For many individuals, some type of gastric surgery is the only remaining option left to lose weight and maintain health. Gastric surgeries are a form of bariatric surgery and are performed on individuals who are obese; having a body mass index greater than 35 to 40 and may have other negative health factors that require loss of body weight.
Most types of gastric surgery involve changing the anatomy of the stomach and may involve changing the food pathway. Goals of any bariatric surgery are to decrease food intake and increase health and vitality.
With the gastric sleeve procedure, the actual size of the stomach is reduced without involvement of the small intestine. Also known as partial gastrectomy this alternative is less invasive and is safe for individuals that are considered high risk or those that are over 100 pounds overweight and the body mass index is 60 or higher.
Gastric sleeve procedure itself creates removal of about 85 % of the stomach and is permanent. The stomach functions normally but the carrying capacity is greatly reduced. An incision is made to maintain the normal length of the stomach but reduces its width by one half.
This surgical procedure involves is more involved than the sleeve option, and involves decreasing the size of the stomach to hold about one ounce of food at a time and detours food travel directly to the small intestine by way of a small connection placed at the end of the pouch. For those grossly obese, this is a viable option that includes lifestyle changes, dietary restrictions and vitamin supplementation.
Which Procedure if Best for me?
While both procedures reduce the size of the stomach, the gastric sleeve procedure is less involved, reducing the stomach size in a longitudinal direction, much like a tube, and in that process, also removes hormone releasing structures that produce Ghrelin, which is a hunger hormone. Removing these structures greatly reduces the sensation of hunger and food cravings for many.
Gastric Bypass is used as an end result to many sleeve procedures that do not maintain weight loss goals due to the individual’s lifestyle. Gastric bypass involves strict adherence to dietary restrictions, daily vitamin supplementation and other habits. This is a very successful surgery for many who have discipline and self-control. Most individuals may reduce body with least an 80% within one year of surgery
Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass procedures may take up to two hours and requires an overnight stay in the hospital with a rapid recovery. Most recovery issues are related to nutritional habit changes and require ongoing education and coaching from licensed dieticians or nutritional counselors.
How Much Does It Cost?
Gastric sleeve procedures typically cost about $20,000 in the United States. Less expensive options are available out of country. Germany offers this same surgery for an average range of $13,000, and Mexico offers gastric sleeve procedures for approximately $9,000 to $12,500. Gastric bypass surgery may be covered by your health insurance company so be sure to investigate. Gastric bypass is available in South America for as little as $10,000.
Who Performs this Procedure?
Seek bariatric surgeons with experience in laparoscopic methods. Contact local medical associations, licensing boards and certification sites prior to surgery. Ensure your physician is a member of domestic or international Society of Bariatric Surgeons and that the facility is JCI (Joint Commission International) certified.