About 73% of the Mexican population is suffering from obesity. This is a steep increase from just 20% recorded back in 1996.
Why is Obesity Statistics so High?
To be completely honest, losing weight is difficult, that’s why! Losing weight stands as one of the most challenging endeavors one can undertake, because it is not only physically demanding but then it also takes a lot of mental and emotional resilience. It isn’t about just shedding a few pounds, it’s about keeping the weight off and maintaining for the long haul. There is just so much that goes along with losing weight including metabolism, lifestyle habits, and the physiological aspects of eating that contribute to making sustained weight loss a particularly tough goal to achieve.
We get it, we know it is difficult. If you have tried everything and nothing seems to be working then you can try a treatment plan such as gastric sleeve surgery. This surgical intervention is not just a procedure but a pivotal step towards a transformative journey. It involves reducing the stomach’s size, which in turn limits food intakes and helps control hunger, thereby facilitating significant weight loss.
There is no shame in getting surgery and you should be willing to admit that you need surgical help.
Gastric sleeve is a bariatric surgery procedure that aims to modify the gastrointestinal tract to help you lose weight. In this procedure, the doctor removes most of the stomach leaving behind a small pouch shaped like a banana.
Usually, the patients who undergo this procedure lose weight because of the physical and hormonal changes triggered by the operation.
The physical changes force you to eat less food since you have a smaller stomach to store it. The hormones in your gut make you feel fuller faster and hungrier slower. They also help better regulate your blood sugar levels.
It is important to note that the best way to know if you’re ready for a gastric sleeve procedure is by having a face-to-face discussion with your healthcare provider. But there are general indicators that you are fit for the blade.
You must also commit yourself to make lifestyle changes. The gastric sleeve is not a quick fix for all your weight loss problems. You have to combine it with proper lifestyle changes to be successful.
There are other things that you need to consider as well.
Gastric sleeve surgery is an excellent option if you’ve already been exploring other weight loss methods and you’ve been unsuccessful. Diet and exercise do not often help long-term weight loss, especially if you have many pounds to lose.
Otherwise, it might be wiser to try other weight loss methods before committing to the knife.
Also, you might consider a gastric sleeve if you’ve managed to run some diet and exercise programs but maintaining the results has been a hurdle.
Yes, enjoying the long-term benefits of gastric sleeve surgery requires that you also stick to a strict program. However, you’ll have the help of permanent changes to your stomach to make the program easier.
Some weight-related complications may force you to opt for a gastric sleeve.
Gastric sleeve surgery helps you not only lose weight but also improve or cure many of these weight-related health problems.
You should also have zero drugs or alcohol addiction to qualify for gastric sleeve surgery.
Most insurance companies will provide coverage for gastric sleeve surgery because they typically recognize that for some individuals that are struggling with obesity and related health issues, it is a necessary procedure. Although most of the time the surgery is covered for those who suffer with obesity, the journey to get insurance approval for the surgery can be quite daunting and extensive.
Insurance companies typically require a comprehensive set of tests and a thorough evaluation process before they will agree to cover the surgery. The reasoning is to ensure that the surgery is actually medically necessary and that the patient is a suitable candidate for the surgery – sometimes too poor of health will eliminate you as a candidate.
The pre-surgical insurance requirements often include a mandatory period of documented weight-loss efforts – it has to be proven that you tried weight loss in other forms first. Most insurance companies require potential patients to have a recorded 6 to 12 months of attempts to lose weight through diet and other non-surgical methods. Basically, bariatric surgeries should not be the first idea. Documentation is crucial because it demonstrates to the insurance provider that the patient has made a genuine effort to lose weight in traditional means.
People are candidates for weight loss surgery when their efforts don’t provide them with the desired result. In addition to weight loss documentation, patients will likely have to go through various tests and evaluations.
Some of the tests and evaluations might include nutritional counseling, psychological assessments, and other health screenings to ensure that the patient is physically and mentally prepared for what they are about to go through and the lifestyle changes that are required before and after surgery.
If you would like to avoid all of the hoops that are required by insurance companies then you can always pay for surgery out of pocket. Surgeons and medical facilities have more flexibility when it comes to people who are paying out of pocket. For example, you don’t need as much extensive documentation for dieting efforts.
In addition, if you are planning on getting your surgery and paying for it our a pocket you typically don’t have to be as overweight. Some surgeons will allow the test to be done if you have a BMI of 30 or over – which is much lower than what is required by insurance companies.
Gastric sleeve surgery is a procedure that involves removing a portion of the stomach which can lead to a significant amount of weight loss. Many people who undergo gastric sleeve surgery lose between 50% to 80% of their excess body weight. This is a substantial reduction in weight and it can be incredibly impactful in the first year following the surgery which many patients have reported losing 80-100 pounds during this period. Gastric Sleeve surgery has much better weight loss compared to those who are merely dieting and exercising.
Losing a considerable amount of weight has profound impacts on the body, especially in terms of health improvements and management of obesity-related complications. One of the most significant benefits is with regard to Type 2 diabetes. Many patients report that there is a remarkable improvement in blood sugar levels, and even in some cases people have to stop using medications and insulin. Reduction in blood pressure is also another reported improvement among those who undergo gastric sleeve surgery. The reduction in body weight can lead to lower blood pressure levels, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease and even stroke. Similarly, patients often see improvements in their cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease, and its management is crucial for overall cardiovascular health.
Another health benefit to gastric sleeve surgery and its associated weight loss is sleep apnea. There is potential that sleep apnea, which is a sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep, can be alleviated after gastric sleeve surgery. Weight loss can reduce the severity of sleep apnea, leading to better quality sleep and a lower risk of associated complications such as heart problems and daytime fatigue.
Improvements in medical technology and the spread of laparoscopy have made gastric sleeve surgery more effective. Post-operative complications have also been significantly improved.
It is normal to feel pain the first few days after the operation. This pain usually is tolerable.
You are also less likely to die from gastric sleeve surgery than a hip replacement or gallbladder surgery. Also, fewer than 1 in 20 patients develop major complications. Gastric sleeve surgery also has lower risks compared to morbid obesity.
Maintaining the results of gastric sleeve surgery is a lifelong commitment and one that you need to be prepared for before embarking on the surgery in the first place. You need to be willing to change your lifestyle, particularly in diet and exercise. The surgery effectively reduces the stomach’s size, but the long-term success of the procedure depends heavily on the patient’s ability to adhere to a new way of living that supports their weight loss.
Diet plays a vital role in maintaining the results of gastric sleeve surgery. Due to the reduced size of the stomach, it becomes essential to practice portion control. It is never okay to overeat. Eating small meals more frequently will help avoid your stomach from overstretching. The main focus should be a balanced diet full of rich proteins, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Another key component in maintaining weight loss after surgery is regular exercise. Regular physical activity not only helps burn calories but also allows your body to boost metabolism as well as improves cardiovascular health. After surgery, start with light exercise so you make sure you don’t overdo it as you try to recover. You can amplify your workout as you get back 100%.
Don’t forget about your mental health. The drastic change in lifestyle can have an overwhelming impact on your mental state. In order to help with this you can get assistance from counselors, or join support groups. You should also be having regular follow-ups with healthcare providers to ensure that you are being monitored properly. Also, be honest about where you are mentally and physically.
Despite gastric sleeve surgery reducing the size of your stomach, it can still stretch out again to accommodate more food as you ingest more. That will counteract the whole procedure.
You, therefore, need to commit to a new and healthy lifestyle. This includes closely monitoring the food you eat. Start by creating and maintaining new and healthy eating habits and stop behaviors that led to your weight gain in the first place.
Your weight is closely associated with your mental health. Having a history of certain conditions can make reaping the long-term benefits of gastric sleeve surgery quite difficult.
You should postpone the surgery until you have received treatment for these issues for the best results.
Achieving weight loss is a mighty task for most of us. However, it can be conquered with the right professionals and support system in place.
Make sure you get a professional surgeon’s advice surgeon before going under the knife. And since this is a personal decision packed with life-long commitments, ensure your family, friends, and co-workers are on board to support you before and after the surgery.
OECD (2019), The Heavy Burden of Obesity: The Economics of Prevention, OECD Health Policy Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris. https://doi.org/10.1787/67450d67-en.
Mayo Clinic, Bariatric Surgery. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/bariatric-surgery/about/pac-20394258
Alia Hoyt, Diet vs Exercise: The Truth About Weight Loss, WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/diet-vs-exercise-the-truth-about-weight-loss
Jennifer Whitlock, Gastric Sleever Surger: Overview, VeryWell Mind. https://www.verywellhealth.com/before-gastric-sleeve-surgery-4164458
NHS UK, Laparoscopy (Keyhole surgery). https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/laparoscopy/
Dorothea Vafiadis, How Excess Weight Impacts Our Mental and Emotional Health. https://www.ncoa.org/article/how-excess-weight-impacts-our-mental-and-emotional-health
Find out if you are eligible for Bariatric Surgery