Finding Gastric Sleeve Surgeons: A Step by Step Guide
Gastric sleeve surgeons are trained and qualified to perform a vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery for weight loss. Perhaps the single most critical decision that you will make when considering a weight loss surgery is choosing the best gastric sleeve surgeon near you. More than anything else, it is the skill and experience of gastric sleeve doctors that will make a difference to the safety and success of your surgery.
Doctors that do gastric sleeve surgery are usually expert bariatric surgeons. However, you cannot afford to take their qualifications or certifications for granted. You may approach them through a trusted and reputable medical tourism provider that has a team of top-rated gastric sleeve surgeons with verified professional credentials. Remember that working with the right sleeve surgery doctors near you is vital as your life depends on it.
What kind of doctor performs gastric sleeve surgery?
Gastric sleeve doctors near you who have completed their residency training in general surgery and additionally received specialized training in bariatric surgery are qualified to perform this procedure. The specialization as a gastric sleeve surgeon could be in the form of fellowship training for one to two years, apart from the general residency training of at least three years.
Training in Gastric Sleeve
You should choose a gastric sleeve Dr near you who has obtained specialized training from an accredited teaching center for laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Residents can learn the best possible laparoscopic surgical skills through structured training at these centers, which may be a part of a medical college or university. Gastric sleeve surgery doctors near you should also be committed to lifelong learning in order to constantly upgrade their surgical expertise.
Experience in Gastric Sleeve
The best gastric sleeve doctors would have extensive experience in performing various bariatric procedures, including VSG. At most of the leading hospitals and bariatric centers, gastric sleeve surgery is a significant part of the daily workload of experienced gastrointestinal surgeons. You should work with gastric sleeve surgeons that have performed hundreds, if not thousands, of bariatric procedures. These surgeons are equipped to handle unexpected situations in the surgery room, and deliver safe and sustainable results.
Related: How does gastric sleeve work?
Gastric sleeve surgeons qualifications and certifications
When you select gastric sleeve surgeons with appropriate qualifications and certifications in the bariatric specialty, you can expect the most predictable surgical outcomes. These surgeons would have completed a minimum number of years of residency training. They would have demonstrable competence and skills established through completion of rigorous evaluation and examination.
Before qualifying as a gastric sleeve surgeon, a candidate must complete three to five years of medical school, followed by internship training. After the successful completion of medical school training and examinations, the candidate is awarded a medical degree. Thereafter, they may specialize as gastric sleeve doctors by completing an additional three to four years of surgery training, including specialized training in bariatric surgery.
To become a board certified bariatric surgeon, the candidate must fulfill the rigorous selection criteria established by the board of surgery in their country of residence. The best gastric sleeve surgeon near you would likely have been awarded this prestigious board certification. Only a small number of weight loss surgeons are chosen every year for this certification through a comprehensive evaluation process.
Requirements for Board Certification
Gastric sleeve surgeons must complete certain requirements in order to be considered for board certification in bariatric surgery. These may include:
- Medical degree license
- General surgery license
- Board of General Surgery certification
- Training or certification in gastrointestinal endoscopy and/or minimally invasive surgery
- Training or certification in bariatric surgery
- Certification of professional practice endorsed by a hospital
- Minimum three years of practical experience in bariatric surgery with at least 25 procedures per year on average, including at least 60 percent of the procedures being gastric sleeve or bypass, and with at least 60 percent of the procedures performed at a hospital
How do I find the best gastric sleeve surgeon
You have two primary ways to find the best gastric sleeve surgeon. The first option is to search independently for sleeve surgery doctors near you or seek a reference from a friend or family member, and approach the doctor directly. The second option is to consult with a respected and dependable medical tourism company and get your surgery completed through their proven doctor network in the destination of your choice.
Independent Approach to Find a Surgeon
- Step 1: Talk to your near and dear ones, whom you can trust for their maturity and judgment, and seek a good reference for gastric sleeve surgery doctors near you.
- Step 2: If you are unable to find a doctor through a reference, conduct an online search for gastric sleeve doctors near you. Here are three suggested independent search links: Link 1; Link 2; Link 3.
- Step 3: Once you short-list a gastric sleeve surgeon through online search, you should contact them and request for a free video consultation. Ask all the questions you have on your mind, including the cost of surgery.
- Step 4: Request the surgeon to share their professional practice license and certification details (which should be endorsed by the relevant authorities) for verification. You may also request for a few patient testimonials.
- Step 5: Make independent travel and accommodation arrangements for your surgery. Preferably, have someone accompany you for the procedure. Seek help from your surgeon’s office for local travel.
Find a Surgeon through a Medical Tourism Provider
- Step 1: Identify a reliable and trusted medical tourism company (such as Jet Medical Tourism®) in the US, and call their representatives.
- Step 2: If you are satisfied with the preliminary information they provide, request them to schedule your free virtual consultation with a doctor who performs gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico.
- Step 3: Ask questions during your consultation about the professional credentials of the gastric sleeve surgeon and clear all doubts and concerns.
- Step 4: If you decide to go ahead with the surgery, request your medical tourism company to schedule a convenient date of surgery.
- Step 5: The medical tourism provider will take care of your travel, stay and surgery arrangements and ensure that you have a safe and comfortable treatment experience.
Related: Choosing a bariatric surgeon in Tijuana – A step by step guide
What questions should I ask my gastric sleeve surgeon?
Gastric sleeve surgeons who are dedicated to patient education will encourage you to ask questions during the initial consultation, and will provide you clear and accurate answers. The first goal of doctors that do gastric sleeve surgery should be to help a patient make an informed choice about the procedure. It is best to prepare a list of questions in advance and carry it to your pre-op consultation with the surgeon.
How many years have you been performing gastric sleeve surgery?
The best gastric sleeve surgeon near you would have several years of experience in performing this procedure. Experienced surgeons have seen all kinds of situations in the operating room. They are able to think on their feet and make the right decisions in split-seconds during an emergency.
How many times have you done the gastric sleeve?
Some surgeons have vast practice experience, but not necessarily in the field of gastric sleeve surgery. You should know whether the gastric sleeve Dr near you that you are choosing has specific experience in this procedure, and how many sleeve gastrectomies they have performed till date.
How many gastric sleeve procedures did you perform last month?
Some surgeons may have performed hundreds or thousands of gastric sleeve procedures in the past, but not in recent years. Surgical technologies change rapidly, and you need a gastric sleeve surgeon with current experience in this procedure and the latest skills and techniques.
When did you perform your first gastric sleeve surgery?
Sometimes you may feel uncertain about the surgeon’s answers or may want more clarification about when exactly they began performing gastric sleeve surgery. Feel free to ask about their first VSG procedure and how was the experience when they performed a new surgery for the first time.
What gastric sleeve complications have you encountered?
Even the best gastric sleeve surgeon near you would have encountered some patient complications during or after the surgery. Discuss with your surgeon about how they would help you in case you go through any complications related to anesthesia, surgery or post-op issues.
What are your gastric sleeve success rates to date?
One of the most reassuring metrics to consider when you to choose between two gastric sleeve surgeons is their success rate. Gastric sleeve success rate refers to the percentage of patients who had a successful surgery and went on to achieve their weight loss goals without complications.
Do you specialize in gastric sleeve?
When you have to choose among gastric sleeve doctors near you, it becomes important to distinguish which of them is particularly focused on VSG surgery. A surgeon specializing in this procedure would likely have mastered the techniques to perform it most efficiently.
Do you offer minimally invasive gastric sleeve surgery?
Gastric sleeve can be performed as a traditional open surgery or a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. Make sure the gastric sleeve doctors you are considering offer the advanced and innovative laparoscopic technique, which is less invasive and more precise.
Do you participate in gastric sleeve specific continuing education?
Gastric sleeve surgery is an evolving field with new surgical advancements taking place with each passing year. If the gastric sleeve surgeon near you participates in relevant continuing education programs, they would be well-versed with cutting-edge techniques to perform your procedure.
Are you a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)?
Gastric sleeve surgeons who are active members of professional medical and surgical associations have access to the current industry best practices and the latest research in the field. Ask your surgeon if they have membership of a medical society in their country of residence.
Are you board certified in general surgery?
When you work with a board certified surgeon for your gastric sleeve procedure, you will have an assurance about the surgeon’s industry-leading credentials. A board certification is a prestigious and highly coveted achievement and only a handful of bariatric surgeons may have it.
Can I read past patient gastric sleeve reviews?
In addition to the surgeon’s qualifications and experience, a vital consideration is how the patient community perceives the surgeon. Go through the past patient gastric sleeve reviews and testimonials to gain insights into the surgeon’s reputation among the patients.
Do you provide postoperative gastric sleeve support?
A successful gastric sleeve surgery is just the beginning of your weight loss journey. You will need dedicated post-op gastric sleeve support to manage any potential side effects and complications. You may also need follow-up appointments with the surgeon and consultation on your diet plan.
Why do you recommend the gastric sleeve for me?
You may have found the best gastric sleeve surgeon near you, but they may determine that you are not a candidate for this surgery. Be objective about the procedure and follow your surgeon’s advice. They will recommend this surgery only if they find that you fulfill all the eligibility conditions or gastric sleeve requirements.
What are my risks by having the gastric sleeve?
In order to make a well-considered decision, you should be aware of the potential risks and complications associated with gastric sleeve. Although the procedure has an excellent safety record, trusted gastric sleeve surgeons will still inform patients about the risks upfront at the first consultation.
How to work with a gastric sleeve doctor to lose weight
Once you have finalized a gastric sleeve doctor for your weight loss procedure, you will be interacting closely with them throughout your surgery process. Open communication and a good rapport with your surgeon will go a long way in helping you achieve your weight loss goals more effectively.
Here are some of the steps involved in your engagement with sleeve surgery doctors near you.
- Initial Consultation: When you meet your surgeon for the first time (probably over a video consultation), you will have numerous questions and concerns about how to lose weight. Dedicated gastric sleeve doctors near you will take the time to answer all your questions in detail, and encourage you to make an independent and confident decision.
- Face to Face Consultation: Once you arrive at your surgeon’s bariatric clinic or hospital, they will probably want to have a second consultation with you. They will go over your physical parameters, review your emotional condition, and give you the final go-ahead for your surgery as per the schedule date.
- Day of Surgery: Prior to your procedure, your gastric sleeve doctor will assess your vital parameters. They will place you under anesthesia and perform the procedure as per the pre-determined custom surgical plan. Following the surgery, they will keep you under medical observation for a few hours before allowing you to leave the hospital.
- Follow-up Appointments: Doctors that do gastric sleeve surgery will usually provide you one or two free appointments after the procedure. Even beyond this, dedicated gastric sleeve doctors encourage patients to maintain contact and provide them follow-up support. If ever you experience a complication, do not hesitate to contact your surgeon for advice.
Related: Best bariatric surgeons in Mexico (2022)
What happens at first bariatric appointment?
The first bariatric appointment is the most crucial because it will lay the foundation for your entire weight loss journey ahead. Engage proactively with your gastric sleeve surgeon during this appointment in order to make it more productive and have the best results.
Here are some of the key elements of a detailed initial bariatric appointment.
- Patient Education: The first concern of experienced gastric sleeve surgeons will always be to educate the patient about all aspects of the procedure. They would want you to make a well-informed decision after careful consideration of all the gastric sleeve pros and cons.
- Questions and Answers: To make the most of your first bariatric appointment, prepare a list of gastric sleeve questions you want to ask. This will ensure no important issues get missed out during the consultation. A good gastric sleeve Dr near you will answer all questions thoroughly.
- Determine Candidacy: Most gastric sleeve surgery doctors near you would prefer to evaluate your candidacy for the procedure at the first appointment. They will measure your BMI for gastric sleeve, review your medical history, and evaluate your general health conditions to assess eligibility.
- Images and Testimonials: The best gastric sleeve surgeon near you may encourage you to go through as many before and after images as well as past patient testimonials as possible. They will want you to form a realistic view after looking at the results and experiences of other patients.
Gastric sleeve surgeons near me
Among thousands of qualified and experienced gastric sleeve surgeons, there is certainly one surgeon who is the best for you. Finding the right gastric sleeve surgeons near you will practically define the course of your weight loss journey, including the final outcome. Clearly, this is a decision that should take much deliberation and objective evaluation of the surgeon’s skills and reputation.
Personalized Care and Attention
In addition to the qualifications and surgical experience, you should look at whether the surgeon is committed to investing their time with you as much as you want. If the surgeon is too busy, distracted, impatient, or looks half-interested, you don’t need them even if they are top qualified. When the surgeon is willing to provide you personalized care and attention at every step of your procedure, you will have a deeply satisfying experience.
Principles of Art and Science
Seasoned gastric sleeve surgeons near you will know that bariatric surgery is as much of an art as it is science. They will make sure that you not only achieve a successful weight loss, but you go through the surgery in a minimally invasive and less painful manner. When your surgeon tailors your procedure to your needs, your recovery will be faster, the risk of gastric sleeve complications will be lower, and the post-op scarring will be negligible.
Related: How do I find bariatric surgery near me?
Consult with gastric sleeve doctors at Jet Medical Tourism®
Obesity is a completely treatable disease, and we are here to help you win this battle with safety and ease. At Jet Medical Tourism®, we are proud of our team of best-in-class gastric sleeve doctors in Mexico who have the skill and the dedication to help patients achieve permanent freedom from obesity.
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.