Gastric Sleeve Requirements: Do I Qualify For the Non-Surgical Sleeve?

Gastric Sleeve Requirements

When someone is considering different weight loss solutions, procedure requirements come up at the front line.  They vary from procedure to procedure. It is always best to consult with a bariatric specialist. Today we are going to talk about what qualifies you for the sleeve gastroplasty and we’ll cover the gastric sleeve requirements, including those that make you a candidate for the non-surgical sleeve.

Currently, in the United States, one in three adults is considered obese. Obesity can lead to many serious health issues like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a higher risk of heart disease or stroke. It can also create extra stress on muscles and joints as well as vital internal organs.

Often, obese individuals find themselves overwhelmed while trying to follow a weight loss plan and benefit from medical intervention. We are fortunate to live in a time where advancements in medical weight loss procedures provide opportunities for most individuals to obtain help.

What Is Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Gastric sleeve, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, or vertical sleeve gastrectomy are different names to identify the same bariatric surgery. During the surgery, the stomach is reduced by about 80% leaving it about the shape and size of a banana. This smaller stomach size limits the amount of food that can be consumed in one sitting, causing the patient to feel full faster so they can not eat too much. The surgeon accesses the patient’s stomach using an instrument called a laparoscope, which is inserted through several small incisions made in the upper abdomen. The surgeon then removes most of the stomach and sutures the remaining stomach back together.

Why Would Someone Have Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Individuals who have failed at previous weight loss attempts or are experiencing serious health issues due to obesity would benefit from having weight loss surgery. One of the worst parts about trying to lose weight is the constant feeling of hunger. Because the stomach is made smaller through gastric sleeve surgery, the feeling of hunger is no longer an issue. Once the weight starts coming off, and results start to show, often the patient’s self-esteem Improves and incentivizes them to continue their journey.

What Are The Criteria For Qualifying for a Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Different weight loss surgeries come with different qualifications for candidacy. Sleeve gastrectomy surgery may be an option for you:

  • If you have tried and failed to lose weight through eating healthy and exercising, and still have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher.
  • If your BMI is 35 to 39.9 but you also have health-related issues due to your weight, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or sleep apnea.
  • Understand and are willing to commit to the major lifestyle changes necessary after surgery.

Can I Be Disqualified from Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Although it does not happen often, sometimes a patient is not a good candidate for gastric sleeve surgery. The surgeon’s goal is to have the benefits of the surgery outweigh the risk and in certain instances, things do not balance out.

Some of the factors that are taken into consideration for candidacy for gastric sleeve surgery are age, health, smoking, the overall emotional well-being of the patient, and other underlying conditions that may pose a surgical risk. If a patient is not a candidate for gastric sleeve surgery there are other options they can explore.

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What Are The Risks With Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

The gastric sleeve procedure is considered major surgery, and any time that an individual undergoes major surgery, it poses possible risks. The potential risks of gastric sleeve surgery include:

  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia;
  • Internal leaking from the stomach;
  • Excessive bleeding;
  • Infection;
  • Blood clots.

Long-term risks include:

  • Obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • Hernia;
  • Chronic reflux;
  • Hypoglycemia;
  • Malnutrition;
  • Nausea and vomiting.

What Are My Options if I Do Not Qualify for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

If you do not currently qualify for gastric sleeve surgery, your surgeon may create a plan you can follow to help you become a candidate or may suggest different options for you. You may be a candidate for gastric bypass surgery, duodenal switch, gastric lap band or a newer non-surgical procedure called endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG).

Is There A Procedure Available That Works Like Gastric Sleeve Surgery but Is Non-Surgical?

Yes! Many advancements have been made in medical weight loss procedures and this non-surgical procedure is a relatively recent emergent and gaining in popularity with rapid speed. The procedure is called endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) and accomplishes very close to the same result as the gastric sleeve procedure, but without incisions or weeks of downtime to recover.

Video: Real Surgery | ESG Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty at the IBI Healthcare Institute

What Is Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG)?

ESG is a procedure that is done with an endoscope and does not require any incisions. The endoscope is fed down through the throat to access the stomach and then the stomach is sutured with between 5 and 12 stitches to make it considerably smaller similar to the gastric sleeve surgery.

This procedure is outpatient, done under general anesthesia, and does not require a hospital stay. The recovery is typically 3 to 5 days, and after a week, a typical patient is back to their normal routine. Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is a wonderful alternative for almost anyone who is at least 50 lbs of extra weight and is often a good fit for someone who did not qualify for other types of bariatric surgery.

What Are The Requirements For Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty?

  • You must be at least 18 years of age;
  • Body mass index (BMI) is 30+;
  • You will cooperate and actively participate in a supervised medical weight loss program.

How Does Gastric Sleeve Surgery Compare to Non-Surgical ESG?

LSG ESG
Classification of the procedure
Surgical Non-surgical
Requires incisions?
Yes, approx 5-6. No
Requires hospital stay?
Yes, 1-3 days. No, the patient typically returns home the same day.
How long do I need to take off work?
Between 1-2 weeks. 3-5 days on average.
Reduces the stomach size by:
80% 70%
Average % of total body weight loss:
20-30% 20-23%
Risk of serious complications?
app. 2-6% Rare, less than 1%.
Is this procedure reversible?
No Yes
BMI Requirements for the procedure?
40+ 30+
How long does the procedure take?
av. 90-120 minutes. av. 60-90 minutes.
Can the procedure be repeated if necessary?
Yes Yes

Clinical trials showed that gastric sleeve surgery resulted in a larger amount of weight loss but came with higher risks and a longer recovery period. A survey of patients recently revealed that the majority of them would choose the non-surgical option, which posed fewer risks and a shorter recovery time, even though it resulted in a smaller amount of weight loss (on average).

If you are considering bariatric surgery or want to find out if you are a candidate for non-surgical ESG, contact IBI Healthcare Institute for a consultation today. We are eager to help you begin your weight loss journey and explain all options available to you.

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