Ask The Expert: Gastric Sleeve Surgery - What You Need to Know

Dr. Alexandre Figueiredo

Dr. Alexandre Figueiredo - Medical Content Writer

Posted Jan 24, 2017

Gastric sleeve surgery, or sleeve gastrectomy, is a medical procedure that involves reducing the size of the stomach by up to 80% of its original size. This bariatric surgery aims at limiting the amount of food intake and regulating hormone production in the stomach.

We asked 2 experienced bariatric surgeons, from high-quality weight loss surgery clinics abroad, to answer a few questions about this weight loss procedure.

Our featured experts from SurGal Clinic, in the Czech Republic, and CosMed Clinic, in Mexico, will help us get a clear overview of the gastric sleeve procedure.

Both SurGal and CosMed are two of our partner clinics. Contact us for more information or to get a quote for one of our highly specialized partner hospitals!

For specific information about bariatric surgery, discover our Bariatric Surgery Guide! You’ll find detailed explanations of different weight-loss procedures, their results, risks, and cost across countries.

When it comes to the best weight-loss solution for bariatric patients, both experts agree: gastric sleeve is the best option.

Let’s have a look at their answers in greater detail.

Is gastric sleeve surgery an invasive procedure?

According to both experts, it is. As our expert from CosMed mentions: “Yes, the procedure is invasive because the stomach is reduced by up to 80% compared to its normal size. Having said that, it's still the best way to reduce weight fast, safely and for the long term.”

Do patients have to follow a diet before or after surgery?

As a general rule, patients who lose weight before undergoing surgery are more likely to lose more weight after surgery and to experience less complications during surgery. “Patients must follow a diet before and after the surgery: before surgery, if the patient is overweight he/she will probably have a fatty liver. Diet helps reduce the liver size and make the surgery easier to perform. After surgery, the new stomach must receive food as a "newborn baby" or little by little, so that it gets used to different consistencies and types of food. A nutritionist should give the patient a specific, customized diet and be available for any question or doubt along the way”, suggests our expert from CosMed Clinic.

But that’s not all. There is virtually no ‘magic cure’ that will permanently resolve weight loss-related issues; it is an ongoing process where the patient’s commitment towards an improved lifestyle is pivotal for a successful treatment. “Gastric sleeve marks the beginning of a life change. A healthy diet is necessary both before and after surgery. After surgery it is important to follow diet instructions so that the stomach ‘learns’ how to work properly with its size reduction. The patient is then strongly encouraged to maintain a healthier lifestyle to ensure all the efforts are not wasted over time”, says our expert from SurGal.

What if a gastric sleeve fails? What are the reasons behind it?

As already mentioned, gastric sleeve surgery requires commitment. If patients do not follow their doctor’s instructions and guidelines, they may risk regaining weight.

As CosMed Clinic says, “Gastric sleeve surgery has a high success rate, however, the main reason why it fails lies in the patient’s behaviour: in most cases, patients whose gastric sleeve fails do not follow medical instructions and recommendations. These may include following a balanced, healthy diet and receiving support by the family to accomplish a real change of habits.”

According to your experience, how high is the success rate of the surgery?

Our expert from SurGal reports that “Weight loss average success rate is around 65% and maintenance rate 50%. Maintenance is a key indicator of the surgery’s success.” Being able to keep up positive results in the long run is typically the biggest challenge for patients. It is up to each and every patient to find the right balance both on a physical and a psychological level in the long term.

According to latest numbers and developments we see a shift in demand from people requesting a sleeve more often compared to the band. What is the difference?

As our expert from SurGal explains, “The lap band is a device that goes around the stomach. Unlike the sleeve, no cutting is involved. Still, it is worth mentioning that the sleeve can provide a stronger support to weight loss. Thanks to the stomach modification, patients are more prone to change their eating habits, resulting in lower rebounce rate.”

“Gastric sleeve surgery can prove to be more effective than gastric band. Moreover, a gastric band is an external element that may need to be adjusted or removed from time to time and might not be an ideal solution for all patients”, adds the expert from CosMed.

Broadly speaking, what procedure would you recommend to a patient that is looking for an effective weight loss solution?

Both SurGal and CosMed agree that gastric sleeve surgery is the most effective bariatric surgery procedure for the long term. With a key recommendation: “Every patient is encouraged to talk to their doctor or specialist and discuss what bariatric surgery is the most suitable for him or her. Every patient has different pathologies and needs, and a specialist will be able to suggest the most appropriate treatment on a case-to-case basis.”

We would like to thank SurGal and CosMed Clinic for their professional and useful contributions to this article!

About SurGal

SurGal is located in Brno, in the Czech Republic. Specializing in weight loss surgery, this state-of-the-art clinic features 20 highly-experienced doctors and welcomes more than 300 international patients every year. SurGal provides top medical and nursing care to any patient visiting the clinic.

About CosMed

CosMed Clinic is located in Tijuana, Mexico. Liposuction, hair restoration, and weight loss surgery are just a few of the procedures this clinic has to offer. With board-certified surgeons working tirelessly every day to accommodate their patients’ desires to the full, CosMed Clinic is on the cutting edge for any surgical and non- surgical procedure you need.

Are you interested in a weight-loss surgery or any other treatment? Contact us! Our Health Managers will be happy to discuss your options with you!


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