FAQ on Sleeve Gastrectomy
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What is a sleeve gastrectomy?
A sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical weight loss procedure that involves removing a portion of the stomach, typically around 75-80%, to create a smaller, tube-shaped stomach or “sleeve.” This procedure is performed to help patients lose weight by reducing the stomach’s capacity, leading to a feeling of fullness more quickly and, consequently, a reduction in calorie intake.
Who is a candidate for sleeve gastrectomy?
Candidates for sleeve gastrectomy are typically individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher or a BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea. Before considering surgery, patients should have tried and failed to lose weight through diet, exercise, and medical weight-loss programs.
How is sleeve gastrectomy performed?
Sleeve gastrectomy is usually performed laparoscopically, which means the surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen to insert a camera and surgical instruments. The surgeon removes a large portion of the stomach and seals the remaining part using surgical staples, creating a smaller, tube-shaped stomach.
What is the recovery time for sleeve gastrectomy?
Recovery times may vary depending on the individual and the specifics of the surgery. Generally, patients can expect to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days after the surgery. Full recovery typically takes around 4-6 weeks, during which patients need to follow a specific post-surgery diet and gradually reintroduce solid foods.
What are the potential risks and complications of sleeve gastrectomy?
As with any surgery, sleeve gastrectomy carries potential risks and complications. These may include bleeding, infection, blood clots, leakage from the staple line, stomach narrowing or obstruction, and vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Discussing these risks with your healthcare provider to make an informed decision is essential.
How much weight can I expect to lose after a sleeve gastrectomy?
Weight loss after sleeve gastrectomy varies from person to person. On average, patients can expect to lose 50-70% of their excess body weight within the first two years after surgery. Long-term success depends on maintaining healthy lifestyle habits, including a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Will I need to follow a specific diet after sleeve gastrectomy?
During an obesity coaching session, you can expect to discuss your weight management goals, identify obstacles to weight loss, develop a personalised plan for healthy eating and exercise, and receive ongoing support and guidance as you work towards your goals. Sessions may be conducted in person, over the phone, or online.
Will I need to take supplements after sleeve gastrectomy?
Most patients will need to take vitamin and mineral supplements after sleeve gastrectomy due to the reduced capacity of the stomach to absorb nutrients. Commonly recommended supplements include multivitamins, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and vitamin D. Your healthcare team will provide specific recommendations based on your needs.
Can I regain weight after sleeve gastrectomy?
It is possible to regain weight after sleeve gastrectomy if healthy lifestyle habits are not maintained. To minimise the risk of weight recovery, patients should adhere to their prescribed diet, exercise regularly, and attend follow-up appointments with their healthcare team.
Will my insurance cover the cost of sleeve gastrectomy?
Insurance coverage for sleeve gastrectomy varies depending on your provider and policy. It’s essential to consult your insurance provider to determine if the procedure is covered and to understand any out-of-pocket costs.