If you’re beginning to explore options for weight loss surgery, Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates P.A., can determine if you are a good candidate for the gastric sleeve procedure. Also known as a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, it is one of the most popular weight loss procedures available today, with many patients losing roughly 60% of their body weight within a year to 18 months after surgery. By reducing the stomach’s size and helping with cravings, this surgery offers patients many important benefits.

Gastric Sleeve Defined

Gastric SleeveThe gastric sleeve is a weight loss procedure that reduces the size of the stomach from one quart (32 ounces) to that of a banana (8 to 10 ounces). There are two main outcomes achieved by the gastric sleeve. First, a much smaller stomach helps reduce the intake of food. Additionally, the procedure removes a portion of the stomach that produces ghrelin, often called the “hunger hormone.” This combination helps patients feel full faster and experience fewer cravings than they once did.

How Gastric Sleeve Surgery Is Performed

Despite its complex nature, the gastric sleeve procedure is typically completed in about an hour. Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates P.A. will begin the surgery by making several small incisions in your abdominal area. Then, a laparoscope, a tubular tool with a camera on the end, will be inserted to provide a clear picture of your stomach. Other instruments will then be inserted through the other incisions to remove about 75% of the stomach. In the last step, the stomach’s open edges are stapled together, and a slender, sleeve-like stomach remains.

Advantages and Risks of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

There are many advantages to choosing a gastric sleeve procedure over other types of weight loss surgery or non-surgical methods. You’ll be able to decrease your appetite and get full faster, yielding an average of 60% body weight loss for most patients. In addition, patients who undergo gastric sleeve surgery are typically released from the hospital the same day or after an overnight stay, and the procedure can improve conditions including high blood pressure, sleep apnea, type II diabetes, and PCOS.

However, there are some risks associated with gastric sleeve surgery. While negative outcomes are rare, you should be aware of them before deciding to undergo this procedure. Gastric sleeve surgery cannot be reversed, and the removal of the stomach tissue is permanent. Some patients experience side effects, including blood clots, gallstones, leakage, skin separation, hernia, and other issues associated with the procedure. Taking proper precautions before your gastric sleeve surgery, such as quitting smoking, increasing exercise, and following a prescribed diet, can help reduce risk. Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates P.A. will assess your risk factors to ensure this procedure is the best one for you.

Preparing for Lifestyle Changes

Before your gastric sleeve, Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates P.A. will place you on a strict diet to help your body lose weight and eliminate toxins in preparation for the procedure. Patients must follow a liquid diet for three days after surgery, and in the coming days will continue to introduce a greater variety of foods into their eating plan. When questions arise, Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates P.A. is available to provide support and help ensure your surgery is successful.

For more information on the gastric sleeve procedure or to find out if this is the right weight loss option for you, contact Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates P.A. today.