Gastric sleeve surgery involves removing three quarters of the bottom part of the stomach. This restricts the amount of food a patient can consume and more importantly reduced the amount of hunger hormone ghrelin that the stomach produces. This help patients lose weight by decreasing the amount they can eat and also decreasing their hunger between meals.
Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Right for Me?
Patients can expect to eat smaller portions and have a reduced appetite following gastric sleeve surgery leading to a steady loss of weight over time. By following the postoperative recommendations patients can expect to lose approximately 1 kilogram per week, until their body weight reaches a normal range.
Advantages of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Gastric sleeve surgery has an number of advantages over other procedures:
- Stomach openings and nerves remain intact and unaltered.
- Digestion functions normally as the only change is to the size of the stomach.
- The section of the stomach responsible for producing the hunger hormone, ghrelin is removed, which means you will be less hungry post-surgery.
- Lower chance of complications such as ulcers and other risks associated with gastric bypass.
- The procedure for gastric sleeve surgery is laparoscopic, rather than open, meaning it is less invasive, scarring will be minimal, and recovery will be quicker.
What is involved in Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
During the procedure the doctor will:
- Make small incisions in the abdomen.
- Insert specialised surgical tools, including a camera, through the incisions.
- Remove the lower section of the stomach (which makes up 70-80 percent of the entire lining).
- Use a specialised stapling device to close the sides of the stomach tube (or sleeve) which remains.
Preparing for Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Before the procedure Dr Dolan will run a series of tests to ensure that patients are ready for surgery. Dr Dolan will go over the specific instructions for preoperative care, but generally patients will need to:
- Go on a liquid diet a week before surgery.
- Avoid eating after midnight, the day before surgery.
- Ask a friend or family member to be at the hospital for support and comfort.
Patients may also want to purchase the foods, drinks, and medications they will require after surgery.
What to Expect After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Following surgery patients will need to eat a liquid for two week, then a pureed diet for two weeks. Four weeks after surgery, patients should be able to resume eating normal foods.
Patients also need to a commit to healthy lifestyle as part of the recovery and weight loss process. This involves following the plan set out by the surgeon, dietitian and exercise physiologist.