Gastric Sleeve 101: The Basics of Sleeve Gastrectomy

The journey to weight loss can be a long winding road. Some people see little results even with proper nutrition and exercise. You may be familiar with bariatric surgery but you may not know that gastric sleeve surgery is now the number-one weight loss procedure in the United States.

Gastric Sleeve Basics

Basics of Sleeve Gastrectomy

Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as a sleeve gastrectomy, is a laparoscopic weight loss surgery that reduces the size of the stomach by approximately 15 percent. This leaves a stomach about the size and shape of a banana. After the surgery, the stomach experiences more than just a lowered capacity; it changes the amount of hunger hormone released.

The stomach controls the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin. A gastric sleeve removes a significant portion of the stomach( averaging 70-80 %), in turn, reducing the amount of stomach available to release ghrelin. The consequent change in stomach size reduces the amount of ghrelin released into the body. This results -on average- in the loss of two to five pounds per week post-op, as long as the patient carefully follows post-op dietary and medical recommendations.

Consultation

Before scheduling gastric sleeve surgery, patients must go through a consultation and pre-op preparation process. You should have already consulted your regular physician before meeting with a bariatric surgeon.

At your initial meeting, be prepared to provide the following information:

  • List of your prescription medications
  • Medical history, including the history of close family members
  • Primary physician’s name and phone number

With your surgeon, you’ll go over the factors that might make gastric sleeve surgery the right choice for you. You’ll need to answer questions about your physical and mental health, as well as go over the risks associated with gastric sleeve surgery, the changes it will make to your post-op life, and whether the procedure will be covered by your health insurance.

What to Expect Pre-Op

Surgeons provide pre-op instructions, which should be closely followed. Those instructions may include:

  • Cessation of some medications
  • Hygiene recommendations
  • Medications that should be taken before surgery
  • When food and drink should be stopped
  • Supplies necessary after surgery
  • List of medications that can be swallowed or crushed after surgery

If you have any questions before the surgery, don’t hesitate to call your surgeon to reduce your concerns or worries. Dr. Mirza provides his cell number before surgery so you could call him anytime.

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Talk with your surgeon about the support available from the staff during recovery. You can also ask about whom to call in case of an emergency after hours. Your surgeon may also provide information about support groups to help manage the emotional changes that accompany a physical transformation.

What to Expect Post-Op

Gastric sleeve surgery comes with a relatively quick hospital time—one to two days—and a short recovery time. Pain and discomfort should be expected but can be effectively treated with pain medication. You should be able to return to work five to seven days after surgery, if your job is not very physical, but might be longer if it is.

You’ll be on a liquid diet that slowly transitions back to normal foods. Your surgeon and his full-time dietitian will provide instructions about diet, exercise, and follow-up appointments, which should be carefully followed for the most successful results.

Expectations and Changes

Gastric sleeve surgery usually results in a two- to five-pound weight change each week. While gastric sleeve surgery is a highly successful procedure, it’s not magic. There can be complications, but very uncommon, and you’ll need to develop a healthy lifestyle. Expect a transition period as you learn how to eat and live with a new body. As you work toward developing a new physical appearance, you’ll find that your emotional health will need attention but can grow stronger as well.

If you’re ready to make some changes in your life, call us today at 281-888-7767 to set up an appointment today.

Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles, post, or video. Patients have individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.

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