Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric-Sleeve-Surgery-The-Sleeve-Center-1If you are interested in learning more about gastric sleeve surgery, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with a top bariatric surgeon in southern California.

Who Gastric Sleeve Surgery Is For

Severe obesity, which is sometimes referred to as morbid obesity, is difficult to manage with only dietary changes. For some people, their size and weight make it difficult to increase physical activity. In this type of a positive feedback loop, it is almost impossible to lose weight.

Gastric sleeve surgery is designed for people who are facing this situation. A doctor may suggest gastric sleeve surgery for a person who has a body mass index (BMI) of more than 40. If a person has a BMI that is between 35 and 40 and also has another risk factor such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or arthritis, the procedure may be recommended. The gastric sleeve procedure is typically only performed on adults because children and teenagers are not yet done growing and developing. For most people, gastric sleeve surgery is a last option for losing weight. Anyone who is considering the gastric sleeve procedure must be able to commit to regular checkups and blood tests at their doctor’s office. Patients must also be able to commit to maintaining the dietary and lifestyle changes that help to increase the surgery’s chances for successful weight loss.

During your consultation, Dr. Naim will work with you and discuss your goals and medical history in order to determine if this procedure would work best for you. If not, there may be another weight loss procedure that would be a good fit.

The Normal Digestive Process

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During the normal digestive process, a person chews food, swallows it and it travels through the esophagus and into the stomach. Digestive enzymes in the stomach break down the food and nutrients are absorbed through the small intestine. The stomach can hold up to 3 pints of food. As the food passes through the intestines, calcium, and iron are absorbed into the bloodstream. The calories from fat and protein are absorbed and then the indigestible parts of food are passed into the large intestine until they are eliminated through the colon.

In most people, the digestive process takes 12 to 18 hours, depending on the type and quantity of food that is consumed. The gastric sleeve surgery changes how the digestive process works because only a small portion of the stomach is available for the secretion of enzymes and the storage of food. The surgery reduces the amount of food that a person’s stomach can hold, which in turn reduces the amount of nutrients and calories that the digestive system can absorb.

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How Gastric Sleeve Surgery Works

In a gastric sleeve surgical procedure, the surgeon places a band or a sleeve around a small portion of the stomach. In some patients, the remainder of the stomach is surgically removed. This is referred to as a gastrectomy. The gastric sleeve significantly restricts the amount of food that a person can eat at each meal or during a snack. Instead of being able to eat up to 3 pints of food in one sitting, a person’s will be limited to eating about 1/3 of a cup. The smaller stomach area also means that less of the hormone ghrelin is produced. This hormone is what causes a person to feel hungry. When less ghrelin is released, a person will be less likely to eat when they are not actually hungry.

The surgical procedure itself is done in a hospital while the patient is under general anesthesia. The recovery time in the hospital is 5 to 7 days, but this varies and can even be shortened with the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques. By the time the patient goes home, he or she would be on a liquid diet. About six weeks after the surgery, the patient would be ready to resume eating a variety of solid foods.

How Gastric Sleeve Surgery Helps Patients to Lose Weight

Gastric-Sleeve-Surgery-The-Sleeve-Center-4When a person can only eat 5 to 10 percent of the quantity of food that they used to, the body gets fewer calories. The gastric sleeve surgery also reduces the appetite and cravings for high calorie foods. This combination means that the person takes in fewer calories. When a patient uses more calories than they take in, they lose weight.

The most rapid period of weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery takes place within the first six months. After this time, the person will need to continue eating a healthy diet, taking vitamin supplements, and exercising in order to continue losing any excess weight. For many patients, exercising gets easier after the initial weight loss. This is because the joints do not have to bear as much weight and are less fatigued.

The exact results that you will experience vary, and only your doctor can provide you with realistic expectations for your surgery.

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Tips on Paying for Gastric Sleeve Surgery

A morbidly obese person is at a high risk for the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, which can be expensive to treat. Obesity is also associated with premature death. Because of these risks, some health insurance companies will provide medical coverage for this type of procedure. Patients may need to go through a specified period of counseling before the procedure and agree to work with a dietician or nutritionist after the procedure in order to increase the chances of successful weight loss. If the patient’s insurance does not cover the surgery, it may be possible to establish a flexible spending account or a health savings account to pay for the gastric sleeve surgery.

At our center, we also allow patients to pay for their procedure using Care Credit, the top patient payment system in the country.

To learn more about gastric sleeve surgery as well as other types of weight loss procedures, contact our office today and schedule a free consultation with Dr. Naim.