Sleeve Gastrectomy: Everything You Need to Know

Sleeve Gastrectomy: Everything You Need to Know

Also known as gastric sleeve surgery, sleeve gastrectomy has evolved into one of the most popular elective surgeries for weight loss. A common method used in battling obesity, sleeve gastrectomy, involves a bariatric surgeon removing a large portion of the stomach, leading to rapid weight loss. If you, too, are considering a gastric sleeve surgery in order to get rid of those extra pounds, you may want to conduct thorough research before making the ultimate decision. Here is everything you need to know about sleeve gastrectomy, including risks and complications, average costs, long-term effects, and surgery options abroad.

What is Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical method used commonly for weight loss. During a sleeve gastrectomy, the surgeon removes up to 70 to 80 percent of the stomach while performing the surgery laparoscopically. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is one of the safest and most effective ways that help excessive weight loss in people with a BMI larger than 40. Ultimately, sleeve gastrectomy restricts food intake that directly induces weight loss.

How Does the Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure Work?

Nowadays known as one of the most minimally invasive procedures with battling obesity, gastric sleeve surgery is performed using a laparoscope, a long, thin tube designed to be inserted in the patient’s abdomen via a few small incisions. Since the tube has a tiny camera and a light attached to its end, it is the instrument that does most of the work during the procedure. The sleeve gastrectomy procedure is done under general anesthesia, where the stomach is divided into two parts. About 70 – 80 percent of the stomach’s outer part is then removed, while the surgeons staple the remaining percentage together by the edges. A banana-shaped stomach is left in place, which is only about 25 percent of the original size. Given that no complications occur, the operation takes about an hour, after which the patient is typically discharged in 2 or 3 days. The small incisions heal quite quickly due to the procedure’s minimally invasive nature. This also speeds up the recovery and helps patients get back on their feet faster than they would after a regular abdomen surgery that requires a larger incision.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of a Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Being a minimally invasive and safe procedure, sleeve gastrectomy side effects are similar to any other surgery, which may include swelling, bloating, moderate pain in the incision area, and mild nausea. A few risks may come with unexpected sleeve gastrectomy complications, such as bleeding, infection, blood clotting, leakage, damage to other organs, and transition to open surgery during the procedure. Though the risk of these major complications happening in sleeve gastrectomy is very low, your surgeon will still be explaining the entire possible outcome in detail and whether those risks apply to you.

What is the Cost of a Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy cost may vary from clinic to clinic and surgeon to surgeon, as well as the country you choose to get the surgery in. While some people choose to get a sleeve gastrectomy via their local hospital or a bariatric surgeon within their area, some opt for a more radical solution and search for bariatric surgeons specializing in gastric sleeve operations abroad. Most of the time, this option provides a much better healthcare possibility, a budget-friendly surgery option, and a chance to work with doctors experienced in their field. For more international options on sleeve gastrectomy, click here. The cost of a sleeve gastrectomy may vary anywhere from $17,000 to $30,000, depending on the surgeon you choose, the extent of the operation, and the location you plan on getting your surgery done in.

Advantages of Getting a Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Sleeve gastrectomy is usually associated with minimal post-operative pain, as well as numerous advantages that it holds both short and long term. Some of the possible advantages a gastric sleeve surgery entails can be listed as follows:
  • Restricted portions
  • Reduced hunger & appetite
  • Durable weight loss
  • Resolution of weight-related diseases
  • Less risk of a malabsorption
  • No dumping syndrome
  • Organic transition to a healthier lifestyle

Sleeve Gastrectomy vs. Gastric Bypass: What’s the Difference?

There is a common misconception that sleeve gastrectomy vs. gastric bypass is the same procedure. However, gastric bypass entails the surgeon making a small pouch that skips most of the stomach, heading towards the intestine. A gastric sleeve, on the other hand, is usually the best option for obese people or people who have a body mass index of 40 and more. In case a patient is too heavy for a gastric bypass, the doctor will recommend undergoing sleeve gastrectomy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sleeve Gastrectomy

What are the possible sleeve gastrectomy complications that can occur during surgery?

Although rare, hemorrhage, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, irregular heartbeat, and gastric leaks are some of the complications that may occur during or after a sleeve gastrectomy. It is important to note that sleeve gastrectomy is irreversible, meaning that the patients will have to alter their lifestyle – especially eating habits – in a major way for the rest of their lives. It is always to gain the weight back you’ve lost following the surgery if you continue eating an unhealthy diet, eat too much, or do not exercise enough.

How much does a sleeve gastrectomy cost abroad?

Turkey, India, Germany, Thailand, and The UAE are the most affordable countries for gastric sleeve surgery. Sleeve gastrectomy prices in these countries may vary from $8000 to $15000.

Do I have to follow a strict sleeve gastrectomy diet afterward?

It is essential to be following a strict, specific lifestyle after the surgery. A healthy sleeve gastrectomy diet includes regular exercise, eating foods in small amounts, chewing well, following a protein-based, balanced diet, and looking after your health in general. Most bariatric surgeons will refer their patients to a dietitian in the follow-up visits in order to receive professional help. Keep in mind that you will have to stick to a healthier lifestyle for the rest of your life.

What is the difference between vertical sleeve gastrectomy and a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy?

A vertical sleeve gastrectomy is essentially the same term used for sleeve gastrectomy laparoscopic.