Gastric sleeve surgery is currently the fastest-growing weight loss surgery in North America. Because of the reported weight loss results and lower risks than some other weight loss surgeries, it’s a popular choice for those who haven’t seen results with diet and exercise.
What is gastric sleeve surgery?
Also known as sleeve gastrectomy, gastric sleeve surgery is a weight loss procedure in which your surgeon removes approximately 75% of your stomach. They then join the remaining parts of your stomach, forming a smaller stomach about the size of a banana. This new, smaller stomach is called a “sleeve.”
While removing three-fourths of your stomach may seem drastic, this is why the procedure works so well. With a considerably smaller stomach, you feel full much faster than you did before.
Results are considerable, too. Over 12-18 months, many people usually lose about 60% of their extra weight.
What is the gastric sleeve procedure like?
On the day of your surgery, you receive general anesthesia. Dr. Bello then performs the gastric sleeve procedure laparoscopically, which means it’s minimally-invasive, and they only operate using several tiny incisions in your stomach. Overall, the gastric sleeve procedure takes about an hour, and you may go home the same day of your surgery, or you may need to stay in the hospital for one or three days for recovery.
Dr. Bello performs the procedure using the da Vinci® robotic surgical system, which is a magnified 3D high-definition vision technology. He controls tiny instruments that bend and rotate in ways that the human hand can’t. As a result, the da Vinci system enables Dr. Bello to operate with greater vision, precision, and control.
What can I eat after gastric sleeve surgery?
The first day after gastric sleeve surgery, you must drink clear liquids. You can then move on to pureed foods and protein shakes, which you stay on for about a month. During this time, keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Chew thoroughly before swallowing
- Don’t drink while you eat (your new stomach might overfill)
- Drink liquids at least half an hour after finishing a meal
- Avoid high-calorie sodas and snacks
- Take vitamin and mineral supplements
As with any weight loss surgery, after your procedure, you should commit to meaningful lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise.
Am I a good candidate for a gastric sleeve?
In general, patients with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40 are a good fit for gastric sleeves. Some people are too heavy to qualify for gastric bypass surgery, so a gastric sleeve surgery may be a good alternative.