When considering gastric sleeve surgery, it is common to have questions. Gastric sleeve surgery, or a sleeve gastrectomy, is a popular surgical option for weight loss. It reduces the size of the stomach by approximately 80 percent to help patients lose weight, and it typically has less risk and less complications than gastric bypass surgery. Your surgeon will be able to elaborate more for your specific condition, but there are several issues that are frequently asked.
1. How do I know if gastric sleeve surgery is right for me?
People with a body mass index (or BMI) of greater than 40, or patients with a BMI greater than 35 with other medical conditions, can be good candidates for this procedure. Gastric sleeve surgery also tends to have less complications than gastric bypass surgery, and it does not use a foreign body placed in the abdominal cavity. Patients who have gastric sleeve surgery tend to have less vitamin and mineral deficiencies than those who get other bariatric surgeries.
2. Will I have to diet before the surgery?
Usually, this answer is yes. Your surgeon will place you on a special diet, which can help to reduce the size of the liver and abdomen. This helps to decrease your risk of complications during surgery and makes it safer. Sometimes insurance companies require three to six months of a physician-monitored diet program before they will approve the cost of gastric sleeve surgery. This is typically focused on food education and shows that you are willing to comply with a physician’s advice and can keep appointments.
3. Will my medications need to be changed after surgery?
Ideally, you will have to change dosages or maybe even eliminate medications after gastric sleeve surgery. The goal of bariatric surgery is to lose weight, and many medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure improve with dietary changes and weight loss. You may require lower doses of your prescription medications or you might even be able to stop some completely. Additionally, gastric sleeve surgery may reduce your body’s ability to absorb some nutrients, so you may need to start a multivitamin and certain supplements. Your healthcare provider should be able to give you further direction and advice on your body’s specific needs.
Gastric sleeve surgery can be a great solution for weight loss. It is common to have questions when considering any surgical option, and your doctor will be able to guide you in the best treatment options for you.
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