Your Complete Guide to Sleeve Gastrectomy

There’s no doubt that weight loss can help you feel more energetic, increase your self-esteem, and make wardrobe shopping a pleasant experience. For many individuals, however, successful weight loss also plays a vital role in their overall physical health.

If you’re struggling with losing excess pounds despite your best efforts, weight-loss surgery may offer a solution. Mustafa Ahmed, MD, is a board-certified bariatric surgeon who leads the team at Southern Nevada Bariatrics in Las Vegas, Nevada. This top-rated specialist has more than 20 years of experience in helping individuals achieve their weight-loss goals through a variety of effective services, including surgery.

Committed to helping his patients experience the emotional and physical well-being associated with successful weight loss, Dr. Ahmed explains sleeve gastrectomy and how it can help you overcome the challenges of obesity.

What is sleeve gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy is one of many bariatric surgical procedures that are designed to aid in dramatic weight loss. It’s a laparoscopic procedure that’s performed through several small incisions in the upper abdomen rather than the long incision used during traditional open surgery.

During the surgery, which takes about two hours, Dr. Ahmed removes 75-80% of your stomach. This leaves you with a food reservoir (stomach) that’s about the size and shape of a banana. Note that sleeve gastrectomy involves reshaping the stomach portion of your digestive system but does not affect your ability to absorb nutrients in the small intestines.

What happens after sleeve gastrectomy?

To give your stomach time to heal, you’ll follow a limited diet for several weeks. This typically starts with noncarbonated and sugar-free liquids before advancing on to pureed and then regular foods about four weeks after surgery. The quantity you’re able to consume before feeling full, however, is greatly reduced following the procedure.   

What are the benefits of sleeve gastrectomy?

Along with promoting significant weight loss, sleeve gastrectomy is known to improve (and may even eliminate) obesity-related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes.

Research summaries published by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery noted that 60-80% of patients with Type 2 diabetes went into remission following the sleeve gastrectomy, often long before true weight loss was achieved. It’s believed this occurs through changes associated with “gut hormones.” Sleeve gastrectomy also decreases the “hunger hormone” produced in your stomach that triggers your appetite.

Other conditions that can respond positively to sleeve gastrectomy include:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

While it’s hard to accurately measure the psychological benefits of achieving your weight-loss goal, we can clearly quantify the benefits to your overall health.

Who is a candidate for sleeve gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy is typically reserved for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 35-40 who have failed to lose weight through diet and exercise. People who have a BMI of 30 and above with an underlying condition that threatens their overall health, such as heart disease or diabetes, may also qualify for sleeve gastrectomy.

If you’re struggling with excess weight, we’re here to help. Schedule a visit at Southern Nevada Bariatrics today. Call our office or request a consultation online.

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