patients who under gastric bypass are more likely to develop problems such as ulcers, bowel blockage, dumping, and micronutrient deficiencies.
When you’re ready to take the next step toward weight loss, come in to talk with Dr. Babek about sleeve gastrectomy and learn whether you’re a good candidate for minimally invasive bariatric surgery. Just call our office to set up an appointment.