Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, is a surgical weight-loss procedure that involves the removal of a portion of the stomach to reduce its size by up to 80 percent. This procedure is often recommended for people who have been unsuccessful in losing weight through diet and exercise alone and who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea.
The gastric sleeve procedure involves making small incisions in the abdomen, through which a laparoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light) and surgical instruments are inserted. The surgeon then removes a portion of the stomach, leaving a sleeve-shaped portion that is about the size of a banana. The smaller stomach size restricts the amount of food that can be eaten, resulting in a reduction in calorie intake and subsequent weight loss.
As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications associated with the gastric sleeve procedure. Some of the most common risks include bleeding, infection, blood clots, and reactions to anesthesia. There is also a risk of postoperative complications such as leaks or strictures in the new stomach sleeve, and in rare cases, the procedure can lead to long-term nutritional deficiencies. It’s important to discuss these risks with your doctor and ensure that you understand the potential complications before deciding to undergo the procedure.
In addition to the risks associated with the surgery itself, there are also risks associated with the weight loss that occurs after the procedure. Rapid weight loss can lead to a variety of health issues, including gallstones, dehydration, and malnutrition. Patients who undergo gastric sleeve surgery must commit to a lifelong regimen of healthy eating habits and regular exercise to maintain their weight loss and avoid these potential complications.
The cost of gastric sleeve surgery can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the location of the surgery, the experience of the surgeon, and the specific needs of the patient. In general, the cost of gastric sleeve surgery in the United States ranges from $10,000 to $25,000. However, this cost may be covered in part or in full by insurance if the patient meets certain criteria, such as having a BMI over 40 or a BMI over 35 with obesity-related health conditions.
It’s important to note that the cost of gastric sleeve surgery includes not only the surgery itself but also the preoperative consultations, the postoperative follow-up care, and any necessary medications or supplements. Some patients may also require additional procedures or treatments, such as plastic surgery to remove excess skin after significant weight loss.
In conclusion, gastric sleeve surgery is a highly effective weight-loss procedure that can help patients achieve significant and sustained weight loss. However, it is not without risks and potential complications, and patients must be committed to making lifelong lifestyle changes to maintain their weight loss and avoid complications. The cost of gastric sleeve surgery can be significant, but may be covered in part or in full by insurance for eligible patients. As with any medical procedure, it’s important to discuss the risks, benefits, and costs of gastric sleeve surgery with your doctor to determine whether it is the right option for you.