If you are one of the millions of Americans who is overweight and having trouble losing those extra pounds through the traditional methods of diet and exercise, then you may very well be thinking of trying a weight loss surgery. Congratulations on your bold decision, one which has ramifications for your continued good health and also for your pocketbook. As your physician should tell you, it’s always a good idea to think long and hard before undergoing a major medical procedure such as weight loss surgery. Furthermore, now is the time where you will be having to make big decisions, such as which type of weight loss surgery you would like to try. Fortunately, the weight loss surgery business is a thriving one, and doctors and surgeons are coming up with new ways to perform it more safely and successfully every day. One of these relatively new weight loss surgery techniques is called gastric sleeve surgery. Read on for a little more about gastric sleeve surgery and why it might end up becoming your weight loss surgery of choice.
Gastric sleeve surgery can be a procedure on its on or it can be used to jump start the weight loss surgery course of treatment in people who may be too overweight or unhealthy to receive another type of weight loss surgery or gastric banding. Basically, gastric sleeve surgery is a starter surgery that paves the way for very overweight or unhealthy people to later undergo the more radical gastric bypass type of bariatric surgery.
So what is gastric sleeve surgery and why should you consider it? Well, gastric sleeve surgery goes by many names, including gastric sleeve resection (its technical name), and tube gastrectomy and vertical sleeve gastrectomy. And why is it called this way? Because during the surgery the surgeon removes about 60% of the patient’s stomach. This leaves the stomach looking like a tube or, of course, a sleeve, hence the name gastric sleeve surgery.
This procedure can be performed laparoscopically through five small incisions cut in the abdomen or even, in women, through the vagina. Either way, the doctor inserts a small camera so he can view his progress during the gastric sleeve surgery. Through the other incisions, he inserts instruments and operates until the stomach is left smaller and sleeve shaped. When the procedure is finished, the doctor simply closes the stomach with staples. When the procedure is performed through the vagina, fewer incisions are needed. This is, of course, because the vagina is a natural opening in the body. In this surgery, the surgeon simply makes one incision near the belly button for the laparoscope and another behind the uterus through which to use his tiny surgical tools to operate. This type of gastric sleeve surgery is said to be preferable because it leaves fewer incisions, less risk of hernia and less pain due to fewer incisions.
If you are considering bariatric surgery, consult with your primary care physician and then your surgeon on which type of procedure is right for you. If you feel that you have been too unhealthy for bariatric weight loss surgery until this point, perhaps gastric sleeve surgery is the answer that you can live – and lose weight – with.
Just remember that you have to meet certain requirements in order to participate in bariatric surgery. And bariatric surgery should not be viewed as a quick fix. Bariatric surgery goes hand in hand with a dramatic and extreme change in diet and the necessity for a fitness regime. If you feel that you are not emotionally or psychologically ready for a surgery such as gastric sleeve surgery, please seek help before undergoing a dangerous and expensive procedure.