Not all weight loss surgeries are created equal. Heck, a single gastric bypass procedure from a few years ago can be vastly different from a gastric bypass surgery done today, thanks to technological improvement and new-found understandings by medical professionals. Some procedures have a higher success rate than others. Others, have a higher rate of side effects. What’s more, each patient is different in their needs and physical condition, so there isn’t a one size fits all approach when it comes to major medical procedures. If you are seriously considering weight loss through surgery, wouldn’t you owe it to yourself to do a little research and find a procedure that will give you a fighting chance towards long term weight loss? That’s why, over the next few weeks, we, from your local Alabama weight loss surgery practice, are going to cover the procedures, how effective they are statistically, and what type of patient each procedure is ideally for.
The Gastric Sleeve
What is it?
The Gastric Sleeve procedure is a weight loss procedure that involves two steps. The first step involves a surgeon reducing the size of the stomach by removing ¾ of it. The second procedure, at a later date, involves bypassing some of the intestines to reduce calorie absorption. The procedure takes on an average of 100 minutes, which is less than the average amount of time that it takes for a gastric bypass surgery at 160 minutes.
To qualify for gastric sleeve surgery, you have at least a BMI of 40 or be 100 lbs. over weight. If you have preexisting medical conditions like heart problems or if you have even more weight to lose, you might be more at risk for this type of surgery, so there could be a chance that you wouldn’t qualify. There would also be an increased risk of the operation going wrong if you are a smoker, don’t exercise regularly or are have issues with blood clots. A doctor would be most qualified to make that judgement call, so if you are truly serious about this procedure, then you should talk to a qualified physician.
What is the Success Rate?
Patients who undergo this sort of procedure, on average, lose 50-70% of their body weight within two years of the procedure. A healthy diet, and exercise can further increase the weight loss and prevent the regaining of any weight. There have also been reports of reduced hunger, thanks to the part of the stomach being removed that contains the hunger inducing hormone, ghrelin. There is also the added benefit of there being no foreign objects in the body, which makes it a great alternative to Lap band surgery, and the weight loss is relatively quick.
Are there any Side Effects?
Side effects surrounding this type of weight loss surgery include: acid reflux, staple lining leaks, blood clotting, or infections of the surgical wound site. During recovery, you might experience things like nausea or vomiting. Long term side effects include: ulcers, hernias, sagging skin from weight loss, bowel obstruction, low blood sugar, gallstones, and nutritional deficiencies. Each patient is different, and some patients will experience different complications. If they are getting to severe it is recommended that you see a physician immediately.
How Much Does a Gastric Sleeve Cost?
It depends on a few factors, such as who your insurance provider is, how much they would be willing to pay for the procedure, and if the procedure would be counted as tax deductible. The price tag looks good for patients with insurance providers with an average of about $500 to $5,000. For patients without insurance, the news looks grim since a procedure like this would cost from $12,000 to $22,000 for the patients.
There are doctors that are willing to put payment plans in place, with a $445 average monthly payment, so it isn’t completely hopeless for patients without insurance. It is also important to note that this medical procedure is tax deductible.
The rewards for this type of weight loss surgery far outweighs the risk, thanks to the high amount of weight loss that immediately follows the procedure. The risks that aren’t directly related to surgery are not as extreme as the lap band or the gastric bypass, and the costs, while higher than other procedures, are not too astronomical.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, and you don’t have any major chronic conditions, you should talk to your doctor about this type of weight loss surgery.