About Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Gastric sleeve surgery (also known as sleeve gastrectomy), involves removing a large portion of the stomach to reduce stomach volume by 80-90%. Stomach volume is typically reduced from about 30 ounces to approximately 3-4 ounces – the exact size can be adjusted up or down depending on patients’ specific circumstances. Over time, the small sleeve stomach will expand to approximately 6-8 ounces.
The gastric sleeve operation is done laparoscopically, generally using 5 small incisions. The operation typically takes 1.5-2 hours (click here to watch a complete gastric sleeve operation). Patients typically stay in the hospital for 1-2 days, and return to work in 1-3 weeks. Recovery is usually rapid because of the minimally invasive, laparoscopic approach.
Patients remain on a liquid diet for 2-3 weeks after surgery, and then slowly transition onto solid foods. Meal portion sizes are typically 2-4 ounces when patients start solid food, and slowly increase in size to approximately 6-8 ounces over the first 1 year.
About Gastric Sleeve Outcomes
The gastric sleeve operation has been proven to be safe and effective. The better studies show that average weight loss after sleeve gastrectomy is very good (similar to gastric bypass), and complication rates are low (1/2 that of gastric bypass).*
More about gastric sleeve outcomes
Outcomes, however, are not uniform between individual patients, or between individual surgeons/programs. To maximize the chances to achieve a great outcome, patients should be well-educated about surgery and the role they will play in their success after surgery, and patients should choose their surgeon/program carefully.
Blog post – outcomes vary between surgeons
Blog post – achieving gastric sleeve success
Why Choose Dr. Oliak?
The key differentiator between different surgeons and programs is the surgeon’s/program’s record of actual patient outcomes.* By always prioritizing excellent surgery and patient care, Dr. Oliak has established a long record (>2500 operations since 2002) of patient outcomes – weight loss results, complication statistics – that rank among the best in the weight loss surgery field (our outcomes, our program).*
To take the next step, contact our office today to request a free insurance verification (if necessary) to check insurance coverage for gastric sleeve surgery, and to schedule a free, no-obligation, educational consultation in Brea or Irvine with Dr. Oliak to learn more about gastric sleeve surgery and our Orange County gastric sleeve program.
How Does Sleeve Gastrectomy Work?
Sleeve gastrectomy causes weight loss by restricting food intake and by changing the body weight ”set-point” to a lower weight.
Everybody’s body has a “set-point” weight. This is the weight that the body tries to maintain. When a person loses weight to below the set-point, the body responds by increasing hunger, appetite, and cravings, and by decreasing metabolism in an effort to cause weight regain back up to the set-point weight.
Studies have shown that for every 1kg of weight a person loses, appetite increases by about 100 calories per day, and metabolism decreases by about 40 calories per day. These changes persist (for years even) until weight regain occurs back up to the set-point weight. This biology is what makes losing weight so difficult, and what makes maintaining long-term weight loss virtually impossible.
Body weight set-point blocks weight loss
Unfortunately, these body weight control mechanisms often don’t work with weight gain to above the set-point. Weight gain, instead of leading to less appetite and a higher metabolism, often leads instead to a resetting of the set-point to the higher weight!
Weight loss surgery, we are learning, changes this biology. Weight loss surgery, in effect, resets the body weight set-point to a lower weight. To date, weight loss surgery is the only thing we know of that does this. This is the key reason for why weight loss surgery works so much better than other weight loss methods.*
Gastric sleeve changes set-point
The long-term challenge of weight loss surgery is the fact that surgery does not change the biology of weight gain. Excess calorie intake after surgery can cause weight gain and an increased set-point like it could before surgery. The key to long-term success is establishing good eating and exercise habits to prevent excess calorie intake.
Achieving gastric sleeve success
Sleeve Gastrectomy Orange County – What Are the Risks?
Sleeve gastrectomy is considered a safe operation, but complications can occur, as they can for any operation.
The two most feared potential early complications after gastric sleeve surgery are bloods clots and leaks. The risk for blood clots and leaks can be minimized with quality surgery and good patient care, but not completely eliminated.*
More about gastric sleeve outcomes
The primary potential long-term complication after gastric sleeve surgery is heartburn/gerd. In most cases of heartburn/gerd after surgery, symptoms can be controlled with medication. The risk for heartburn/gerd can be minimized with quality surgery, but not completely eliminated.*
More about gastric sleeve outcomes
Gastric Sleeve Orange County – Am I a Candidate?
Gastric sleeve Orange County candidates must be at least 50-100 pounds overweight (BMI 30 or greater), and have tried and failed to lose weight and keep it off.
Calculate body mass index (BMI)
Gastric sleeve for low BMI (30-35) patients
Insurance companies are more restrictive – candidates generally must have either a BMI of >40, or a BMI of 35-40 with other medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea. Insurance companies often also have other requirements, such as completing a 6-month medically supervised weight loss program prior to surgery.
Important – patients with more severe/chronic heartburn/gerd/hiatal hernia may be better candidates for gastric bypass surgery. Heartburn/gerd is the primary potential long-term issue after gastric sleeve surgery, and the chance for this becoming a problem after surgery is higher in patients with more severe/chronic preoperative heartburn/gerd/hiatal hernia.
Gastric Sleeve Orange County – Payment Options
Payment options for gastric sleeve surgery with Dr. Oliak include PPO insurance and self-pay. Dr. Oliak does not accept HMO or MediCal insurance.
PPO insurance has become more restrictive over the past several years. When weight loss surgery is a covered benefit (often it is not), there are generally many requirements that must be met before the insurance company will preauthorize surgery. An increasingly common requirement is having to complete a 6 month medically supervised diet. Call the office for a free insurance verification to check coverage.
For patients without PPO insurance coverage for weight loss surgery, Dr. Oliak offers competitive gastric sleeve Orange County self-pay prices, and attractive gastric sleeve Orange County financing options. Approximately 50% of our patients are self-pay patients.
More about payment options
* Patient results vary after weight loss surgery vary. Individual patients can do better or worse than the average.