Gastric Sleeve: Facts About This Newer Bariatric Surgery

Weight loss surgeries, or bariatric surgeries, have been around for decades. However, the procedures used to perform these surgeries have changed and improved a lot over the years. One change that has happened more recently is that doctors have begun recommending a procedure known as gastric sleeve surgery over other bariatric procedures. If you or someone you love is thinking about getting bariatric surgery or gastric sleeve surgery specifically, here are some key facts you should know.

1. Gastric sleeve is permanent.

Gastric sleeve is similar to gastric bypass and other well-known bariatric surgeries in that once it is performed, the changes made to your digestive tract are permanent. The procedure is sometimes confused with lap band surgery, which is a surgery that involves placing an inflatable ring around the stomach. Gastric sleeve is a separate procedure from lap band surgery.

2. Gastric sleeve causes fewer issues with nutrient absorption than earlier surgical approaches.

Earlier surgical approaches often bypassed a part of the small intestine along with the stomach. Since the small intestine is where a lot of nutrients are absorbed, this would mean that patients who had weight loss surgery would often struggle with nutrient deficiencies. They would have to take lots of vitamin supplements or get supplemental injections to prevent deficiencies. Gastric sleeve surgery does not bypass part of the small intestine, so deficiencies are far less of an issue for post-op patients.

3. Gastric sleeve is still only for patients who can't lose weight with diet and exercise alone.

While this procedure is safer than others before it, doctors are still selective as to who they consider a candidate. They will generally want patients to have attempted to lose weight without surgery. They may also require that you lose a certain number of pounds to show your dedication to weight loss before they'll schedule your surgery.

4. Gastric sleeve can really help curb your appetite.

It's quite an effective option for patients who struggle with over-eating. Your stomach will be reduced to a tube, or a sleeve. You will feel full much faster, and you'll have to eat smaller meals.

If you are considering gastric sleeve surgery, you should not at least have a good overview of what the treatment involves. Talk to a surgeon to get more information about gastric sleeve surgery. They can evaluate your weight, your overall health, and your mental health to see whether you're a good candidate.