Gastric Sleeve Surgery Requirements

Patients who are severely obese now have a more surgical alternative to lose weight than at any time in the past. After discussing the various options with a bariatric surgeon, or laparoscopic doctor, they must choose the type of surgery they prefer. Among those who choose long island gastric sleeve surgery, also known as a gastrectomy, many questions arise about requirements before and after the procedure.

Overview of a Gastrectomy

A gastrectomy is a fairly new weight loss treatment. The Mayo Clinic indicates that it was intended as the initial portion of a procedure known as a biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. However, for many patients who suffer from obesity, a gastrectomy by itself provides sufficient weight loss.

The standard method of performing a gastrectomy is laparoscopic surgery. The surgeon essentially changes the structure of the stomach so that it takes on a tube-like shape. This redesign restricts the calories the body is able to absorb.

According to UC San Diego Health, this procedure is minimally invasive. The remaining stomach, about 15 to 20 percent of its original size, resembles a banana. This surgery also removes a part of the organ that causes feelings of hunger. An initial consultation at a weight loss clinic will reveal whether an individual is a good candidate for this procedure.

Pre-Surgery Obesity Requirements

Healthcare providers and health insurance companies have slightly varying requirements patients must meet in order to qualify for a gastrectomy. However, most are similar to those of the University of Pittsburgh MC:

  • Overweight by 80-100 pounds
  • A body mass index (BMI) higher than 40
  • BMI of at least 35 with certain health problems such as type 2 diabetes
  • Between the ages of 14 and 75, though some require 18 as the minimum age
  • An extensive history of failures to lose weight for years despite various diet plans, behavioral medication, and medical treatment
  • The proper mindset as far as expectations, motivation, and commitment
  • Ability to understand the surgery, including potential risks
  • An absence of a disease that could have caused weight gain

Patient Requirements After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Most patients remain in the hospital overnight after a gastrectomy. In addition to standard post-operative recovery instructions, surgeons provide them with dietary requirements and guidelines.

UCLA indicates that post-surgical dietary changes occur in stages:

  • Stage 1 is day 0-3 and is a clear liquid diet.
  • Stage 2 is day 4-14 and permits foods thin like milk.
  • Stage 3 is day 15-35 and includes soft, mashed, or pureed foods easy to chew.
  • Stage 4 is day 36 forward and permits regular food in controlled portions.

Individuals must avoid malnutrition after a gastrectomy by eating sufficient protein every day. This typically includes liquid supplements. Patients will also need to consume vitamin and mineral supplements to avoid deficiencies. Since full-sized pills are no longer permissible, supplements should be in liquid, under-the-tongue, or chewable form.