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Exploring the Effectiveness of Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Long-term Weight Management

Gastric sleeve procedures are effective long-term weight loss management solutions. But what is weight loss surgery, aka bariatric surgery? And is it safe for everyone? Let’s find out. 

Overview of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a type of surgical weight loss operation done on the digestive system to help patients suffering from extreme obesity to lose weight. The procedure may be done through open surgery or via a laparoscope.

Not every person with severe obesity qualifies for bariatric surgery. Doctors screen each patient to assess their suitability for the procedure. 

They typically consider patients with a BMI of 40 and above, which signifies severe obesity. However, patients whose BMI is between 30 and 39 can qualify for the surgery if they have serious wealth-related health conditions, like high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes.

Usually, qualifying patients:

  • Have tried to lose weight through other means without success
  • They are also likely to suffer serious health problems due to their weight

Having bariatric gastric surgery reduces the patient’s risk for severe weight-related health conditions such as:

Different Types of Bariatric Surgeries

There are different types of bariatric surgeries. The most commonly performed are:

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Understanding the benefits of gastric sleeve surgery for weight loss can help patients who battle serious weight complications consider the operation as a permanent weight control solution.

The most common bariatric surgery, gastric sleeve operation entails the removal of at least 80 percent of the stomach. It’s a simpler procedure than other forms of bariatric surgery as it does not interfere with the intestines.

The procedure, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, reduces the stomach size so the patient can eat smaller amounts of food.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

This is a non-reversible type of bariatric surgery and the most common. Gastric bypass surgery is done on the stomach, where the surgeon cuts across the top part of the tummy to create a tiny pouch. They then cut the small intestine and sew the middle portion of it onto the pouch they created.

Food goes into the newly-made pouch and then into the small intestine. It bypasses the larger part of the stomach and the first portion of the small intestine. Since the pouch holds a small amount of food, the patient eats tiny amounts at a time, which helps with portion control and keeping the weight away post-surgery.

Adjustable Gastric Band

Often performed laparoscopically, adjustable gastric band (AGB) surgery involves the upper abdomen. The surgeon makes small incisions in the top part of the stomach and then puts a gastric balloon around the area. 

Adding the balloon creates a small tummy pouch, and the patient feels full after eating a small amount of food. The bariatric balloon is adjustable, and the surgeon adjusts its size by adding or removing fluid.

Preparing for Bariatric Surgery: A Step-by-Step Guide

Plenty of preparation goes into performing bariatric surgery. The surgeon first assesses the patient to determine whether the operation is safe for them and whether it will benefit them. In addition to ensuring the patient receives counseling, the doctor will:

  • Check the patient’s medical history
  • Carry out different exams
  • Order for various lab tests.

The doctor may also require the patient to:

  • Start an exercise program
  • Observe certain dietary rules
  • Stop using some medications
  • Quit using substances like tobacco.

The doctor monitors the patient over a specified period before conducting the surgery.

Recovery and Aftercare Following Bariatric Surgery

Following any weight loss operation, the patient must adopt strict dietary habits. The surgeon will advise what to eat, how much to partake, and how often. They may involve a nutritionist or dietitian to walk with the patient as they become accustomed to their new dietary lifestyle. 

Patients are encouraged to pursue a healthy diet after surgery. Regular consumption of unhealthy foods could impact the results of the surgery and lead to weight gain.

Over time, the gastric sleeve may dilate, enabling the patient to eat larger food quantities and eventually regain the weight. 

The patient should continue with follow-up hospital visits for monitoring and blood tests. Since they are now taking small food amounts, the patient may be absorbing insufficient nutrients. If tests show inadequate vitamin levels, the doctor may require them to take nutritional supplements.

Joining a weight-loss support group can provide emotional support from peers to encourage the patient to stick to the program.

Long-term Outcomes and Success Stories

When patients follow all post-surgery instructions, long-term surgical sleeve outcomes are good. Patients can consult their healthcare provider for success stories of individuals who took the same bariatric surgery journey. Doctors are usually happy to share such reports or connect patients to support groups where others can share their experiences.

Jet Medical Tourism. Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Chart, Timeline. Senol, K., Ferhatoglu, M. F., Kocaeli, A. A., Dundar, H. Z., & Kaya, E. (2021). Clinical Features and Short-Term Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery in Morbidly Obese Patients: Institutional Experience at a Rural Hospital. Bariatric surgical practice and patient care, 16(1), 61–67.

Mehedi Hasan

Mehedi Hasan is an enthusiastic health blogger and the founder member of WOMS. He likes to share his thoughts to make people inspired about their fitness. He is an experienced writer and author on highly authoritative health blogs.

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