Gastric Sleeve Requirements: Do I qualify for it?
Gastric sleeve requirements have largely been standardized by the medical community, but individual factors still make a difference. During your initial consultation with a bariatric surgeon, one of the first questions you should ask is: “Do I qualify for gastric sleeve?” Your surgeon will determine your candidacy within defined parameters, but they do have a wide discretion while making a decision.
Meeting the requisite gastric sleeve qualifications is vital for your own safety and success of the procedure. Any bariatric surgery is a major procedure, and not everyone is a solid candidate for it. A responsible weight loss surgeon will educate you about VSG surgery qualifications and provide you a clear medical opinion. They will only recommend you for this surgery, if you are comfortably able to meet all the criteria for gastric sleeve.
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Gastric sleeve requirements/qualifications
The most important qualification that will determine whether you are a gastric sleeve candidate is your BMI (body mass index). The second factor of consideration will be whether you are suffering from any health conditions correlated with obesity. Most patients who fulfill these two gastric sleeve requirements can expect to qualify for this surgery.
- In exceptional situations, your surgeon may recommend another surgical option such as gastric bypass if they don’t find you fit for vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). Even when you fulfill the minimum VSG qualifications, your bariatric surgeon will evaluate some other personal aspects. They will assess whether you are choosing this surgery out of your own choice or under pressure from someone else.
- Your surgeon will ask questions to understand whether you have a long-term commitment to follow the dietary guidelines that come with this surgery. Make sure you to answer all questions truthfully and do not be anxious if you don’t meet all the gastric sleeve qualifications at first. A dedicated surgeon will work with you to ensure that you are ready for the surgery.
Gastric sleeve bmi requirements
Among all the gastric sleeve surgery requirements, the BMI matters the most. If your BMI is 40 or above, you will clinically be considered as suffering from obesity. This will qualify you straightaway for bariatric surgery in most cases. If your BMI is at least 35 or above, you could still be within the BMI requirements for gastric sleeve. In this case, the surgeon will assess whether you obesity-related medical conditions that can be improved with bariatric surgery.
A few patients may qualify as a gastric sleeve candidate even with a gastric sleeve BMI 30 or above. In these cases, the bariatric surgeon will closely review their medical history. They may also consult with other physicians to determine whether your severe symptoms of overweight-related diseases can reduce with bariatric surgery. You should know that in determining your gastric sleeve BMI requirements, your surgeon’s only goal is to ensure that the benefits should significant outweigh the risks.
Weight requirements for VSG surgery
When you ask your surgeon about “How do I qualify for gastric sleeve,” they will focus on your BMI, and not your body weight. This is because the body weight is meaningful as a parameter only in related to your height. In other words, a person who weighs less than you, but has a shorter height might be considered clinically obese, while you may not. This is because the BMI is function of both weight and height. (BMI = kg/m2)
While weight requirements for gastric sleeve matter only indirectly, what is more important is whether you have tried to reduce weight through natural means. Reputable bariatric surgeons will prefer a gastric sleeve candidate who has first tried to reduce weight through diet and exercise, but failed. When your body weight becomes resistant and does not respond to natural diet and exercise, you may fulfill VSG surgery qualifications more ideally.
Other requirements for sleeve surgery
Here are some other gastric sleeve requirements that could influence your candidacy for this surgery:
- Age: The ideal age to undergo this procedure is between 18 and 60 years. However, in exceptional cases, the surgeon may decide to relax the criteria for gastric sleeve and approve a teenager or someone above 60 as a candidate.
- Health: Although obesity-related medical conditions can improve with gastric sleeve, you should not be suffering from any other major health problem. If the illness can interfere with your surgery or recovery, you may not qualify for the procedure.
- Smoking: If you are a smoker, you should discuss with your surgeon how to be eligible for gastric sleeve. They may instruct you to quit smoking for at least a few weeks before and after gastric sleeve surgery. If you are committed to it, you may qualify as a candidate.
- Emotional Makeup: Your surgeon will also consider whether you are emotionally ready to undergo the procedure. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, they may put you on medications and see your response before approving your candidacy.
How to qualify for gastric sleeve
You may consider the following steps in order to fulfill the minimum gastric sleeve qualifications:
Step 1: Obtain an Accurate BMI Measurement
Consult with your general physician to determine your exact body weight, height and body mass index (BMI). In addition, request them to conduct your physical exam or review your medical history and certify if you are suffering from any obesity-related health conditions.
Step 2: Talk to Your Insurance Provider
Based on the professional advice and medical documents from your doctor, you should speak to your insurance company and ask: “Do I qualify for gastric sleeve?” This will give you a clear idea of whether you are eligible for insurance coverage for this procedure.
Step 3: Call a Representative at Jet Medical Tourism®
If you feel that undergoing bariatric surgery in your home country is too expensive, speak to the knowledgeable representatives at Jet Medical Tourism®. They will guide you about your options and arrange for your free consultation with a weight loss surgeon.
Step 4: Determine Your Eligibility during a Virtual Consultation
Jet Medical Tourism® will provide your medical history, documents, and other details to one of the best bariatric surgeons on board. During your initial consultation, you can discuss your eligibility and how to get a gastric sleeve surgery at an affordable cost.
Step 5: Follow the Surgeon’s Instructions to Qualify
In many cases, your bariatric surgeon may approve you as a gastric sleeve candidate at the first virtual meeting itself. In other cases, they will give you follow-up advice on how to meet gastric sleeve surgery requirements. This will enable you to qualify for this procedure.
Step 6: Adhere to the Gastric Sleeve Pre-op Diet Guidelines
Finally, once you have qualified as a candidate and your surgery is scheduled, you will be required to follow a special pre-op diet plan. Make sure to diligently meet this requirement or you may be disqualified even at the last minute for this surgery.
Related: Gastric sleeve pre op diet
Can I get a gastric sleeve?
“Can I get a gastric sleeve?” This is a question you might be asking yourself right now, wondering if the surgery may be for you. If the time is right, your health is a priority, and you’re ready for a change, a gastric sleeve may be all you need to improve your life.
Gastric sleeve eligibility factors include:
- Body mass index (BMI)- Your current weight, as measured by your BMI will be a very important factor. Patients can have a BMI from anywhere between 30 and above to qualify. Importantly, a minimum BMI of 40 will guarantee your approval!
- Pre-existing conditions- Candidates will have conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and severe sleep apnea, but other major health issues such as cancer make approval difficult.
- Age- Gastric sleeve patients are required to be adults up to age 60. Patients would need to consult with their surgeon after age 60.
Patients are expected to make a long-term commitment to stop smoking and follow a strict diet before and after having surgery. This requires effort, determination, and hard work. Your emotional stability will help you tolerate this life-changing surgery. Accepting risks, such as infection, leaks, or bleeding will also be important.
Options if you don’t meet the criteria for gastric sleeve
In a few cases, it is possible that you do not meet Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy qualifications. However, you do not have to feel disheartened and you can discuss other options with your bariatric surgeon. They may recommend certain steps that will help you meet the criteria for gastric sleeve.
Alternatively, your surgeon will discuss the following options with you:
- Gastric Bypass: Sometimes your underlying medical conditions may be such that you could be a more suitable candidate for a gastric bypass surgery. This procedure will help improve your symptoms of diabetes as well as acid reflux. Talk to your surgeon whether you are eligible to undergo this weight loss procedure.
- Duodenal Switch: If the surgeon determines that you are suffering from severe obesity (having a BMI of 50 or above), they may recommend duodenal switch surgery instead of gastric sleeve. Feel free to ask questions about this bariatric surgery option and make a well-informed decision after evaluating all the pros and cons.
- Gastric Lap Band: In exceptional situations, your surgeon may recommend an adjustable gastric lap band surgery for you. Although the success rate of this surgery is low and most surgeons will prefer to avoid it, but it might be the only option available in a few cases.
- Diet and Exercise: In some cases, your surgeon may find that your BMI requirements for gastric sleeve are not met. This means, you may actually be suffering from clinical obesity. Discuss a comprehensive diet and exercise plan with your surgeon and other nutrition and fitness experts. You could achieve weight loss through natural means without surgery. You can also consult our bariatric nutrition support team.
Gastric sleeve requirements for insurance coverage
It is important to understand that insurance companies in general are not very supportive of bariatric surgery procedures. Your insurer may impose stringent gastric sleeve requirements insurance coverage. Many patients find it hard to meet those conditions, and may be deprived of this procedure even if they desperately need it. The good news is that if insurance coverage is denied or you do not have adequate coverage for this procedure, you can consider other options.
The surgeons at Jet Medical Tourism® have been helping thousands of women and men who want to seek affordable weight loss surgery without insurance. Your overall cost of gastric sleeve with Jet Medical Tourism® could be lower than just the deductibles and co-pays that you will pay even with insurance in your home country. If you find that you are unable to meet gastric sleeve requirements insurance, your best bet would be to talk to a Jet Medical Tourism® representative.
Related: Weight loss surgery insurance
Contact Jet Medical Tourism to see if you fulfill VSG surgery qualifications
Jet Medical Tourism® provides safe and affordable weight loss surgery procedures. We have teamed up with some of the pre-eminent bariatric surgeons, hospitals and clinics with demonstrated expertise in gastric sleeve surgery. If you wish to receive authentic medical information about VSG surgery qualifications, our representatives will be happy to help you.
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.
The Mayo Clinic. 2021. Sleeve Gastrectomy. Assessed: 23 Nov. 2021.