Getting all the answers to your bariatric sleeve surgery questions will better prepare you for surgery and the weight loss that will follow. Here are some questions to ask your doctor if you’re considering bariatric sleeve surgery:
Is this the right surgery for me? Once you and your doctor have determined that you qualify for bariatric surgery, you should decide together which surgery is right for your specific needs. There are other surgical weight loss options, including laparoscopic gastric bypass or gastric band.
What does the procedure involve? Your doctor can walk you through all the specifics of your surgery process beforehand to give you peace of mind. The sleeve gastrectomy surgery involves removing 85% of the stomach, transforming it into a sleeve shape. The smaller size causes patients to feel fuller faster, aiding in weight loss.
What changes will I need to make after surgery? After you undergo weight loss surgery, weight loss won’t happen automatically. There are lifestyle changes you’ll need to make in order to lose the weight you need to lose. Directly following surgery, you’ll be put on a strict fluids and pureed food diet as you recover. Two to three months after surgery, once your body is healed and used to it’s new anatomy, you can eat many of the foods you were able to before surgery. However, there are still some dietary restrictions to follow after bariatric surgery, including limiting your carbohydrate and calorie intake, and making sure you’re getting enough protein, vegetables and fats. You’ll also need to start or modify an exercise routine in order to get the best weight loss results. If you aren’t already exercising, or you need to bump your activity level up, your doctor may have some advice on how to do so or can recommend you to a knowledgeable personal trainer.
Is there anything I can do to prepare for those changes ahead of time? Getting educated on proper nutrition and exercise before your surgery is invaluable. The more you plan ahead of time, the better prepared you’ll be to jump in headfirst and start losing weight. Before surgery, you can attend a weight loss surgery seminar or webinar to get more knowledge about the surgery. You’ll also be required to attend a psychological and nutritional evaluation. This can give you great insight on the things in your lifestyle that you’ll need to adjust to get the best results--including giving you a better idea of which foods and portion sizes will help you meet your goals.
How long is the recovery process? After you undergo the sleeve gastrectomy surgery, you’ll likely be in the hospital for two days. You should be fully recovered after 3-6 weeks, but it’s important to get the go ahead from your doctor before you do heavy lifting.
What are the risks of surgery? Unlike the gastric bypass surgery, sleeve patients have a decreased risk of dumping syndrome or nutritional deficiencies. Still, every surgery has it’s risks. You should talk to your doctor about what risks could be involved with the sleeve surgery such as temporary risk of reflux symptoms and gastric ulcer risk.
Will my insurance cover the surgery? Coverage will depend on your individual policy, although many private insurance companies do provide coverage for the sleeve gastrectomy surgery. If your insurance does not cover the cost, there may be private pay options available. But figuring this information out starts with communicating with your bariatric surgical center.
What are your qualifications? Before having surgery, you should ask more about your surgeon’s experience, education and credentials. You should also select a bariatric surgical center that is a state-of-the-art facility and follows the National Institute of Health guidelines for bariatric surgery.
If you have more questions about bariatric sleeve surgery, contact Riverside Surgical and Weight Loss Center today. Our experienced team can answer all of your surgery, insurance and lifestyle change questions.