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Friday, September 7, 2012

Gastric Sleeve Surgery - Is It For You?

Many people struggle to lose weight. For some, it's for cosmetic reasons. For others, it's a matter of life and death. Obesity bears great responsibility for health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, strokes and some emotional conditions like depression and anxiety. A healthy diet and plenty of exercise is always the best way to lose weight. But for some, it's more complicated than that.

If your body mass index is greater than 40, you might be a good candidate for Gastric Sleeve Surgery. For men, this means being about 100 pounds overweight and for women this means carrying around an excess of about 80 pounds. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), this is the requirement before a doctor can consider you for this surgery. The only exception to this rule is if you have a life-threatening illness like diabetes.

So, what is Gastric Sleeve Surgery (GSS)? This surgery is performed directly onto your stomach. It basically means removing a large slice (about 85%) of stomach area and then stapling it closed. What is left looks like a sleeve, thus the name. With a smaller stomach, it holds less food. Additionally, the area of stomach that is removed produces hormones that may cause hunger. So, without those in place, you may experience less appetite. Many insurance companies are jumping on board to pay for GSS and if not, the procedure costs a little over $10,000.

The surgery takes about two hours and you would be put under general anesthesia. Gastric Sleeve Surgery will likely require a few days of  hospital stay and a few weeks of recovery time. Risks include stomach leakage, infection, blood clots and there is always the possibility that you might regain the weight over time because the stomach can stretch out again. Because of the blood clot risk, it's absolutely imperative that you stop smoking a month before and a month after the surgery.

After this surgery, your whole life will be different. Not only will you be losing up to 80% of your body weight within the first six months to a year, you will have to learn a different way to eat. The Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery states that an individual who has underwent GSS will have to learn to take smaller bites, eat smaller amounts at one sitting, chew slower and more thoroughly and learn not to eat and drink at the same time. Drinking should be done about 30 minutes after a meal is finished.

So losing weight by this method can be risky business, but keeping the weight on is riskier.


Nancy J. Dunn said...

Your article is really great now I came to know why and when gastric sleeve surgery is needed.

Suzanne Leavitt Lender said...

Thanks for your comment and thanks for stopping by. :)

ipf said...

The mini gastric bypass surgery in Mexico is a very simple surgery that will reduce the amount of food that the stomach can hold...

Suzanne Leavitt Lender said...

Thank for sharing.