About 73% of the Mexican population is suffering from obesity. This is a steep increase from just 20% recorded back in 1996.
Why are the numbers this bad?
Losing weight is one of the most arduous tasks you can engage in. It is even harder to sustain weight loss over the long term.
However, your odds of success get better when you pair your weight loss efforts with a comprehensive treatment plan. One of them is gastric sleeve, a type of bariatric surgery.
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 cover gastric sleeve surgery. However, the testing requirements and pre-surgical insurance can be lengthy. Some companies need 6 – 12 months of documentation concerning your weight-loss diet to receive the green flag.
However, some surgeons may not impose such strict requirements if you’re paying out of pocket. Others may even operate if you have a BMI over 30 with underlying weight-related complications.
Gastric sleeve surgery makes you lose anywhere between 50% – 80% of excess weight. That translates to some patients losing 80 to 100 pounds in the first year. This is more than you can lose while on a diet and doing exercises alone.
Losing this weight improves the management of complications such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea. Your joints also feel much better, with most pains and aches disappearing.
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.
Gastric sleeve is a long-term decision and commitment. Thus, you have to take the right steps to ensure that you reap the full benefits of the surgery.
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