Gastric Sleeve: Is it Right for You?

Gastric Sleeve: Is it Right for You?
31 Jul 2023

Table of Contents

    Gastric sleeve is a surgical weight-loss procedure also titled “Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy”. In this operation, almost 80% of the stomach is taken out, and a tube-shaped stomach that appears like a regular size banana left. A gastric sleeve is done to help you stop potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems.

    The amount of food you can eat depends on the size of your stomach. In gastric sleeve, surgeons limit the size of the stomach, and basically, that restricts the food you eat. As a result, the total amount of calories taken in a day decreases and weight loss starts.

    In this article, we will mention gastric sleeve operation; its risk and benefit balance, and how gastric sleeve operation can change your lifestyle permanently. You will find out the importance of age during the resolution process and what BMI requirements are. 

    BMI Requirements

    You have tried many types of diets, and hours of daily exercise but your weight loss plan is still not working very well. Then you might turn the right page of your life book to have a gastric sleeve operation. 

    The main aim to have a gastric sleeve operation is to avoid life-threatening weight-related health problems like:

    • Heart disease
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Obstructive sleep apnea
    • Type-2 diabetes
    • Stroke
    • Cancer
    • Infertility

    Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a determinant to decide to have gastric sleeve surgery. If it is 40 or higher or it is between 35 to 39.9 and you have type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or severe sleep apnea, you are a candidate.

    Health Condition Criteria

    The health condition criteria of gastric sleeve surgery starts by understanding the risks and benefits of the operation. If your BMI is saying that you are available for a gastric sleeve surgery and you also learn that you are fit enough for the eligibility criteria of the operation, there are still more. You should also mentally be ready for the procedure. 

    You will start a long journey and must be ready for many difficulties on the road. Ask yourself, do you want to change your lifestyle, diet, and exercise habits that you used to see as a standard before gastric sleeve surgery? If you are happy with all answers, then you are about to the eligibility criteria.

    Surgical Risk Evaluation

    Gastric sleeve operation has some short-term and long-term risks which are as normal as you will find in any other major surgery. Some potential risks of gastric sleeve surgery may be lined up as:

    • Excessive bleeding
    • Infection
    • Adverse reactions to anesthesia
    • Blood clots
    • Lung or breathing problems
    • Leaks from the cut edge of the stomach

    The are some long-term risks regarding gastric sleeve surgery: Gastrointestinal obstruction, hernias, gastroesophageal reflux, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), malnutrition, and vomiting.

    It is for sure, the more you follow pre-operation instructions as we mentioned above, the more you avoid all kinds of risks related gastric sleeve operation.

    Lifestyle Change Commitment

    According to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, gastric sleeve surgery works. After 18-24 months of the surgery, you can expect to lose at least 50 percent of your current weight. So, it seems to be quite obvious that your dedication will work. At this point, what you need is lifestyle change commitment.

    Before gastric sleeve surgery, your surgeon will share an exercise plan. If you smoke, they will ask you to quit as smoking increases the risk related the operation. Do not forget, the amount of weight you lose depends on changing your lifestyle habits. That will make you easily reach the eligibility criteria.

    Risk-Benefit Understanding

    Compared to other bariatric surgery operations, gastric sleeve surgery is known as a much safer one. There are lots of benefits of gastric sleeve surgery that are the gate for you to a much healthier and better life. On the other hand, it may cause some additional side effects:

    • Gastric leaks: Stomach fluids can leak from the suture line
    • Stenosis: Part of your gastric sleeve can cause an obstruction
    • Vitamin deficiencies: As the removed part of your stomach is responsible for absorbing vitamins, you are suggested to take vitamin supplements.
    • Excess skin: When you lose weight very fast, you will probably have excess skin problems. Do not worry, your body stabilizes up to 18 months after gastric sleeve surgery.

    Age Considerations

    A known fact, as we age, our metabolism is getting slower and we became putting weight faster than before and a weight loss diet becomes harder. You may ask yourself or when you call a medical center where gastric sleeve surgery is done, ask the patient service staff, “Am I too old for gastric sleeve surgery?”

    A study by Geisinger Medical Center shows us, patients 60 or older underwent bariatric surgery and were followed for ten years. As long as your BMI values fit the requirements of the operation and you follow the instructions, there is no reason for your gastric sleeve surgery to fail. 


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