A Gastric sleeve procedure is a bariatric surgical procedure that reduces a patient's stomach size so he or she will feel full quicker.
What is the Gastric Sleeve Procedure?
This surgical procedure involves removing 75% of the stomach, however it does not involve the small intestine like other bariatric procedures that include cutting and rerouting the small intestine and bypassing the pyloric muscle.
With this procedure, food is able to travel normally through the digestive tract so absorption and digestion are not affected. The stomach section is removed in a manner that results in a smaller stomach that has an appearance of a long and narrow tube.
This procedure removes most of the stomach along with the part that is responsible for producing the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger.
The surgical procedure is minimally invasive as the surgeon uses small instruments that are inserted into tiny incisions. With the use of a camera, the surgeon is able to section off the stomach and create a smaller stomach with the use of staples.
What are the Benefits of Gastric Sleeve?
This procedure is safe and effective for weight loss. Digestion is not disturbed and therefore the dumping syndrome is avoided.
With less food ingested, individuals reduce caloric intakes and with decreased hunger, individuals obtain a faster feeling of fullness. Because this procedure is minimally invasive, no large incisions are needed nor do intestines have to be rerouted.
Unlike gastric band surgery, the gastric sleeve procedure does not require the use of any medical devices or periodic adjustments. Individuals who do not qualify for other more invasive weight loss surgeries may benefit from gastric sleeve.
What are the Risks and Complications?
All surgical procedures involve risks although risks and complications associated with gastric sleeve surgery are extremely low.
Possible risks include infection, blood clots, internal bleeding, pneumonia and injury to other internal organs. Complications include stomach contents leakage from the edge of the stomach.
Because staples are used to section off the stomach, the stomach needs time to seal this edge. If the staples become loose, leakage can result.
This can result in stomach acid penetrating the body causing serious medical conditions that could require additional surgery.
Am I Eligible for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
To be a good candidate for this procedure, individuals should have a BMI of 40 or higher, have been obese for over 3 years and have tried without success to lose weight using non-surgical methods.
They should also understand the risks involves and be committed to having a healthy lifestyle.
How Much Does a Gastric Sleeve Cost?
Individuals who have this surgery can expect to pay about $10,000 according to the Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery.
Some insurance companies are now helping to cover these costs.
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