Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy: Patient Guide By Jet Medical Tourism on September 21, 2020

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy currently ranks as the number one bariatric surgery procedure anywhere in the world. Although laparoscopic gastric sleeve was introduced much later than other traditional weight loss surgeries, it has become increasingly popular in recent years. Patients have consistently reported success with their weight loss results after lap sleeve gastrectomy. The rate of complications with this surgery is significantly lower than other bariatric procedures.

Medical researchers as well as operating surgeons have highlighted the safety and efficacy of laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy. If you have a BMI of 40 or above, or you suffer from obesity-related medical conditions with a BMI of 35 or above, you could be a candidate for lap sleeve gastrectomy. During your initial consultation, your bariatric surgeon can answer all your questions about this procedure.

Laparoscopic weight loss surgery

Laparoscopic weight loss surgery is the most advanced surgical technique available to perform a bariatric procedure. When laparoscopic sleeve surgery was initially introduced, the surgeons recommended it only for patients suffering from severe obesity (BMI of 55 or above). They used as the first line of treatment before more complex bariatric procedures could be applied.

However, experience showed that most patients are able to achieve substantial weight loss with laparoscopic VSG alone, and do not require addition surgeries later on. This is when bariatric surgeons began advising most patients to consider laparoscopic weight loss surgery to eliminate obesity. The popularity of this procedure quickly caught on, and today it is the most sought-after bariatric surgery around the world.

Is gastric sleeve done laparoscopically?

Yes, most gastric sleeve surgeries today are performed laparoscopically. The traditional method to perform VSG is through open surgery, which is no longer recommended, except in rare cases. In an open procedure, the surgeon must create a significantly long incision across the abdomen. This allows them to view the underlying structures of the stomach manually so that the surgery can be performed. Clearly, the traditional approach is more risky, involves major scarring, and requires a longer recovery process.

Lap Sleeve Gastrectomy is Safer

Compared to the traditional open surgery, the laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a much safer treatment option. Patients who are suffering from obesity often have related health conditions. It is not preferable to perform a surgery that takes longer to perform and involves large incisions. With laparoscopic sleeve, you will only need to remain under general anesthesia for a short period. The surgery will be completed more quickly, safely, and precisely with the help of a laparoscope.

Low Scarring and Faster Recovery

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy requires very small incisions to be placed in the abdominal area. These will heal much faster, have a lower risk of developing infection, and leave minimal subsequent scarring. A skilled weight loss surgeon will place the incisions in natural creases and discreet locations so that scars are less visible over time. You can expect to return to your normal routine within two weeks or less. For these reasons, thousands of patients now prefer this surgery over other options.

What is laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy?

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is a form of bariatric surgery that involves the use of a laparoscope to perform the procedure. The laparoscope is a tiny but powerful fiber optic camera that is attached to a monitor at the other end. Through very small incisions, your surgeon will insert the laparoscope into your abdominal area. This will enable the surgeon to view the inner structures of your gastric system on an external monitor to perform the surgery.

High Precision Surgery

With the help of the advanced laparoscopic technology, your bariatric surgeon will be able to perform the procedure with very high precision. The exact required amount of stomach volume can be removed (about 80 percent). This ensures that your weight loss results will be more successful and predictable. No surrounding organs or healthy tissue are disrupted with a laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery. Therefore, surgical errors and complications are minimized.

Weight Loss Benefits

Lap sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) can help you lose as much as 60 to 70 percent of your excess weight within the first year itself. As long as you remain dedicated to your prescribed diet and fitness regimen, you could possibly achieve your ideal body weight at 18 to 24 months. Laparoscopic sleeve involves no rerouting of your intestines. This not only makes your surgery less complex, but also ensures that you have minimal risk of developing nutritional deficiencies in the long run.

Lap sleeve gastrectomy procedure steps

Lap sleeve gastrectomy can be completed in less than two hours in most cases. Your surgeon may decide to perform it as an outpatient procedure, which means you can leave the hospital the same day after the surgery. At the time of your pre-op consultation, your surgeon will explain the laparoscopic gastric sleeve procedure steps to you.

  • General Anesthesia: Once you are inside the surgery room, a qualified anesthesiologist will review your general condition and place you under general anesthesia. You will remain in deep sleep throughout your surgery, and will have no memory of it when you awaken from anesthesia.
  • Incision Placement: Following anesthesia, your bariatric surgeon will create five to six tiny incisions in your abdomen. The incisions will be created in pre-determined locations, which are less obvious from the perspective of potential subsequent scarring. Cosmetically, this is one of the key laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy steps.
  • Surgery Procedure: Through the incisions, your surgeon will insert the laparoscope as well as other small surgical instruments into your stomach. Using visuals on the monitor, they will surgically remove a major part of your stomach (known as the fundus). The laparoscope and surgical instruments will then be removed.
  • Incision Closure: Once the surgery is completed, your bariatric surgeon will remove the fundus through an open incision. The remainder stomach will be closed with staples, leaving a small sleeve sized, banana shaped new stomach. Thereafter, the incisions will be closed with sutures.

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy technique

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy technique is less invasive because it involves very small sized incisions. In fact, a few bariatric surgeons are now performing laparoscopic gastric sleeve procedure using an innovative single incision technique. The goal is to minimize the scarring even further in the long run. However, the multi-incision lap sleeve gastrectomy continues to be the mainstream surgical technique as of now.

Reduced Capacity to Eat

Your laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy technique is designed to serve two purposes. The first and most important purpose is to reduce the size and volume of your stomach by about 75 to 80 percent. This will naturally reduce the capacity of your stomach to store food. You will feel full faster after eating a small portion of food. This will allow you to get rid of obesity because you will consume much lower calories in a day.

Feeling Less Hungry

The second aim of your laparoscopic gastric sleeve procedure or technique is to curb your appetite. When this surgery is performed, it will naturally reduce the production of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) in your body. The lower volume of this hormone will ensure that you will feel hungry less often. Your urge to eat several meals a day or to do snacking and ‘grazing’ frequently will be largely controlled with this approach.

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy cost

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy cost will be in the range of $4,500 to $5,500 on average in Mexico. However, the same procedure will cost you anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000 on average in the US or Canada. Evaluate your budget as well as health insurance options and then make a judicious choice about going ahead with this surgery.

  • You should also take into consideration additional costs such as lap sleeve gastrectomy diet, new clothes, periodic consultations with your nutritionist, prescription medications and vitamin supplements, and other such expenses.
  • In any case, your laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy cost will prove to be much lower over time because your annual medical costs will substantially reduce.


Laparoscopic gastric sleeve resection

Laparoscopic gastric sleeve resection was originally performed as a preliminary stage of the complex duodenal switch surgery. Once the surgeons start noticing the dramatic weight loss results with laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy alone, they recognize the potential of resection.

  • The resection technique involves removal of around 75 to 80 percent of the stomach. To perform laparoscopic gastric sleeve resection, your surgeon will insert a narrow tube with a camera into the stomach.
  • The new small sleeve will be surgically created around this tube (the laparoscope). The resection surgery starts at about two inches from the end of your stomach.
  • It extends around the laparoscope up to the starting point of the stomach close to the diaphragm.

Laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery recovery time

Laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery recovery time is shorter compared to a traditional open surgery. You can expect to go back to your workplace or resume your regular activities in about one to two weeks after the surgery. You will have to avoid strenuous activities and exercises for about six weeks.

Full normalcy in your gym and outdoor sports routine may be restored at about three months.

  • Immediate Phase: You may experience mild soreness and discomfort in the incision sites as the anesthesia effect wears off after the surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medications to keep you comfortable. For the first one week, you should take plenty of rest, but you should perform light activities and short walks at your hotel room.
  • Diet Planning: Your lap sleeve gastrectomy diet is a vital part of your early recovery process. For the first two weeks after the surgery, you will have to follow a liquid diet. Gradually, as your healing progresses, you will transition to a more solid and normal diet. Focus on high protein content in your diet to support faster tissue healing.
  • Complete Recovery: The average laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy recovery time is about three months. Although you will be able to resume your work routine in two weeks and perform mild exercises in five or six weeks, but full recovery requires more time. Follow your surgeon or physical therapist’s advice before transitioning to more vigorous activities.

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy video

At the time of your pre-op consultation, you can request your surgeon to provide you with a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy video of the actual procedure. Once you understand the steps involved in the procedure, it will increase your confidence about the surgery. Well-prepared and confident patients are usually able to make better informed decisions about their surgery.

  • Sometimes your surgeon may have created a laparoscopic gastric sleeve video that includes slides of before and after images. Surgeons often record a few patient testimonials also on video.
  • When you are review different types of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy videos, it will give you clearer insights into what this surgery can or cannot do for you.

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy reviews

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy reviews are a highly useful tool for many patients who are confused or unsure about choosing this surgery. Weight loss surgery is a major procedure and it requires courage of conviction to say yes to it.

  • You may have numerous questions on your mind such as is gastric sleeve done laparoscopically, how are laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy instruments used during the procedure, and what kind of results you can expect.
  • The most important decision you will make during your laparoscopic sleeve journey is the choice of a bariatric surgeon and a medical tourism provider. It is often difficult to judge between two surgeons or providers.
  • Rather than leave your decision to chance, you can bring more objectivity to the process by seeking laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy reviews of past patients. Actual experiences of previous patients will help you understand who may be the best provider for your needs.

Gastric sleeve laparoscopic scars

Gastric sleeve laparoscopic scars are going to be small and inconspicuous. Immediate after your surgery, the scarring may appear more pronounced and unsightly. However, as the incisions heal and your recovery progresses, the scars will gradually fade into thin white lines. In a multi-incision surgery, the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy scars will four or five in number, but each of them will tiny in size. You can minimize your scarring with these simple tips:

  • Work with a bariatric surgeon who is a laparoscopic expert
  • After the surgery, diligently follow the incision care advice
  • Increase your exercises gradually to avoid incision injury
  • Avoid smoking because it can increase scarring
  • Do not expose the scars to direct sun until they are fully healed

Laparoscopic gastrectomy before and after

Laparoscopic gastrectomy before and after

A dedicated bariatric surgeon may present before you laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy before and after pictures at your first meeting. The surgeon’s foremost concern will be to help you form realistic expectations so that you can make a correct decision. These pictures belong to actual past patients who have achieved successful weight loss results with this surgery.

Some surgeons may have laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy before and after images or videos on their website. You can access these photos online and review them carefully at leisure. The identity of the past patients may not be disclosed sometimes for confidentiality reasons. Choose a trusted surgeon who will provide you authentic photographs for review.

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy vs lap band

Many patients want to know how laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy vs. lap band surgery may compare with each other. It is important to understand that while laparoscopic gastric sleeve is a proven and popular bariatric surgery with an excellent success record, the same cannot be said about lap band. In recent years, most surgeons have discouraged patients from choosing lap band because of the limited weight loss results and other issues.

Weight Loss Results

Laparoscopic weight loss surgery produces highly predictable and reliable outcomes for most patients. You can expect to lose as much as 70 percent of your excess body weight within the first 12 months itself. But when you look at the performance record of lap band surgery, most patients may only lose up to 50 percent of their excess weight. Reversal of weight loss also occurs in lap band for a significant number of patients.

Related: Gastric sleeve results: Expected weight loss after VSG surgery

Rate of Complications

Although laparoscopic sleeve is more invasive than lap band surgery, it has a fairly low rate of complications. The procedure does not involve intestinal surgery, which makes it a more safe surgery. When you look at laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy vs. lap band, you will see that lap band erosion, lap band slippage, and less control over eating are typical fallouts of lap band surgery. As a result, failure rates with lap band are much higher.

Lap sleeve gastrectomy complications

Lap sleeve gastrectomy complications can be minimized in two ways: (a) Choose a skilled bariatric surgeon with extensive training and experience in performing laparoscopic VSG surgery; and (b) Follow the post-op dietary guidelines of your surgeon with sincerity and discipline. Most patients who take care of these two aspects do not experience any significant laparoscopic sleeve complications.

It is also important to remember that complications and risks can vary from one patient to another depending on their age, health, and obesity-related medical conditions. Your surgeon should carefully evaluate your health parameters before letting you go ahead with this surgery. In general, lap sleeve gastrectomy complications will be lower compared to a traditional open bariatric surgery.

Potential risks include:

  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Poor anesthesia response
  • Blood clotting
  • Leakage in the internal incisions
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Hernia
  • Gastro-intestinal obstructions
  • Acid reflux
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Malnutrition
  • No weight loss or weight regain

Choose Jet Medical Tourism® and Save up to 70% on laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy

Laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a life-altering surgery. Thousands of women and men from the US, Canada, and Europe are choosing this surgery at very affordable prices in Mexico. Jet Medical Tourism® is a leader in the field of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy in Mexico. 

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.

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