Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure: Cost, Diet, Recovery, Success Stories
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) has emerged as the most popular bariatric surgery procedure in the world today. The number of people seeking this safe and proven sleeve surgery for weight loss continues to grow year after year. The advantage with this procedure is that it only involves surgical reduction in the size of the stomach, but leaves the intestines undisturbed. As a result, the risk of complication is significantly reduced.
Sleeve gastrectomy surgery helps bring profound improvements to a patient’s quality of life. You can expect to lose up to 70 percent of your excess weight within the first year after your surgery. It also helps achieve remission or reduction in the symptoms of obesity-related medical conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypertension. The procedure is usually performed as a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, which makes it safer and more precise.
What is vertical sleeve gastrectomy
When you meet a bariatric surgeon to discuss your weight loss surgery options, you should ask: “What is vertical sleeve gastrectomy?” A dedicated surgeon will explain to you all your surgical options and their respective pros and cons. Vertical gastric sleeve is a bariatric procedure aimed at reducing your capacity to eat so that you can naturally get rid of obesity.
After the sleeve gastrectomy procedure, the size of your stomach will reduce by almost 75 to 80 percent. As a result, you will feel full quickly after small meal portions. Secondly, your sleeve surgery for weight loss will induce hormonal changes, which will curb your appetite. Stomach motility will increase, which means that food will pass faster from your stomach and intestine after this surgery.
Sleeve gastrectomy procedure
Sleeve gastrectomy procedure will involve three steps: (a) pre-op preparation; (b) surgery; (c) post-op recovery. Liquid diet prior to the surgery is a key starting point for this procedure. On the day of your surgery, the bariatric staff will review your general health condition before you are moved to the operating room.
General Anesthesia and Incisions
Once you are ready for your vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure, you will be placed under general anesthesia. Based on your customized surgical plan, your surgeon will create incisions in precise locations. If the procedure is performed laparoscopically, they will insert a tiny camera through the incisions to view the underlying structures of the stomach on an external monitor.
Reducing Stomach to Create a Sleeve
Your bariatric surgeon will use high-precision instruments to remove about 75 to 80 percent of your stomach. A skilled surgeon will ensure that your sleeve gastrectomy surgery is performed with minimal trauma to the healthy tissue and nerves in the area. After removing the excess portion of the stomach, your surgeon will staple the remaining part into a banana-shaped sleeve.
Related: How does gastric sleeve work
Vertical sleeve surgery for weight loss
You can expect to lose a substantial amount of excess weight as well as eliminate underlying health issues with a vertical sleeve surgery for weight loss. This bariatric procedure is primarily restrictive, which means it will limit the amount of food you can eat at a time. Your body’s ability to absorb nutrients will not be affected after a vertical sleeve gastrectomy.
Regain Control Over Life and Health
The surgery will also reduce the production of ghrelin (a hunger hormone) in your body, which will further support your weight loss. With a successful vertical sleeve surgery for weight loss, you can restore a healthy and fit body appearance and dramatically improve your quality of life. However, the key to success lies in choosing the best bariatric surgeon to perform this procedure.
Lose Weight Rapidly in One Year
Following a vertical gastric sleeve surgery, you can lose about 70 percent of your excess weight on average within the first year as follows:
- First two weeks: average weight loss of one pound per day
- First three months: up to 40 percent excess weight loss
- First six months: up to 60 percent excess weight loss
- First 12 months: up to 70 percent excess weight loss
Many people are able to achieve their ideal body weight within 18 to 24 months after VSG surgery.
Related: Gastric sleeve weight loss chart, timeline
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy
With advancements in bariatric surgery techniques, it is now possible to perform the weight loss procedure in a more targeted and less invasive manner. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy involves the use of a tiny video camera called “laparoscope,” which is inserted at the time of surgery. Unlike the traditional open surgery, a laparoscopic procedure requires smaller incisions.
More Effective Results with LSG
Your bariatric surgeon will be able to view the underlying anatomy of your stomach on a monitor outside with the help of this tiny camera. At the same time, this clearer view of the inside structures will allow them to perform your surgery with higher precision. The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) procedure is performed faster, involves less trauma and reduced recovery time, and minimizes the risk of complications.
Laparoscopic Sleeve Surgery Procedure
Your surgeon will begin the incision placement after you have been administered general anesthesia. They will create four or five very small incisions in the marked abdominal area. The laparoscope as well as other tiny surgical instruments will be inserted through these incisions. The stomach portion will be removed precisely, the remainder sleeve will be stapled, and incisions will be closed with sutures.
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy cost
Cost is an important issue in any surgical procedure, particularly when you have to pay out of pocket for it. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy cost will be in the range of $4,200 to $5,500 on average in Mexico. On the other hand, the same procedure in the US or Canada can cost you upwards of $20,000. You can afford to choose a renowned hospital and the best bariatric surgeon in Mexico for this surgery because the costs are so low.
Preparing for vertical gastric sleeve
Preparation for your vertical gastric sleeve should ideally begin several weeks ahead of your scheduled surgery date. A thorough preparation will make you more confident and will reduce your risks of surgery. Your weight loss surgeon will guide you about the preparation at the time of your pre-operative consultation.
Focus on the following key elements of your vertical gastric sleeve preparation:
- Quit smoking at least temporarily as directed by your surgeon.
- Avoid aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for a few days.
- Refrain from consuming alcoholic and high sugar carbonated beverages as far as possible for a few days or weeks.
- Complete any urgent tasks ahead of time in order to set aside time for a stress-free surgery and recovery.
- Abide by the vertical gastric sleeve pre-op dietary guidelines.
Related: Preparing for gastric sleeve surgery: A step-by-step guide
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy diet guidelines
Diet will play a major role in your long-term weight loss success following a VSG surgery. As long as you remain committed to the vertical sleeve gastrectomy diet guidelines of your bariatric surgeon, you can expect life-changing results. Your post-op diet will not only involve changes in the types of food you eat, but also how you eat it.
Here are some of the key vertical sleeve gastrectomy diet guidelines:
- Eat your meals in small portions, and consume five to six small meals a day in place of larger meals.
- Chew your food slowly and thoroughly.
- Stop eating the moment you feel full.
- Increase the intake of lean proteins in your diet.
- Take your nutrition supplements as advised by your surgeon.
- Focus on healthy activities, and do not use eating as a way to counter boredom.
- Stay well-hydrated and drink about 1.5 to 2 liters of water daily.
- Avoid sweetened, carbonated, and caffeinated drinks.
- Minimize calorie dense foods, such as cakes, ice cream, and chocolates.
Related: Gastric sleeve diet: An ultimate guide on VSG diet
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy recovery time
When performed laparoscopically, your VSG surgery will be less invasive and will involve minimal downtime. If your surgery is accomplished without any complications, you may return to your hotel the same day after the procedure. The average vertical sleeve gastrectomy recovery time is about one week after the surgery. You should take plenty of rest at your hotel during this period.
After one week, you may be in a position to travel back to your home country. Most patients are able to return to their workplace or resume their normal routine in about 10 to 14 days after their surgery. Vertical sleeve gastrectomy recovery time can vary from one patient to another. But in general, you can expect to fully recover in about two months and resume vigorous activities and fitness exercises.
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy cost
The average vertical sleeve gastrectomy cost in Mexico will be about 70 to 75% cheaper than what you may have to pay in the US or Canada. Even when you work with a top qualified weight loss surgeon and choose one of the leading hospitals in Mexico, your VSG cost may only range from $4,200 to $5,500. The same surgery in your home country may cost you up to $20,000 or $25,000.
The following components are usually included in the vertical sleeve gastretomy cost in Mexico:
- Bariatric surgeon’s fee
- Anesthesia team’s charges
- Fee of any other attending physicians and nursing staff
- Operating room costs
- Overnight stay charges, if any
- Costs of pre- and post-op medical tests and blood work
- Prescription medications for one week
- Transport from the airport to hotel and back
Related: How much does gastric sleeve cost?
Does insurance cover vertical sleeve gastrectomy
When you are considering a weight loss surgery in Mexico, it is important to determine the estimated costs, your own budget, and the insurance and financing aspects. One of the first steps you can take is to ask your insurance company: “Does insurance cover vertical sleeve gastrectomy?” If you have adequate coverage, your insurer will assess whether you qualify for this surgery.
- Some insurance companies in the US and Canada may offer coverage even when you want to have a bariatric surgery in Mexico. This will minimize your co-pays and deductibles.
- If you do not have coverage or your insurance provider refuses to cover vertical sleeve gastrectomy, you can still have this surgery in Mexico at a small fraction of the cost that you would otherwise pay in the US or Canada.
Related: How to get weight loss surgery approved?
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy testimonials
Check out these vertical sleeve gastrectomy testimonials from our past patients at Jet Medical Tourism®. This will give you invaluable insights into the actual experience of patients who chose this weight loss surgery.
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy before and after pictures
A picture says more than a thousand words. Take a look at our vertical sleeve gastrectomy before and after pictures to see how this surgery can transform your physical appearance.
View more vertical sleeve gastrectomy before and after pictures.
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy success stories
Choosing a vertical sleeve gastrectomy in Mexico can be a life-altering decision. However, it is important to evaluate all your options, and most importantly, review the experiences of past patients. At Jet Medical Tourism®, we are proud that we are able to touch so many lives and make a difference through sleeve gastrectomy surgery.
The vertical sleeve gastrectomy success stories of our past patients will inspire you to consider this procedure. For our team at Jet Medical Tourism®, the biggest reward is when a patient tells us how their life improved after this surgery. Go through a few VSG success stories to draw encouragement and make up your mind to go ahead with your weight loss surgery.
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy revision
While the success rate of vertical sleeve surgery is very high, sometimes a patient may not achieve their weight loss goals or develop complications. In these cases, vertical sleeve gastrectomy revision surgery may have to be performed. The revision procedure may involve one of the following options:
- Duodenal Switch: If your stomach has stretched out following the primary gastric sleeve, a duodenal switch may be performed as a revision surgery. This will involve removal of the excess stomach portion as well as rearranging of intestines.
- Gastric Bypass: This is one of the options your surgeon may recommend if you require a vertical sleeve gastrectomy revision. This procedure is less complicated compared to a duodenal switch, and will provide both restrictive and malabsorptive benefits to achieve weight loss.
- Re-sleeve Surgery: This is the least invasive surgery among the various options for VSG revision. In this case, your surgeon will simply remove some additional portion of the stomach, which may have re-stretched after the primary surgery.
Related: All you need to know about revision weight loss surgery
Pregnancy after vertical sleeve gastrectomy
Some female patients worry that one of the vertical sleeve gastrectomy side effects may be that they cannot get pregnant after the surgery. However, this is just a myth, and most women can choose to have a pregnancy after vertical sleeve gastrectomy. In fact, some women can become pregnant more easily if their previous infertility was related to obesity.
- Your bariatric surgeon may advise you to wait for about 18 months before you decide to have pregnancy after vertical sleeve gastrectomy. It is also necessary to remember that a healthy birth requires proper nutrition for the mother and the baby.
- So, while you are following your VSG diet guidelines, stay focused on maintaining nutrition in order to achieve a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.
Related: Gastric sleeve and PCOS: Everything you need to know
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy and alcohol
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy and alcohol do not go together. Your weight loss surgeon will recommend you to completely avoid or minimize for a few days prior to your surgery. After your procedure, they will give you clear instructions about when you may re-introduce alcohol to your lifestyle.
Follow these guidelines related to vertical sleeve gastrectomy and alcohol after your surgery:
- Avoid alcohol consumption for about six months after VSG.
- When you re-start alcohol consumption, avoid using sugary or carbonated drinks as mixers.
- Be conscious about the calorie content of your alcoholic beverages.
- If you experience nausea or vomiting, stop the use alcoholic drinks, and see a doctor.
- If you realize that you are drinking too much, do not hesitate from seeking professional help.
Flying after vertical sleeve gastrectomy
If you are wondering whether flying after vertical sleeve gastrectomy is possible, there is splendid news for you. You are free to fly like any other healthy person after your VSG surgery. However, most surgeons may not recommend air travel for the first week after your surgery. In case you are planning to take a long haul flight, it may be better to wait for three weeks.
- In exceptional situations, your surgeon may restrict you from flying after vertical sleeve gastrectomy if you are experiencing complications. But with normal VSG side effects, flying should not be a problem.
- You may want to avoid airline food, so it is a poignant idea to carry your own food according to your recommended gastric sleeve post-op diet plan.
Contact Jet Medical Tourism® for vertical sleeve gastrectomy & save up to 75%
Jet Medical Tourism® is leading provider in the area of safe and affordable medical travel for vertical sleeve gastrectomy. We have teamed up some of the most experienced and skilled bariatric surgeons in Mexico for high quality weight loss surgery. Our surgeons have an outstanding track record of success with VSG and other procedures.
Jet Medical Tourism® is here to help you. Since 2017, we have helped patients from all around the world achieve their weight loss goals successfully. Apply Now or get in touch with us today by calling (855) 506-6188 or the contact form.