Diet and exercise are the right places to start when you embark on a weight loss journey. But weight loss is complex and involves multiple variables — some of which you can control, and some of which you can’t.
If you’ve struggled for a long time, are more than 100 pounds overweight, and nothing seems to be working, it’s time to partner with our specialists at Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia in Reston, Virginia. We understand the frustration you feel, the hopelessness, and the loss of confidence and energy.
We also know well the dangers you face if you don’t get your weight into a healthy range. That’s why we offer several different weight loss, or bariatric, surgeries. Here, our team of board-certified surgeons discusses the gastric sleeve procedure, one of our most popular and successful surgical interventions for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more.
Gastric sleeve surgery, like all surgical procedures, should be considered an extreme measure. It’s always better to lose weight naturally if possible, through traditional and/or more conservative approaches. But when those methods don’t work, and your health is suffering, surgical intervention is often warranted.
Reasons to consider the gastric sleeve surgery include:
You should NOT consider gastric sleeve surgery if you have an uncontrolled bleeding disorder, a mental illness, or you can’t tolerate general anesthesia.
If you feel hungry all the time, or if you don’t feel full when you eat, it’s difficult to monitor your food intake and control your portion sizes. Many people who relate to these scenarios instantly understand how the gastric sleeve can be a big help in their weight loss efforts, because the procedure drastically reduces the capacity of your stomach.
Our team performs a minimally invasive surgical procedure with the assistance of the da Vinci® system. This robotic equipment acts as an extension of our hands during surgery.
While we remain in full control of the procedure, the da Vinci system enhances every aspect by providing enlarged digital video in real time, so we can proceed with more precision than is possible with the human hand and eye alone.
Once we’ve removed 80% of your stomach, stitched it closed, and left you with a much smaller pouch, you’ll find your eating experience moving forward is much different.
Not only will you feel full sooner, but we also remove the section of your stomach that produces the hunger hormone called ghrelin. So, your appetite decreases, you relearn the signals that you’ve had enough to eat, you stop eating sooner, and you begin to lose weight. It may take up to three years, but many of our patients report a total loss of 65% of their body weight.
Before and after your gastric sleeve surgery, you need to prepare mentally and physically. As with any bariatric surgery, you’re committing to a significant lifestyle change when you opt for the gastric sleeve.
If you’re psychologically prepared to alter your diet and other lifestyle habits, such as quitting smoking (if applicable) and being ready and able to follow a strict diet before and after your procedure, you will increase your chance of success.
For about a week prior to your surgery, you need to stick to a liquid-only diet. Our specialists let you know what’s necessary based on your weight and other health factors. You may also need to avoid caffeine for about four weeks before your surgery, and cease taking medications.
Expect to stay at least one night in the hospital after your gastric sleeve surgery. We like to keep an eye on you and make sure your pain is under control and that you emerge from the anesthesia without complications.
Similar to your pre-op diet, your post-op diet is liquids only. After about a week, you can start eating blended and pureed foods, and continue that for another two weeks. We monitor you closely to ensure you’re getting the proper nutrition and that your new stomach is healing well.
Once you’re past the soft-food phase, it’s up to you to maintain a healthy diet as you lose weight. We help you develop a lifestyle plan that fits your needs and allows you to stick with your new way of eating.
If your BMI is at or above 40 and you can’t seem to lose weight the traditional way, we welcome you to come see us at Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia. We can let you know if a gastric sleeve is right for you or if another procedure is better suited.
Schedule a consultation today by booking online or calling our friendly staff.