Obesity is a disease that most developed countries are combating. It has spread rapidly across the globe, and doctors rely on medical innovation and awareness to fight it.
Bariatric surgery procedures provide weight loss by limiting the amount of food the stomach can hold. And you are more likely to experience hormonal changes after the surgery, which will help you lose weight.
Most weight loss surgeries today are performed using minimally invasive (laparoscopic) techniques. The most common bariatric surgery procedures are gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and adjustable gastric band.
In this article, we will focus on gastric sleeve (or sleeve gastrectomy) surgery, one of the most common surgical solutions to treat obesity.
What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Gastric sleeve surgery is a medical procedure in which the surgeons remove part of the stomach and connect the remaining parts to make a new stomach pouch that resembles a banana shape.
Patients have about 1/10th the size of their original stomach after the surgery, and they feel satiated much quicker than before, which helps them lose weight. After the surgery, your body will produce less of the hormone that boosts the appetite.
Besides the fact that weight loss is substantial with gastric sleeve surgery, it gained popularity among specialists due to its simplicity. Gastric sleeve results are achieved without removing parts of intestines and don’t require two procedures, just one 2-hour-long operation.
Since United Healthcare added gastric sleeve surgery to its list of covered surgeries on January 1st, 2010, it has become the fastest-growing bariatric surgery procedure in the United States.
Who Can Get a Gastric Sleeve?
While it’s a suitable method of losing weight, gastric sleeve surgery is still a major surgical procedure. Doctors don’t accept any candidates for it.
Gastric sleeve results are outstanding, but the gastric sleeve diet will require you to make drastic lifestyle changes. You need to be morbidly obese and have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40 to be considered a candidate. Being simply overweight will not qualify you for the procedure.
Some patients with a BMI of over 35 are also eligible if they suffer from additional medical issues caused by their weight.
Qualifying and being approved for surgery are very different things. Qualifying is the first step for becoming a candidate, but that doesn’t mean the surgery is appropriate for you.
To confirm if you are a good candidate for this procedure, you will need to talk to a bariatric surgeon and know all the risks, outcomes, and life changes you should make.
Is It the Right Weight Loss Method for You?
Gastric sleeve results are better than the other techniques. Compared to gastric bypass surgery, there is less risk of ‘dumping syndrome that comes with gastric bypass, which is caused by the rapid movement of food from the stomach to the intestines.
Many gastric bypass patients experience dumping syndrome at some point after surgery. The symptoms of this syndrome can range from mild to severe, depending on the patient.
Another technique is the gastric band. The procedure requires more drastic lifestyle changes to be effective; the band is made from materials foreign to the body.
Most Gastric sleeve patients report a loss of 60% -80% of kilos within one year. In comparison, it does not involve many side effects.
Also, gastric sleeve is more affordable. For example, in the USA, a gastric sleeve surgery may cost around $15,000, while a gastric bypass, as a more invasive procedure, costs about $20,000.
The main reason many patients from the US, UK, and Europe travel abroad to have gastric sleeve surgery is to reduce the cost of the treatment. Most patients can’t afford to do gastric sleeves in their native country; the average cost of gastric sleeve surgery in Turkey is $4000.
What You Should Consider Before Gastric Sleeve
You will have a diet to follow for around two weeks before the surgery. Two days before surgery, you need to start a clear liquid diet, which includes a no-sugar protein shake daily, broth, water, decaffeinated coffee or tea, and sugar-free popsicles.
It would be best to avoid caffeinated and carbonated beverages at this stage. Moreover, you shall avoid alcohol and cigarettes since they may affect the outcome and healing process.
What You Should Consider After Gastric Sleeve – Dietary Adjustments
After gastric sleeve surgery, you must change your eating habit. On the first day after surgery, you’ll only drink liquids. When you leave the hospital, You can eat pureed foods, and protein shakes for about four weeks.
After the first four weeks, you’ll be able to eat soft foods. It would help if you also avoided high-calorie sodas and snacks. You should take vitamin and mineral supplements daily. 2 or 3 months after your surgery, you can start to eat regular meals without eating as much as you did before the surgery.
Long-Term Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Reviews of gastric surgery results support 60%-80% of extra weight loss in the first year. This procedure, unlike other techniques, is permanent and may not be reversed, resulting in permanent and astonishing weight loss.
Besides, studies have shown that all weight loss surgeries are associated with fewer cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke. It has even been suggested that the procedure is connected to improved sex drive in patients.
Success stories are everywhere online, proving that this method is the future of bariatric surgery. Before and after photos also demonstrate the effectiveness of the surgery.
Risks and Complications
Short-term risks and complications after gastric sleeve surgery may include suture line disruption, blood clots, bleeding, nausea, vomiting, and surgical site infection.
You may also experience these risks and long-term complications after gastric sleeve surgery: Strictures, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), vitamin and mineral deficiency, gallstones, and sagging skin.
Weight loss surgeries can have a drastic positive change in your life. The treatment is costly in countries like the UK, the US, and Europe. And in the UK, some patients need to register on a waiting list or may not be eligible for the surgery.
These factors play a role when deciding to have gastric sleeve surgery abroad. But it would be best if you were equipped with the correct information to make the best decision. Some patients prefer a healthcare travel agency to plan their treatment abroad. The agency will prepare a customized trip that fits your needs. The package will include flight, accommodation, and airport transfer. It gives you relief to focus on your recovery.