4 Things You Need To Know About Sleeve Gastrectomy

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Sleeve gastrectomy is a relatively new type of weight loss surgery. If you've been told that you're not a good candidate for gastric bypass or gastric band surgery, you may still be able to get a sleeve gastrectomy. Here's what you need to know about this procedure. 

How is it performed?

Sleeve gastrectomy involves removing a large portion of the stomach and then reshaping it into a thin tube about the same size as a banana. The tube will be secured with surgical staples to allow it to heal into its new shape. Since a lot of tissue is removed, the procedure can't be reversed.

Sometimes, the surgeon will make a large incision in your abdomen to access your stomach, but this surgery is often performed with a small incision and a camera. A smaller incision is less painful and heals more quickly. Ask your surgeon how your procedure will be performed. 

What are the benefits of sleeve gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy has been shown to cause more weight loss than traditional gastric band procedures. It is a simpler operation than other weight loss operations and is therefore less risky, especially for people who are very obese or sick. Some other types of weight loss affect your ability to absorb nutrients from your food, but with sleeve gastrectomy, you will still be able to get the nutrients you need. Another benefit is financial: it is more likely to be covered by your insurance company. 

How common is sleeve gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy is a relatively new procedure, but it is quickly replacing gastric band surgery in the United States. In 2008, only 0.9% of weight loss surgeries were sleeve gastrectomies, but by 2012, 36.3% were. 

What is your prognosis after the surgery?

You will only be able to eat small meals after this procedure and will need to stick to soft foods and liquids while you're healing. Since your new stomach will be very small, you will need to meet with a dietitian or a nutritionist to help you plan meals that are healthy, nutritious, and small enough to fit in your stomach.  

This procedure will help you lose about half of your excess weight. You will need to use some combination of diet, exercise, and medicine to lose the rest. 

Sleeve gastrectomy is less risky than some other types of weight loss surgeries. If you aren't a good candidate for other types of surgeries, visit a place like Chicago Weight Loss Clinic about getting a sleeve gastrectomy.