It’s a fact: bariatric surgery, along with a healthy diet and regular physical activity, is the best way to lose massive amounts of extra weight and keep it off in the long term. But there are also many misconceptions about weight loss procedures, including gastric bypass, duodenal switch, and gastric sleeve. So it’s time to give you the truth about gastric sleeve surgery.

Gastric sleeve surgery is a minimally invasive, laparoscopic procedure that uses small incisions to remove up to 80 percent of your stomach. One of the side effects of this surgery is your body will undergo changes, such as your hunger hormone won’t be as active as it once was.

The Truth About Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Potential gastric sleeve patients like yourself have probably heard a lot of different things about the procedure. Let’s tackles some of the biggest talking points now:

  • Anybody can get gastric sleeve surgery
  • All bariatric surgeries are the same
  • Weight loss is immediate
  • Never gain weight again
  • Gastric sleeve surgery is the easy way out
  • Insurance won’t cover gastric sleeve

Anybody can get gastric sleeve surgery

Not just anyone can get gastric sleeve surgery because it’s typically reserved for individuals dealing with significant obesity issues. If your BMI (body mass index) isn’t high enough, or if you don’t have obesity-related health problems like sleep apnea and high blood pressure, you might not qualify. Additionally, you need to show that you’ve tried other ways to lose weight, such as diet and exercise, without much success.

Your general health plays a role too. If you have medical conditions, they might affect whether surgery is safe for you. Imagine it as your body needing to be in a certain condition to handle the surgery well. And commitment is key: You have to be ready for significant lifestyle changes post-surgery, involving a specific diet and exercise plan.

It’s a big step, both mentally and physically, and your bariatric surgeon wants to make sure it’s the right one for your health and circumstances. Always talk to your healthcare provider to figure out if gastric sleeve surgery is a suitable option for you. In some cases, non-surgical forms of weight loss will be recommended.

All bariatric surgeries are the same

Gastric sleeve surgery is different from other weight loss procedures because it focuses on making your stomach smaller. It’s like resizing a part of your stomach, limiting the amount of food it can hold. Picture your stomach as a bag–with a gastric sleeve, they remove a chunk of the bag, making it smaller. This means you feel full faster, helping you eat less.

Procedures like gastric bypass surgery involve not only making the stomach smaller but also rerouting the intestines. It’s like creating a detour in your digestive system, making your body absorb fewer calories from the food you eat. Another option, the lap-band, places a band around your stomach, acting like a belt to make it tighter. It’s a bit like putting a limit on how much your stomach can stretch.

There is no one size fits all surgery. Gastric sleeve is simpler in a way—it’s all about size. You eat less because your stomach is smaller. The choice between procedures depends on factors like your health and weight loss goals, and it’s best to discuss these options with your surgeon to find the right fit for you.

Weight loss will be immediate

After gastric sleeve surgery, weight loss doesn’t happen right away. It’s a journey–the surgery is the starting point, but the results take time. In the initial weeks, you may lose some weight because of changes in your diet and the surgery itself, but the big weight loss happens gradually.

After surgery, you’ll start with a liquid diet and slowly progress to solid foods. Your stomach will relearn how to handle different foods again, adapting to the different amounts of food being eaten. The real weight loss kicks in as you stick to a healthy eating plan and exercise routine.

The surgery helps by making you feel full faster, so you naturally eat less. But the key is consistency and patience–it’s a steady walk towards a healthier you. Your doctor will guide you through, helping you understand the changes and supporting you in reaching your weight loss milestones.

The Truth About Gastric Sleeve: Never gain weight again?

You can definitely gain weight again if you don’t follow the process laid out by your health care team. After gastric sleeve surgery, maintaining weight loss is a partnership between the surgery and your lifestyle choices. The surgery sets the stage, but your actions influence the outcome.

While the surgery helps by reducing your stomach size, making you feel full with less food, it’s crucial to adopt lasting healthy habits for continued success. If you return to old habits of overeating or consuming unhealthy foods, weight regain is definitely possible. And these habits may even cause injury!

Regular check-ups with your doctor are like calibration sessions, ensuring everything stays on track. Understanding that maintaining weight loss is an ongoing effort helps set realistic expectations. The surgery offers a powerful start, but your commitment to a healthier lifestyle ensures the weight stays off in the long run.

Gastric sleeve surgery is the easy way out

For some people that aren’t struggling with their weight, getting weight loss surgery like gastric sleeve is like “cheating.” Why not just eat less, get more exercise, and eat healthier. But what they don’t understand is that many of these methods didn’t work before and weight loss procedures are rarely the first option.

And while gastric sleeve surgery is safe and recovery time minimal, having the procedure is anything but easy. Beyond making the difficult decision to have surgery (any surgery really), there are strict programs to follow before the surgery and in the years after surgery. This is definitely not a “set it and forget it” situation.

Maintaining long-term commitment to health can be demanding. It’s crucial to approach gastric sleeve surgery with realistic expectations, understanding that it’s a tool for weight loss that requires active participation in one’s well-being. The decision to undergo this surgery should be well-informed and made in consultation with healthcare professionals.

Insurance won’t cover gastric sleeve

Whether your insurance covers gastric sleeve surgery depends on your specific policy and health conditions. Your insurance policy has a set of rules for what medical expenses it will pay for. Some insurance plans cover weight loss surgeries if certain criteria are met, like having a high body mass index (BMI) or obesity-related health issues.

If your BMI is high and you’ve tried other ways to lose weight without much success, your insurance might be more likely to cover the surgery. However, it’s not a guarantee. They might need proof that the surgery is medically necessary for your health and some insurance plans have specific requirements or steps you need to follow before approval.

We want you to make an appointment with WeightWise so we can understand your situation. We will contact the insurance company to see if you plan has a benefit, and if so, what the requirements are. Another benefit of WeightWise is if the insurance plan does not have a benefit, we have very attractive cash pay prices for all of the different operations.

The Truth About Gastric Sleeve: Hear it From the Experts

The best way to truly understand the gastric sleeve procedure is to hear it from someone with decades of experience in the field. WeightWise bariatric surgeons have helped thousands of people lose weight and keep it, either through gastric sleeve surgeries or other procedures.

Watch our FREE online seminar to learn more about our bariatric weight loss program and then take the assessment to see if you’re a potential candidate. Then it’s time to pick up the phone and give us a call to set up that first consultation. Yes, it’s a big step–and we’ll be here when you’re ready to take it.

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