If you’re tired of yo-yo dieting, poor health and lack of energy, and the social stigma that comes being obese, you’re not alone. An estimated 69 percent of all adults in Port Jefferson and across the United States are overweight or obese. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you want to lose weight, eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise is essential. But it’s not enough for some people. Fortunately, a weight reduction surgery called Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy can help control food cravings, promote weight loss, and help you keep the weight off for good.
What is Sleeve Gastrectomy?
Have you ever thought that if your stomach was smaller, you might stand a chance at actually eating fewer calories to lose weight? You can’t resize your stomach on your own very easily, but Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery makes it possible. This minimally invasive surgical procedure is used to remove up to 85 percent of the stomach.
In the operating room: The surgeon makes a small incision in the lower abdomen, usually inside the belly button. All necessary medical tools and high-resolution cameras needed to complete the Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy are inserted into the abdomen through this small incision. Harmless carbon dioxide gas is used to inflate the belly, giving the surgeon room to work. A large section of the stomach is removed, and the remaining smaller portion is sealed using surgical staples.
Benefits of the Surgery
The primary benefits of Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery are appetite control and long-term weight loss.
In a recent study, researchers found the average Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy patient loses about 61.5 percent of excess body fat during the first year after surgery. Researchers followed the patients after surgery for five years, and they found that most maintained the weight loss they achieved during the first year.
Obesity is classified as a chronic disease by the American Medical Association. It’s also a major risk factor for more than 20 other chronic diseases. Research shows that Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy can also help:
- Control appetite
- Reduce body fat and promote long-term weight loss
- Improve blood sugar levels linked to type 2 diabetes
- Decrease blood pressure
- Resolve sleep-related problems linked to obesity
- Decrease joint and muscle pain
- Lower cholesterol and heart disease risk
Less invasive – Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery is less invasive than some weight-reduction surgeries. It only takes 1 to 2 hours to complete the surgery. In most cases, only one small incision is required, which improves recovery times and results in less scaring. It’s also less invasive than gastric bypass surgery, which requires the digestive tract to be rerouted. In Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery, the digestive tract is not altered. This limits complications associated with nutrient absorption, which occurs more frequently in gastric bypass.
The Recovery Process
While recovery time varies based on each patient’s medical condition at the time of surgery, most people go back to work or resume normal activities within 1 to 2 weeks. Adjusting your diet following Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery will take a little longer, but most people get used to eating smaller amounts of food and meal frequency within a couple of months.
Anytime you undergo a surgical procedure, there is some measure of risk. And Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery is no exception. Your surgeon and medical staff follow all hospital protocols to minimize the risk of things like infection, internal bleeding, and organ damage during surgery. These types of complications are rare, but you should know the risks.
Other Risks Associated with Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
In a recent study published in the journal BMC Surgery, researchers followed 117 patients after Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery for two years. While complications were minimal, they did identify some risks associated with the surgery such as:
Staple Leaking – About 1.7 percent of patients developed leaking along the staple line used to seal the small portion of the stomach. If this happens, laparoscopic surgery is required to seal the leak with additional staples.
Internal bleeding – During surgery, about 5 percent of patients began bleeding internally, and required a blood transfusion.
Abdominal abscess – While rare, developing an abdominal abscess following surgery is possible. But the study found that this happened in less than 1 percent of patients. An abdominal abscess is typically treated with syringe drainage and medication.
Gastroesophageal Reflux – Also known as acid reflux, about 14.6 percent of patients developed this condition after Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery. Monitoring food intake and some prescription or over-the-counter medications can help treat acid reflux.
Diet After Surgery
You’ll notice an immediate decrease in hunger after surgery. And with a smaller stomach you’ll need to eat smaller portions. Basic dietary guidelines after Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery include:
Weeks 1-2 – You’ll be on a liquid-only diet for the first one to two weeks after surgery. Small sips of water throughout the day will help you stay hydrated. You’ll also drink clear liquids like unsweetened juice and chicken or vegetable broth.
Weeks 3-4 After the initial recovery period, you’ll add pureed foods to your diet. This includes baby food, yogurt, and cooked fruits and vegetables purred in a blender. Your doctor may even allow protein shakes.
Weeks 5-6 – Once you get used to pureed foods, you can add soft foods to your diet like chopped meat, cooked fish, eggs, and canned fruits and vegetables.
It takes about 8 weeks for most patients to get used to eating healthier and smaller portion sizes than they did before Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery.
Support After the Procedure
Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery is a permanent, life-changing procedure that alters hormone levels in your stomach, shrinks the size of your stomach, and requires major changes in your eating habits. It’s important to meet with your doctor regularly after surgery for best results.
A couple of weeks after surgery, you’ll meet with your doctor. You’ll talk about your new eating habits, measure the amount of weight you’ve lost, and discuss any concerns you might have. It’s also a good time to talk about developing an exercise plan to improve your health and promote weight loss. Once you’re on a clear path to recovery, you’ll meet with your doctor every 3 to 4 months following surgery during the first year.
If obesity is keeping you from living your best life in Port Jefferson, we can help. Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery can help you improve your diet, lose weight, and keep it off for good. To find out if you’re a candidate for this life-changing surgery, contact the New York Bariatric Group office in Port Jefferson.