Commonly Asked Questions about Sleeve Gastrectomy

Answering Commonly Asked Questions about Sleeve Gastrectomy


If someone asks you what is the deadliest medical condition to be in, you’ll most probably state HIV-AIDS, Alzheimers, Cancer, or genetic disorders. An obvious reasoning behind this answer is that these medical diseases or conditions are more likely to lead to deaths. However, another evil silently engulfs people and makes their lives nothing less than a hell: extreme obesity. Though the first line of treatment for obesity is bringing changes in diet, exercise and medications, a weight loss doctor may prescribe a weight-loss surgery when these strategies fail to present desirable weight loss results. Among bariatric surgeries, sleeve gastrectomy is the most commonly suggested procedure by any weight loss doctor. Continue reading as we answer some commonly asked questions about sleeve gastrectomy.

1. What is sleeve gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy, commonly known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a weight-loss surgery. This treatment is usually done laparoscopically through several small incisions in the upper belly. Approximately 80% of the stomach is removed during a sleeve gastrectomy, leaving behind a cylinder-shaped stomach resembling a banana. Shrinking the size of your stomach limits the volume of food you can eat. Sleeve gastrectomy is aimed towards bringing about hormonal changes that aid in weight loss. These same hormonal changes also aid in the treatment of illnesses connected with obesity, such as hypertension and heart disease.

2. When is it required?

The general reason behind prescribing a surgical solution such as sleeve gastrectomy is the failure of diet and exercise in yielding the desirable weight loss results. However, other reasons might include weight-related complications such as hypertension, heart diseases, obstructive sleep apnea, stroke, cancer, type-2 diabetes, and severe levels of cholesterol. While the prescription for sleeve gastrectomy from a weight loss specialist comes after a careful medical evaluation, general eligibility conditions include:

  • High BMI over 40 (extreme obesity)
  • BMI between 35 and 39.9 along with the presence of serious weight-related health issues, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes and severe sleep apnea
  • In some cases, BMI between 30 and 34 along with severe weight-related issues

3. What does the entire procedure of sleeve gastrectomy involve?

The sleeve gastrectomy results in the reduction of the stomach size to limit the food intake. The type of surgery will be largely dependent on your health condition, circumstances as well as the expertise of the hospital or doctor. Some sleeve gastrectomies are performed using traditional big (open) abdominal incisions but mostly they are done laparoscopically. Let’s take a look at the procedure.

  • The surgery: The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy procedure involves insertion of small surgical instruments and a tiny camera via ‘ports’ created through multiple small incisions in the upper abdomen. General anesthesia is given before the surgery to keep the patient comfortable. The surgeon then forms a compact sleeve by removing the wider, curved section of the stomach and connecting the stomach lengthwise.
  • After the surgery: After a sleeve gastrectomy, your diet will consist of sugar-free, bottled, and canned liquids for the first 7 days, then pureed foods for 3 weeks, and finally four weeks later, regular solid foods. You’ll also be advised to take a vitamin supplement twice a day, a calcium supplement daily, and a b-12 injection once a month through most of your life to avoid nutritional deficiencies. In the months following the weight-loss surgery, you will also be required to make periodic medical appointments to ensure that your overall health is in good condition and recovery is going as planned. You may be required to take some lab tests, bloodwork, and other procedures too

4.  Are there any risks involved?

Generally, sleeve gastrectomy surgery is known to be safe for most people; the probability of side effects or risks of a surgical procedure can not be denied. Here are some of the risks that you should keep in mind before undergoing a sleeve gastrectomy:

  • Lung or breathing problems
  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Malnutrition
  • Vomiting
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia
  • Gastrointestinal obstruction
  • Hernias
  • Leaks from the cut edge of the stomac

Make sure to discuss the risks involved with the sleeve gastrectomy with a surgeon near you. If you are a resident of Dallas, consult a leading weight-loss surgeon in Dallas, TX.

Final Word

The eligibility for sleeve gastrectomy doesn’t simply rely on your BMI, many other factors are considered by weight loss specialists. Given the risks involved, it is always suggested to first consult a reputable weight-loss doctor for a comprehensive evaluation. If you have been prescribed a sleeve gastrectomy or are in search to get weight-loss surgery in Dallas, consult an experienced doctor that understands your situation and discusses all the aspects related to the surgery with you.

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