Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery

It is no secret that obesity has hit record-high levels in the United States, with approximately 75% of the adult population categorized as overweight or obese. This rise in obesity has also increased the popularity of sleeve weight loss surgery.

Today we are going to talk about this commonly performed surgical procedure, what it entails, the risks, the recovery, the average weight loss, and if this surgery is considered permanent. Next, we will provide an alternative that offers comparable results without having to undergo surgery.

What Is The Sleeve For Weight Loss?

Weight loss sleeve surgery is performed by a bariatric surgeon and involves the patient’s stomach being reduced to a much smaller size. It is done by cutting away approximately 80% of the stomach tissue and stapling the remaining edges together. The surgery usually takes around two hours, during which time the patient is asleep under general anesthesia.

Normally, the surgery is done using a laparoscope, which is a thin surgical tool that has a camera on one end so the surgeon can watch what they are doing. Several very small cuts are made in the patient’s abdominal area and used for the special surgical tools to gain access to the stomach. The procedure usually takes about an hour and a half to complete, and patients normally spend at least one night in the hospital.

How Does Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Work?

This surgery helps individuals lose weight because it forces portion control. Their stomachs are made substantially smaller and they can only eat tiny portions. The smaller stomach is slower to empty so the food that is consumed lingers there for a longer time helping reduce feelings of hunger. One of the biggest benefits of the surgery is that the portion of the stomach that is cut away is the part that makes and secretes the hormone that creates the hunger sensation. The smaller stomach size, the reduction in the hormone ghrelin, and the stomach staying full for a longer time work together to cause weight loss.

What Is The Recovery Like After Sleeve Surgery For Weight Loss?

When patients are discharged to go home, they are given detailed instructions on how to minimize the risk of complications and are advised when they can resume their normal routine. They are advised to take frequent short walks and stay hydrated as they recover, and they are given a very strict diet to follow for the next few months.

While every person will recover at their rate, it usually takes about three weeks for the outside stitches to totally heal and around six weeks for the stomach staple line to heal. Depending on their line of work, patients are often advised to take several weeks off for their recovery.

Weight Loss Surgery Sleeve Risks & Complications

Like any surgical procedure, there is the potential to experience some side effects or complications. Many of these side effects will gradually resolve themselves as your body adjusts to the changes that were made.

Many individuals experience the following side effects after having sleeve surgery for weight loss:

The stomach has undergone some drastic changes, and it will have to get used to doing its job once again. This means patients must watch what they eat and ensure they do not eat or drink too fast. Nausea and vomiting are common side effects immediately after surgery and usually go away after a few months as long as the patient follows their dietary guidelines.
Feeling Drained And Lethargic
Eating fewer calories affects the level of energy an individual has, and the discomfort and pain felt during recovery can impact the amount and quality of sleep acquired.
Feeling Uncomfortable
Most patients are uncomfortable due to pain and nausea during the first few weeks, but the doctor can prescribe some medications that will help alleviate the majority of it. As the body heals, these aches and pains will go away.
Digestion And Waste Management Issues
A large number of individuals experience issues such as diarrhea and constipation after undergoing sleeve surgery for weight loss. They may also feel stomach upset or hear loud gurgling sounds coming from their tummy. These are all normal side effects resulting from the drastic changes in diet and should resolve on their own over time.
Hair Thinning And Skin Breakouts
The drastic reduction in calorie consumption, along with the fast rate at which weight is lost after bariatric surgery, can trigger hormonal changes. These changes are often accompanied by acne breakouts or changes in skin texture, as well as temporary hair loss. It is important to consume protein and take the supplements recommended by your doctor to help mitigate these side effects.
Complications Of Sleeve Surgery
Complications that can occur after sleeve weight loss surgery include excessive blood loss, infection, staple line leaking, blood clots, a negative reaction to anesthesia, lung issues, obstructions, hernias, acid reflux, hypoglycemia, a lack of adequate nutrition, and chronic vomiting.

Weight Loss Sleeve FAQs

How fast is weight loss after sleeve weight loss surgery?

Each patient will have their own weight loss speed, but studies show that the average weight loss for this procedure can range from five to fifteen pounds per week for the first several months, after which it should slow to one to two pounds a week. Most patients lose a little over 30% of their excess body weight during the first three months, and by the time they reach a year, most have lost between 60% and 65% of their excess body weight.

Can you stop weight loss after weight loss sleeve surgery?

Most people reach their goal weight and then begin their “maintenance phase,” which is where they adjust their diet to maintain their ideal weight. In the rare occurrence that weight loss continues, the first thing to do is to contact your bariatric surgeon to ensure there is nothing wrong. In rare cases, the stomach pouch may have become twisted, which can impair the digestive process and cause continuous weight loss or more serious issues.

Once potential issues are ruled out, the doctor can adjust your diet, increase the number of healthy calories you consume, add in-between-meal snacks, or suggest changes in physical activity.

Is sleeve weight loss surgery reversible?

No, once the stomach tissue is surgically removed, the results of sleeve weight loss surgery are permanent.

Is There Anything Available Today That Works Like The Sleeve For Weight Loss But Does Not Require Surgery?

Yes, Suture Sculpt endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) offers the same weight loss potential as weight loss sleeve surgery but is non-surgical and performed as an outpatient procedure. This procedure is also completely reversible, unlike the changes that are made during weight loss sleeve surgery.

The Main Differences Between the Surgical & Endoscopic Sleeve

Read the experiences of people who claim that "gastric sleeve ruined my life". Learn about a non-surgical alternative Suture Sculpt.

The patient’s stomach is reduced in size using a special suturing device that is lowered down the throat endoscopically. The procedure is done entirely from inside the patient’s body; there are no cuts made, so recovery is minimal, and there are no activity restrictions afterward. The patient does need to adhere to a special diet as their stomach acclimates to its new size and shape; however, it is for a much shorter time period than after sleeve surgery. Patients are able to resume their normal activities in just a few days and do not need to take extended leave from work.

Where Can I Learn More About Non-Surgical Ways To Get Sleeve Surgery Weight Loss Results?

At Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center, we customize a weight loss strategy for your circumstances, taking into account any underlying conditions that may be in play. Your program will not involve surgery or incisions but will be safe and it will help you succeed in reaching the goals you have for achieving a healthy weight and BMI.

Contact us today to set up an appointment to discuss your options, including a non-surgical sleeve for weight loss – Suture Sculpt ESG.

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