Every year, more than 200,000 people in the U.S. undergo weight loss surgery.
Of these procedures, the gastric sleeve is one of the most popular, and for good reason. In addition to being very effective, gastric sleeve surgery is also safer than a lot of other types of surgery.
Have you been considering gastric sleeve surgery? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about the gastric sleeve and why it’s the safest weight loss surgery option.
What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
A gastric sleeve procedure is a type of laparoscopic weight loss surgery.
Gastric sleeve surgery involves the removal of the left portion of the stomach through small incisions made in the upper part of the abdomen. The leftover portion of the stomach is known as a sleeve.
Because it is so much smaller than it was previously, the person who undergoes surgery cannot consume as much food as they used to. Their calories get lowered in a dramatic fashion and, as a result, they lose weight, often at a rapid pace.
Why Is It the Safest Weight Loss Surgery?
Most experts agree that gastric sleeve surgery is the safest weight loss surgery one can undergo.
The risk of complications associated with gastric sleeve surgery is much lower than the risk of complications from other weight-loss surgeries, including gastric bypass and adjustable gastric banding.
People who choose gastric sleeve surgery are less likely to experience serious issues like blood clots. They’re also less likely to need to be readmitted to the hospital for repairs or follow-up surgeries.
Some people claim that gastric bypass surgery is the superior procedure because it yields more significant weight loss in a shorter period of time. However, it also presents a greater risk of complications. Those who undergo gastric bypass are also more likely to experience severe digestive issues, such as constipation, once their surgery is complete.
The 30-day post-surgery complication rate is similar for gastric sleeve and adjustable gastric banding, but gastric sleeve complications rates are still a bit lower. Gastric sleeve surgery also tends to yield better weight loss results than gastric banding, making it a preferable option for most people.
Other Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
The low risk of complications is one of the most noteworthy benefits of choosing gastric sleeve surgery over other options. There are some other reasons why you may want to undergo this particular procedure, including the following.
Gastric sleeve surgery preserves the pylorus. The pylorus is a valve the regulates the stomach emptying process.
Because the pylorus remains in place, food stays in your stomach longer. As a result, you’ll continue to feel full longer and will be less inclined to overeat.
No Bowel Rearrangement
Unlike gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery doesn’t require the rearrangement of the bowel. This eliminates the risk of “dumping,” which occurs when the stomach contents enter the small intestine too quickly after eating.
“Dumping” can cause all kinds of digestive issues, which you won’t have to experience with a gastric sleeve.
No Absorption Effects
Other weight-loss surgeries impact your body’s ability to absorb food and nutrients. This isn’t the case with gastric sleeve surgery. As a result, you’ll be less likely to experience nutrient deficiencies as long as you’re eating a balanced diet post-surgery.
When you undergo gastric sleeve surgery, the portion of the stomach that houses ghrelin-producing cells gets removed. Ghrelin is a hormone that causes you to feel hunger when it’s produced.
Without ghrelin production, you’ll feel less hungry and will be less likely to overeat. This can lead to faster and more sustained weight loss.
Gastric sleeve surgery also does a great job of mitigating the symptoms associated with a variety of chronic illnesses.
When you lose weight, symptoms that accompany conditions like asthma, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and gastroesophageal reflux disease all tend to improve.
What Happens After Surgery?
At this point, you might be interested in undergoing gastric sleeve surgery. You may also want to get some more information on what life looks like after getting the gastric sleeve procedure.
Everyone’s experience is a bit different, of course. In general, though, recovery from gastric sleeve surgery goes something like this:
2-3 Days in the Hospital
The actual gastric sleeve surgery is very efficient. Barring any complications, it takes about one hour to complete.
Once the surgery is over, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days for regular monitoring and to ensure you’re on track to make a full recovery.
New Eating Habits
After your surgery, you’ll have to work on developing new eating habits. In the first month immediately following the surgery, you’ll need to eat a liquid/puree-only diet.
After that first month, you can start transitioning to larger meals and solid foods. You’ll have to keep your meals small and avoid high-calorie foods and beverages. You won’t be able to drink while you eat, either, or your stomach will fill up too quickly.
Rapid Weight Loss
Most people experience rapid weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery. On average, they lost about 60-70 percent of the extra weight they’re carrying within a 12-18 month period.
If you’re eating well and exercising, too, you can expect to lose more weight during this period.
Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Right for You?
Now that you have a clearer understanding of the gastric sleeve surgery and why it’s one of the safest weight loss surgery options, what do you think? Does it seem like a good option for you?
If you’re interested in learning more about weight loss surgery or other, non-surgical weight loss methods, we’ve got you covered.
Check out the Health section of our site today for some other helpful articles to help you make the best decision for your unique health needs and goals.