Gastric sleeve surgery can help you to achieve your weight loss goals, but it isn’t the right choice for everybody. You will need to meet certain eligibility criteria in order to have this procedure. You’ll also need to think carefully about whether this is the best option for you.
The gastric sleeve procedure is designed for people who have a lot of excess weight to lose. The way this is assessed is through your Body Mass Index or BMI. The BMI measurement can tell us if you are heavier than you should be for someone of your height.
You can calculate your BMI by:
- Measuring your weight in kilograms and your height in metres
- Dividing your weight measurement by your height
- Dividing this result by your height again
For example, if you weigh 120kg are and 1.7 metres tall then your BMI would be calculated as:
- 120 divided by 1.7 = 70.59
- Then divide this by your height again, 70.59 divided by 1.7 = 41.5
- Your BMI would be 41.5 (which would put you in the obese range)
In order to be eligible for a sleeve gastrectomy, you will usually need fit into one of the following categories:
- Have a BMI of over 40
- Have a BMI of at least 35 and a serious condition linked to your weight, such as type 2 diabetes
If you stick to your weight loss plan after surgery, you could lose up to 60% of your excess weight in just the first two years. With perseverance, you will reach your weight loss goal and achieve a BMI within the healthy range of 18.5 to 24.9.
Having the surgery could also help to relive the symptoms of any health problems that are linked to your weight. Gastric sleeve surgery has proven to be particularly helpful at tackling type 2 diabetes, so it can be a good option if you are affected by this condition and comparing options for weight loss surgery. Many people notice a rapid improvement in their diabetes symptoms and it can disappear completely in some cases.
Previous Attempts at Weight Loss
Surgery shouldn’t be your first choice when you start to lose weight, even if you have a lot of weight to lose. It’s always worth seeing how much you can do by yourself before you take such a drastic measure. Trying to lose weight through diet and exercise will:
- Give you a chance to avoid an unnecessary operation if you are able to reach your goal without surgery
- Ensure that you are as healthy as possible before undergoing the procedure if you do still need to have a sleeve gastrectomy
- Prepare you for the long term changes that you’ll need to make after the surgery in order to successfully lose weight
- Show your doctor that you are committed and willing to work hard to make your surgery a success
Your General Health
Sleeve gastrectomy is a significant surgical procedure, so you will need to be healthy enough to have the operation. If you have certain kinds of medical condition or you‘ve previously had a bad reaction to a general anaesthetic, it might not be safe for you to undergo the procedure.
You will need to discuss the risks and benefits in detail with your doctor, who will be able to give you personalised advice on whether this surgery is suitable for you.
The doctor won’t just ask about your physical health when considering whether you’re a good candidate for weight loss surgery. It’s important to ensure that you are mentally prepared for the experience too. You will need to have realistic expectations of what the procedure can do for you.
It is also important to be aware of both the positive and negative effects that it could have on your wellbeing and relationships. For example, while losing weight can help you to feel happier and more confident, it can also be stressful. The dramatic changes you’ll be making to your life can also affect your relationships with other people.
Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Right for You?
Deciding to have gastric sleeve surgery isn’t just about seeing whether you fit the requirements. We need to find out if you are a suitable candidate for sleeve gastrectomy, but you have a decision to make too. You need to decide if sleeve gastrectomy is the right option for you.
You will get a chance to learn more about the procedure when you meet with a specialist. The doctor will ensure that you understand what the procedure involves, what to expect after surgery, and the risks and benefits of sleeve gastrectomy. You will need to consider these and decide if the procedure is right for you. You might also want to consider some of the other bariatric procedures that are available in London, such as the gastric band and gastric bypass.
Perhaps the most important point to consider is whether you think this surgery will help you to lose weight. Gastric sleeve surgery works by reducing the size of your stomach so that you will feel full after smaller meals. It can also reduce your appetite as you’ll be producing less of the hormones that stimulate hunger. This procedure can therefore be helpful if you struggle with these aspects of dieting.
Once you have a clear understanding of how the surgery can help you, then you will need to decide whether:
- Having the surgery will make it possible for you to lose weight more weight than you could do alone
- You are willing to commit to lifelong changes to your diet and lifestyle so that you can lose your excess weight and then keep it off
How well the surgery works for you will depend to a large extent on your motivation and commitment. The surgery can help you to stick to a diet, but you will still need to work hard to make it a success.
Do you think that gastric sleeve surgery is the best route for you?