Obese individuals are predisposed to severe health conditions including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension and stroke. For this reason, specialists recommend weight loss and maintaining a healthy body mass index. Unfortunately, weight loss may not be the most feasible process for some people, especially when dietary changes and exercise become futile. If you cannot lose significant weight after improving your diet and exercise habits, Dr. Chad Carlton may recommend gastric sleeve surgery to help you lose excess weight and reduce your risk of health problems like hypertension and obstructive sleep apnea.
What is gastric sleeve surgery?
Gastric sleeve surgery or sleeve gastrectomy is a weight loss procedure that specialists perform using a laparoscope. The process involves removing approximately 80% of your stomach, leaving a small pouch that resembles a banana’s shape and size. Since surgery is done with the aid of a laparoscope, the doctor only requires small incisions to insert the necessary tools for surgery. The procedure is therefore minimally invasive, unlike open surgeries. By limiting or reducing the stomach size, you can only consume small food portions. You also get fuller faster, and the procedure also prompts hormonal changes that help you lose weight.
When would I need a sleeve gastrectomy?
Gastric sleeve surgery is an option for obese individuals whose weight puts them at risk of severe high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and obstructive sleep apnea. Although it is a weight loss procedure, specialists only recommend this surgery after you have tried losing pounds with exercise and dietary changes. It could also be an option if you have extreme obesity, meaning your body mass index (BMI) is 40 and higher. Individuals with a lower BMI but with serious health-related weight problems could also be good candidates for gastric sleeve surgery.
How do I prepare for the procedure?
Like any other surgical procedure, an initial consultation is essential. You will discuss the process with your doctor, including the potential risks. For example, gastric sleeve surgery is associated with several risks, including infection, reactions to anesthesia, excessive bleeding, breathing problems, and leaks at the stapled area of the stomach. Patients can also develop long-term complications such as malnutrition, hernia, vomiting, gastrointestinal obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux, and low blood sugar.
Consultation is also necessary since you get to ask all the questions regarding the procedure. Your doctor may also inform you that gastric surgery requires you to make permanent lifestyle changes. After surgery, you will need to monitor your lifestyle, nutrition, and health conditions.
Several weeks before surgery, your specialist may require you to start physical activity and stop tobacco use. There may be restrictions on what you consume right before the procedure, including the medications you can take. Preparing for surgery also includes other things such as adjusting your home to accommodate you as you heal and arranging for your ride home.
If you need to know whether you are a good candidate for gastric sleeve surgery, consult with your doctor at LoneStar Bariatrics.