Gastric sleeve surgery involves removing three quarters of the bottom part of the stomach.
This restricts the amount of food a patient can consume and more importantly reduces the amount of hunger hormone ghrelin that the stomach produces. This help patients lose weight by decreasing the amount they can eat and also decreasing their hunger between meals.
Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Right for Me?
Patients can expect to eat smaller portions and have a reduced appetite following gastric sleeve surgery leading to a steady loss of weight over time. By following the postoperative recommendations patients can expect to lose approximately 1 kilogram per week, until their body weight reaches a normal range.
Advantages of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Gastric sleeve surgery has an number of advantages over other procedures:
- Stomach openings and nerves remain intact and unaltered.
- Digestion functions normally as the only change is to the size of the stomach.
- The section of the stomach responsible for producing the hunger hormone, ghrelin is removed, which means you will be less hungry post-surgery.
- The procedure for gastric sleeve surgery is laparoscopic, rather than open, meaning it is less invasive, scarring will be minimal, and recovery will be quicker.
What is involved in Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
During the procedure the doctor will:
- Make small incisions in the abdomen.
- Insert specialised surgical tools, including a camera, through the incisions.
- Remove the lower section of the stomach (which makes up 70-80 percent of the entire lining).
- Use a specialised stapling device to close the sides of the stomach tube (or sleeve) which remains.
A small percentage of patients undergoing sleeve gastrectomy may experience weight regaining around four years after surgery.
This is usually due to patients overeating and stretching the remaining stomach (sleeve dilatation). Some studies have shown that placing a band over the sleeve may prevent this dilatation and weight regain. However, the band over sleeve can lead to complications such as vomiting, acid reflux, slippage of the band and erosion of the band into the stomach.
Preparing for Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Before the procedure, Dr Dolan will run a series of tests to ensure that patients are ready for surgery. Dr Dolan will go over the specific instructions for preoperative care, but generally patients will need to:
- Go on a liquid diet a week before surgery.
- Avoid eating after midnight, the day before surgery.
- Ask a friend or family member to be at the hospital for support and comfort.
What to Expect After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Following surgery patients will need to eat a liquid for two week, then a pureed diet for two weeks. Four weeks after surgery, patients should be able to resume eating normal foods.
Patients also need to a commit to healthy lifestyle as part of the recovery and weight loss process. This involves following the plan set out by the surgeon, dietitian and exercise physiologist.
What are the Costs and Funding Options for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
There are a number of factors which may influence the final cost of surgery. Dr Dolan will be able to provide a more detailed quote after consultation.
Patients can choose from a variety of payment options available depending on their financial circumstances and insurance status:
- For patients with private insurance out of pocket surgery cost is $4,250
Medicare rebates are available for this procedure and our surgery offers payment plans for patients.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery FAQs
During a gastric sleeve surgery, three quarters of the bottom part of the stomach is removed. The procedure effectively reduces the size of the entire stomach to around 15 percent of its previous size, allowing patients to eat much smaller portions of food. Because the size of the stomach is so significantly reduced, it becomes much more difficult to overeat than before, and the procedure can help individuals lose as much as 60 percent or even more of their excess body weight.
By following your doctor’s post-operative recommendations, you can expect to lose around one kilogram each week following surgery until you have reached a healthy and stable body weight. Consistent weight loss, however, is dependent on your commitment to following a recommended eating plan following your weight loss treatment. You will need to eat much smaller portions than before, and stick to an eating plan that will be especially designed for you by our dietician. We also recommend that you begin to incorporate some exercise into your daily routine once you have recovered from the surgery as this will help you to reach and maintain your ideal weight.
It is quite normal to feel some pain at your incision site following gastric sleeve surgery. Dr Kevin Dolan may recommend some pain medication to help you manage any post-operative discomfort that you experience. Because the procedure is performed laparoscopically, however, you can expect a quicker recovery time when compared to traditional open surgery. Most patients are able to resume their normal activities between three and five weeks following surgery, but Dr Dolan will advise you on this when you come in for a follow-up appointment.
By following Dr Kevin Dolan’s post-operative recommendations, you can expect to lose around a kilogram per week after gastric sleeve surgery, until your body weight reaches a normal range. Because three quarters of the stomach is removed during gastric sleeve surgery, the amount of food that can be consumed is significantly reduced. The procedure also decreases the amount of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) that the body produces, which helps patients to eat less and lose a significant amount of weight.
The stomach can stretch quite a lot after you consume food and studies show that the human stomach can hold 2-4 litres of food when full. When you undergo a gastric sleeve operation, a small tube is inserted into your mouth and into the stomach. This causes all the gas and liquids to be removed to totally decompress the stomach. The removed part of the stomach is around 75-80% and because it’s completely decompressed it can be easily pulled out from a very small incision. The small incisions also significantly reduce your pain after surgery.
Most of our patients will go home the day after their bariatric surgery after they start on clear liquids straight after surgery. As the incisions Dr Dolan makes are very small, the pain is managed with oral pain medications at home. We expect our patients to walk a few hours after their sleeve gastrectomy and start their clear liquid diet the morning after surgery.
All surgeries come with some risk however, performing surgery laparoscopically has several advantages which include:
- less pain
- faster discharge from the hospital
- smaller scars
- early return to normal activities.