Who is Eligible for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Obesity is undoubtedly one of the most important problems of our age. Accordingly, the frequency of encountering questions such as “Who is the gastric sleeve surgery for?”, or “How much weight do I need to be to have gastric sleeve surgery?” is also increasing.

The accumulation of more adipose tissue in the body than is considered normal is called obesity. Under normal conditions, it is expected that the fat ratio should not exceed 32% in men and 26% in women. The body mass index formula is used to calculate the fat ratio in the body. Accordingly, a weight-to-height ratio is made. Body mass index calculation may not give accurate results in determining the fat ratio in the body in people who have excessive fat mass in their body, who are pregnant or breastfeeds. However, it is possible to determine the degree of obesity as a result of the body mass index calculation:

  • BMI of 18.5 and below: underweight
  • BMI between 18.5 and 24.9: normal weight
  • BMI between 25 and 29.9: overweight
  • BMI between 30 and 34.9: 1st degree obesity
  • BMI between 35 and 39.9: 2nd degree obesity
  • BMI of 40 and above: 3rd degree obesity, i.e. morbid obesity.

Gastric sleeve surgery can be applied to patients with a BMI of 40 and above. In addition, gastric sleeve surgery can be applied to people who have a BMI between 35 and 40, but who have health problems such as sleep apnea, hypertension, type 2 diabetes due to their excess weight, if it is approved as a result of the evaluations.

Although gastric sleeve surgery is applied to people aged between 18 and 65 under normal conditions, having the Body Mass Index values determined by the World Health Organization is among the indispensable conditions. For people whose body mass index values are suitable for gastric sleeve surgery but younger than 18 years of age, gastric sleeve surgery can be performed with the approval of the doctor and parent. The health status of the patient should be evaluated in detail when making the eligibility decision for people who are in the same situation and over the age of 65.

How Much Weight Is Lost with Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Under normal conditions, patients lose 60% of their excess weight on average within 5 years after gastric sleeve surgery. When considered in terms of weight loss, gastric sleeve surgery is as effective as gastric bypass surgery, and the malabsorption experienced by patients after the surgery is less than the gastric bypass procedure. In terms of the general health of the patients, vitamin and mineral support should be taken after stomach reduction surgery. If the stomach reduction surgery loses its effect in the long term, it may be necessary to perform gastric bypass surgery.

The data obtained from the research shows that 15% of the patients regain weight in the process following the gastric sleeve surgery. Patients should be closely monitored to prevent weight regain in the postoperative period. For this reason, it is important that the patient is followed up by a specialist team, including psychologists and dietitians, after gastric sleeve surgery. Thus, factors that may cause the patient to regain weight and negatively affect the health status can be eliminated.

Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Risky?

Gastric sleeve surgery carries certain risks as it is one of the major surgical procedures. Although it is rare, the expertise of the doctor and the health team is very important in gastric sleeve surgery, which has a risk of developing serious complications.

The risk caused by gastric sleeve surgery may vary for each patient depending on various factors, especially age and current weight. However, the risk of death in stomach reduction surgeries is rare. In addition, it is possible to explicitly say that the risks caused by the obesity problem are much higher than the risks posed by gastric sleeve surgery. Patients who have gastric sleeve surgery may reduce risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure, fatty liver and kidney diseases.

What Should Be Considered After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

In order to get the optimum benefit from gastric sleeve surgery, the patient should follow a healthy nutrition program regularly and should not skip taking vitamin and mineral supplements when recommended by the doctor. In this process, no vitamin, food or drug supplements should be taken without the knowledge and approval of the doctor.

After gastric sleeve, the patient should consume soft and liquid foods. During feeding, all food should be thoroughly chewed and swallowed once pureed. It is important that the amount of protein taken is sufficient and that protein foods are eaten primarily.

After gastric sleeve surgery, solid and liquid foods should not be consumed at the same time. Drinking liquids during meals can lead to stomach filling and early vomiting.  Therefore, care should be taken to consume liquids 30 minutes before or after meals.

Eating and drinking should be stopped when a feeling of fullness occurs or pressure is felt in the middle of the abdomen. Likewise, it is important to stop eating when nausea is felt. At least 3 meals a day should be eaten and care should be taken to implement a healthy diet. Meals should never be skipped, food should not be eaten without chewing enough, daily needed liquid and multivitamin supplements should be taken.