If you are considering surgery to aid in your weight loss and want to know more about gastric sleeve surgery, you're in the right place. We've got a quick guide to help you understand what this surgery does and who it is best for.
Keep reading to learn more.
What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
One of the benefits of gastric sleeve surgery is that it is laparoscopic. This means that the surgeon makes several small incisions, rather than one large one, to perform surgery on the abdomen. After making these incisions and inserting a small camera, a surgeon removes a large portion of the left side of your stomach.
They then narrow the remaining portion of the stomach into a tube or "sleeve." Food still empties from your stomach into your small intestine, no different than before, but since your stomach is much smaller, you will feel fuller much faster.
After having gastric sleeve surgery, you can expect to lose anywhere from 50-90lbs, but be aware that you'll have to make significant changes to your eating habits.
Your Diet after Gastric Sleeve Surgery
After the surgery, you'll be on a liquid diet for the first week or two and then slowly phase in purees, then soft foods, and then regular foods over the next few weeks. Your meals should be very small and you need to take care that you chew your food well and eat slowly. If you move on to regular food too quickly, you could experience pain and vomiting.
It's also important to take a daily multivitamin, as many people who have weight loss surgery often have difficulty getting the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals. Regular blood tests will help your medical team monitor your vitamin levels.
Who is a Good Candidate?
Gastric sleeve surgery is recommended for people who are severely obese (usually a BMI over 40) and who have not had long term success with other weight loss methods.
If you have a higher BMI (over 35) and in addition have sleep apnea, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or heart disease, your doctor may also recommend gastric sleeve surgery.
Before undergoing weight loss surgery, you will have to undergo a battery of medical tests, psychological assessments, and likely have to take nutrition classes. Many medical providers also recommend that patients enroll in a support group after the surgery to receive support from others going through similar experiences.
Weight Loss Surgery for Your Health
Only your doctor can determine if you are a good candidate for gastric sleeve surgery or any other weight loss surgery. It's important to realize that it's not a quick fix and is a serious surgery that will necessitate life-long changes to your nutrition and eating habits.
For more lifestyle and health tips, check out some of our other posts and pages on our site.