What Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery Means for Your Body, Weight and Health

A sleeve gastrectomy is a procedure intended to spark weight loss in people who are facing serious consequences because of being overweight. Sleeve gastrectomy is a serious type of surgery that involves removing part of your digestive system. Here is what getting gastrectomy surgery will mean for your body.

Candidates for the Surgery

Sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve, surgery is intended for people who are extremely overweight. This generally means individuals with a body mass index, or BMI, or 50 or more. It is not intended for individuals who just need to lose a little weight or those who could benefit from less intense types of surgery. The cost of a sleeve gastrectomy is generally around $20,000 although the amount could be half as much or double the price depending on many factors.

How it Works

The procedure involves removing part of your stomach in order to reduce how much you eat. A doctor will put a line of staples along the top of your stomach to form a sleeve that runs from the bottom of your esophagus to your digestive system. Around 75 percent of your stomach is then removed. The result is that you are going to feel much fuller after eating just a small amount of food. This will lead to weight loss. The surgery is permanent and cannot be reversed.

Recovering Afterwards

Recovery from gastric sleeve surgery will take anywhere from four to six weeks. You are likely to experience pain in your abdomen for the first week and might require painkillers. You will need to avoid overstressing the muscles in your abdomen until everything is healed. This means not lifting heavy objects or doing any strenuous physical activity.

Lifestyle Changes and Results

You are going to have to change the way you eat after the surgery is done. You will start by adhering to a liquid diet of broths and water. Solid food will be reintroduced into your diet slowly over time. You will have to pay attention to your health in the months after the surgery. You might need to take vitamin supplements or modify your normal eating habits. You should see significant weight loss within the first three to six months after surgery.

Potential Problems and Risks

There are some potential problems and risks associated with sleeve gastrectomy surgery. The fast processing time for food might give you digestive problems. You could also experience vitamin deficiencies because nutrients are not absorbed as efficiently. There is a chance a stomach staple might break or receive an infection over the years. These potential risks to your health are actually mild when compared to other types of bariatric surgeries.