Sleeve Gastrectomy

The Ultimate Guide to Sleeve Gastrectomy

Looking for affordable surgical weight loss options? You can get a sleeve gastrectomy abroad – one of the most popular bariatric surgery procedures that is now the preferred weight loss surgery rather than a gastric band.

There are specialist centers throughout the world, including Mexico, Thailand and in Europe where the surgeons are well-qualified and trained, and the facilities are equally as good, if not better, than those at home.

Am I suitable for a sleeve gastrectomy abroad?

Obviously you will have to take into consideration air travel, and any associated problems that may entail if you are very overweight. Generally, if your weight is causing you other health problems, you have a BMI (body mass index) of more than 40 and you have not been able to lose it by diet and exercise, you may be suitable for a sleeve gastrectomy. It is worth remembering that the procedure is irreversible, and you will need to rethink your lifestyle completely to lose and maintain the weight loss. Your surgeon will discuss things in greater detail, but you should consider all the pros and cons very carefully before you decide to go ahead.

What is involved in the sleeve gastrectomy procedure?

Sleeve gastrectomies typically take between one and two hours to perform. They can be done with a general anesthetic and keyhole (laparascopic) surgery. The laparascope consists of a tiny camera, which is inserted through a small incision and allows the surgeon to see inside your body on a monitor. The other surgical instruments are similarly inserted through other small cuts – and there will be up to 5 made across your abdomen – and the surgery and removal of up to 75% of your stomach are all done through these. The 25% of your stomach left is formed into a tube-like structure and stapled.

After surgery, your stomach is so much smaller that you won’t be able to eat as much, which means you will lose weight.

What is the recovery time for a sleeve gastrectomy?

Your digestive system will need time to heal after the surgery, and so you will not be allowed to eat for a few days. You will then start slowly, on liquids, then onto soft or pureed food before introducing solid food. You will have to stay in hospital for 2 – 5 days and you will be given dietary advice and information about additional vitamin supplements that you may need.

Obviously, you will need to take things slowly during the weeks following surgery. You may not feel up to much anyway as the complete change for your body could well result in fatigue and you feeling generally out-of-sorts. However, you will be encouraged to start your exercise regime after a month, and you should then start to feel much better and have a lot more energy.

How much does a sleeve gastrectomy cost abroad – how much can I save?

It really depends on where you go, but in the United States $19,000 is the average price, whereas a sleeve gastrectomy in Mexico costs around $8,000 and in Thailand the price of sleeve gastrectomies are around $7,000.