The Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG) is a restrictive procedure which removes approximately 70 to 80 percent of the stomach. This leaves the stomach in the shape of a tube or “sleeve”, roughly the size and shape of a hot dog. This is a highly effective weight loss procedure due to hormonal changes which reduce hunger. The hormonal disturbance lasts for about 1 year, then the small tube of the stomach limits food intake.
Learn about Shauna’s incredible story about how Gastric Sleeve Surgery transformed her life.
The operation does not involve rerouting of the intestines or implantation of artificial devices. The data available shows the Sleeve (LSG) to have overall weight loss slightly lower than the Roux n Y Gastric bypass. Serious complications with this operation is similar to the Roux n Y Gastric Bypass.
Individuals who should consider the Gastric Sleeve procedure include the following:
- Those who are concerned about the potential long-term side effects of an intestinal bypass.
- Those who are concerned about a foreign object inside the abdomen (band).
- Those who must always take anti-inflammatory medications.
For many bariatric surgeries, the procedure starts weeks before the actual surgery. There is the initial medical evaluation, psychological screen, conversation with dietitians and exercise physiologists, and sleep evaluation. All of this is done to make sure you understand everything that goes into a gastric sleeve surgery and other bariatric procedures.
This is when you meet with the doctors to get an overview of your current health and investigating which procedure is right for you. Not every client is in the same situation and no procedure is one size fits all. During this evaluation, any medical issues – past and present – will be addressed.
We’ll also talk about your physical history as a whole. Have you tried dieting or exercising in the past? What worked and what didn’t? Were there major injuries or life events that got in the way of you living a healthy lifestyle? This will help WeightWise craft the perfect weight loss plan for you.
At WeightWise, we want to make sure you are physically as well as mentally ready for gastric sleeve surgery. There is more to these procedures than coming in, have the procedure, and then leaving. We have to make sure you understand what is about to happen to you and your body.
This is a big life moment for our patients. The body will undergo a massive change, which means your lifestyle will need a big change, too. We want to make sure you’re in the right place mentally for the surgery and help you work through any roadblocks you may have.
While the gastric sleeve will physically limit your food intake, it is possible to hurt or even injure yourself if you deviate from your new lifestyle. Our dietitians will discuss past eating habits, nutritional knowledge, and trigger points that negatively impact your food consumption. They will also outline a plan for the rest of your life.
Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be. Once you understand why you’re doing this, it will be easier to see yourself eating less, becoming more healthy, and feeling better than you have in a long time. We’ll show you how you can still enjoy food while eating less of it.
Incorporating Physical Activity
While the gastric sleeve procedure and improving your eating habits are certainly great ways to lose weight, instituting an exercise regimen will help you keep the weight off. Will you need to run three miles every day and hit the weights? Of course not!
Our exercise physiologists will outline a program specifically for you and discuss both short- and long-term goals. Although, if one of those goals happens to include running a marathon or becoming a powerlifter, we can help you reach those heights. But improving your cardiovascular system, flexibility, and overall strength are the main concerns.
Finally, we will talk to you about sleep apnea and how it can affect the success of the gastric sleeve surgery both during and after the procedure. We want this lifestyle change to work as much as you do, so we will investigate if you suffer from sleep apnea or not.
All of this is to ensure you have all the information you need to make this very important decision. WeightWise wants all of our patients to live long, productive lives well after the gastric sleeve surgery. That’s why these consultations are so important – the more we know about our patients, the better it is before, during, and after the procedure.
Recent Gastric Sleeve Research
Late last year, findings of a study comparing gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and lap band surgeries were released. While it found that the gastric bypass had the most short- and long-term success when it came to weight loss, there were also more potential complications than the other two forms of bariatric surgery.
The bypass averaged 31 percent total body weight loss after the first year and 25 percent total body weight loss after five years. The sleeve had 25 and 19 percent success rates while the lap band was 19 and 14, respectively. But there are other things to consider besides overall weight loss.
The sleeve had the fewest percentage of complications after the surgery, such as blood clots, repairs, or extended hospital stays at 2.6 percent. The lap band had a complications percent of 2.9 while the bypass stood at 5 percent. If considering WeightWise, know that our complication rates are lower than the national average.
Basically, the research proves what WeightWise has always known: there is no one surgery that will work for everybody. Depending on why you need the surgery, how the surgery will be done, and the success rates of each procedure are all taken into account for every individual patient.
Gastric Sleeve and Diabetes
Obesity and diabetes go hand in hand: type 2 diabetes is often associated with excess body weight. Around 20 percent of obese people develop this form of diabetes and if left unchecked for a long period of time could cause heart problems, kidney disease, and even blindness.
While not as effective as the duodenal switch when it comes to reducing diabetes, the gastric sleeve procedure has shown drastic improvement in many patients. In fact, nearly 60 percent of those with diabetes show no sign of the disease a year after the surgery. The key is to drop weight quickly and safely.
Unfortunately, those with a body mass index of 35 or higher find it very difficult to lose weight with only a change in diet and exercise. Most of the time, bariatric surgery is the only way to lose the needed weight. The results are drastic: after the surgery, but before the weight is lost, blood sugar levels drop almost immediately.
This means diabetes medication could be discontinued just days after the surgery. But even if the medication is still needed the following weeks or even months, many patients have significant improvements or are free of the disease a year later.
Weight Loss Projections
This is what you’ve been waiting for, and answer to just how much weight will you lose after the gastric sleeve surgery. On average, gastric sleeve patients will lose up to 60 percent of their excess weight after the first two years. This is not total weight, just the weight above and beyond what a normal BMI indicates for the patient.
The bulk of that weight is lost in the first six months. On average, up to 50 percent of your excess weight is lost during the first 4-6 months after surgery. Which makes sense – for the first few months, your diet has been scaled way back as your body adjusts to the new eating plan. You’ll still lose weight after six months, it just won’t be as fast.
After a year, the expectation is to have lost around 60+ percent of the excess weight. Of course, much of this depends on the patients. If they stay on track with eating, get the exercise they need, and stay true to the plan, they may lose even more. Those that fudge here and there should expect to lose less.
Post Operation Information
Once the surgery is complete and after a night of observation, you are free to return to your normal activities. Grocery shopping, playing with your kids, or just walking around the neighborhood – perhaps for the first time in a long time – isn’t off-limits. You can even go back to work depending on what kind of job you have.
Working behind a desk is fine, but you may want to take a few more days before returning to that construction job. We recommend those with jobs that demand physical exertion talk to their managers about easing back into the position. And while you may be ready to return to day-to-day activities, it’s important to remember you can’t return to your previous lifestyle.
This is where the real work begins. The conversations, the diets, and everything else that happened in the weeks or months leading up to the gastric sleeve procedure were to prepare you for right now. The surgery is just one step on the long journey to health. Remember: every situation is different! The following is just one example of a post-op diet.
Learning to Eat Properly
In the weeks after the surgery, your food intake will be limited to mostly liquids. It’s important to stay hydrated at this point and give your body the electrolytes it needs. You will also be given protein supplements to round out your diet. It’s best to avoid liquids with caffeine or sugar during this time.
Don’t gulp the liquid! It could be too much strain on the sleeve and your body. Take small sips until you learn how much you can take in one swig. This diet is designed to get your body in tune with the new food intake. Hormones in your body will begin adapting to the diet and you’ll begin to feel fuller faster.
Soft proteins are introduced between two and four weeks as your body continues to adapt to your new lifestyle. This means no protein supplements or pureed foods, either. It’s still very important to hydrate during this time. Deviating from the diet can cause distress, pain, and even injury. In rare cases, it may even affect the surgery itself, undoing all the work you put in prior.
After four weeks, you will be able to expand your diet even more. Lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, and other food as established by your dietitian. Carbs are a big no-no for many patients, as are sweet and fattening foods. We know it sounds hard, but you came to us to make a lifestyle change – this is what it takes.
But you won’t be alone. Our patient advocates are for you to answer questions, help you through tough patches, and give you the encouragement you need to see this all the way through. Think of them as your own personal cheerleaders!
Break a sweat
Most of our gastric sleeve procedures are performed laparoscopically, which is a series of small incisions. These small incisions heal much faster than the one long incision that was utilized in the past, meaning downtime has been reduced greatly. So you’re able to get back to normal activities almost immediately.
As part of the pre-op program, exercise physiologists and patients discuss what kind of exercise plan should be used after the surgery. Concentrating on cardiovascular, flexibility, and strength, WeightWise believes in the “Work Smart, Not Harder” axiom. Many patients have back, hip, or knee issues due to excess weight. All of this is taken into account when crafting a plan.
As stamina and strength begin to grow, the workouts will be adjusted to take advantage of the improvement. However, there is really no “endpoint” when it comes to physical activity. Exercise is just as important as eating healthy, both for the body and the mind.