Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Who Needs It, What Are the Benefits, and What Risks Does it Come With?

In 2011-2012, obesity affected 35.7% of adults from the United States alone. Obesity is a chronic disease in which a person accumulates a disproportionate amount of body fat in their life due to an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. Since this problem is becoming increasingly common in the United States, many people seek to reduce their risk of several obesity-associated diseases. One method implemented for this goal is an increasingly popular procedure known as gastric sleeve surgery.

The gastric sleeve in Frisco is a common obesity surgery because of its low risk and effectiveness. The procedure reduces the size of the stomach by about 95%, which forces patients to eat less food while also making them feel more full.

Who Needs Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Many patients could benefit from this surgery, but it is most commonly recommended if you are 100 pounds or more over the average weight in your height category according to the body mass index (BMI). Another indicator will be if you have had several obesity-related diseases, such as hypertension or diabetes.

What Are the Benefits?

  • Weight Loss

The most significant benefit to this procedure is the amount of weight you can lose. Weight loss after surgery is around 20% of your total body mass, which means if you weigh 400 pounds, you could expect to lose 80 pounds or more. This number will vary depending on how much excess fat the patient has and their lifestyle changes following surgery.

  • Appetite Reduction

This surgery is effective at making you feel full after only eating a small portion of food. A normal stomach can hold up to 2 liters of food, but the sleeve reduces this volume down to about 5 ounces – the volume of your hand. This drastic size reduction decreases how many calories you take in every day.

  • Improved Health

Following this surgery, there are several health benefits. These include waist size reduction, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, removal of sleep apnea symptoms, decreased joint pain, the release of fatty liver symptoms, and improved energy levels.

What Are the Complications?

A gastric sleeve surgery comes with several short-term and long-term risks, but most are rare. Short-term risks include:

  • Incisions that break open
  • Infection
  • Respiratory failure due to low oxygen levels in the blood
  • Intestinal leaks

Long term risks include: 

  • Vitamin deficiencies (due to decreased absorption of nutrients)
  • Gallstones (stones formed from bile containing substances like cholesterol, bile salts, bilirubin, or calcium) 
  • Small bowel obstruction (an obstruction that affects part or all of the small intestine, which decreases how much food a patient can take in) 
  • Decreased bone density (due to malabsorption)

What Happens After Surgery?

You will typically spend 2-3 days in the hospital for recovery. After spending those days, you must keep taking medication such as proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers to help your stomach produce less acid.

To summarize, gastric sleeve surgery is a procedure that reduces the size of the stomach to help deal with obesity. You may need it if you have any obesity-related illness or are over the average BMI. It can help with weight loss, appetite reduction, and improved overall wellbeing. Patients rarely develop complications after the procedure. You may need to stay in hospital for two to three days.

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