Answers to Your Questions about Weight Loss Surgery
Typically studies have shown that patients who have the stand-alone procedure typically lose from 60-80% of their excess weight in a two-year period. This is also highly dependent on compliance with the program guidelines regarding diet and exercise.
Healthy weight loss following bariatric surgery depends on the patient’s willingness to adopt a new lifestyle, which includes changes in eating habits and getting regular exercise. It is essential for patients to avoid high-calorie, high-fat foods and drinks. Most bariatric surgeons advise their patients to eat several small meals throughout the day. In the immediate aftermath of gastric sleeve surgery, a patient will be required to stay on a liquid diet for up to two weeks, in order to let the body heal. For the first couple of years after weight loss surgery, a patient will drastically reduce calorie intake, which is limited to about 600-800 calories daily. When the weight target is reached, this may increase to 1,000-1,200 calories per day. Within about 8 weeks of the procedure, the diet can progress from liquids to solid foods.
It is important to note that the gastric sleeve procedure is not reversible. The procedure is done to create a stomach pouch that is smaller than in that seen in other types of weight loss surgery. The surgeon will remove up to 60-80% of the stomach, leaving just a slender tube, or “sleeve” for the new stomach pouch. As a result of this procedure, hunger can be controlled due to the smaller sized stomach. Also, the part of the stomach that is cut out is completely removed from the body, unlike in other procedures that leave it in place.
Not all insurance plans have a policy for gastric sleeve surgery. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to contact your insurance company prior to initiating entry into the program to ensure policy coverage.
The hospital does offer a flat fee for this procedure when it isn’t covered by insurance. To discuss this further, please contact our bariatric coordinator, Natalie Manatt.