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Gastric Sleeve

During a gastric sleeve procedure, also known as a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, the surgeon removes a large part of the stomach. The esophagus then connects to the small intestines through the smaller stomach “sleeve.”

By significantly reducing the stomach size, it can still function as normal, but will only hold a small amount of food. You will still be able to receive the nutrients you need, but your brain will get signals of fullness much faster, and the amount of food you can consume will become smaller.

Most gastric sleeve surgeries are done laparoscopically, which means a tiny camera and instruments are inserted through small incisions in the abdomen. Laparoscopic surgery is usually a better option than traditional open surgery because it offers reduced recovery times and complications.

Who is eligible?

People who are 100 or more pounds overweight or have a BMI of 40 or greater, or those with a BMI of 35 or greater and have a significant health risk (like diabetes) are eligible for the gastric sleeve procedure. Many patients are referred to a surgeon by a primary care physician.
Another important part of eligibility is the commitment of the patient to follow careful post- operative instructions on how to eat with this new stomach.

Other health risks may prevent a candidate from being eligible for gastric sleeve surgery. Your doctor will let you know whether or not you’re eligible for a bariatric procedure.

What are the risks?

As with any surgery, complications can arise. Possible rare complications can include:

  • Wound infections
  • Digestive problems
  • Ulcers
  • Bleeding

There are also risks associated with any surgery, like reactions to anesthesia. The team at Palm Beach Health Network Physician Group will explain all the risks during your consultation.

What is recovery like?

You should plan to stay in the hospital for two or three days after having gastric sleeve surgery. You should also plan for two or three weeks of home recovery before resuming work or regular activity.

After gastric sleeve surgery, you must make significant lifestyle changes for the surgery to have the greatest effect. Most patients find these changes easy to make. They include:

  • Eating smaller meals
  • Eating more slowly
  • Eating highly nutritious food
  • Exercising regularly

Making these changes after having weight loss surgery has been shown to cause dramatic weight loss. Gastric sleeve patients often see significant improvements to their health as a result. Research shows that having bariatric surgery can resolve type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, sleep apnea and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

How expensive is it?

During your consultation with Palm Beach Health Network Physician Group, you will receive a summary of estimated costs. Most insurance plans do not cover weight loss surgery, but payment plans are available.

How do I learn more?

Many patients feel comfortable talking first to their primary care physician about weight loss solutions. Palm Beach Health Network Physician Group works closely with you and your primary care office to select a weight loss surgery that is right for you. You can also make an appointment directly with us by calling 1.866.654.2362.