While we’re loath to start any conversation with scare tactics, when it comes to obesity, the numbers can’t be ignored. A person’s chances of developing life-threatening diseases jumps exponentially with each point over 30 in measuring body mass index (BMI).
Luckily, there are solutions that deliver dramatic results, such as a sleeve gastrectomy, but does your BMI fit the bill? Here at Snow Bariatric Center, with board-certified bariatric surgeon Robert Snow at the helm, our goal is to provide our patients in Trophy Club, Texas, with potentially life-saving surgical solutions to severe weight problems.
If you’ve tried everything to lose weight, to no avail, and your health is in jeopardy, here’s what you should know about a sleeve gastrectomy and whether it’s right for your situation.
The sleeve gastrectomy
Before we get into the numbers, let’s review what we’re referring to when we’re discussing a sleeve gastrectomy. In this surgical procedure, we shrink the size of your stomach by 75-80%, leaving just a narrow gastric “sleeve” in its place. Because of the greatly reduced size, your food intake is considerably reduced since your new “stomach” can handle only a fraction of what you may have become accustomed to.
A side benefit of the sleeve gastrectomy is that when we remove a large portion of your stomach, it produces far less ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating your appetite.
We perform the sleeve gastrectomy laparoscopically, meaning we use only small incisions and specialized equipment to do the work, which greatly cuts down on surgical risks and recovery time. That said, a sleeve gastrectomy is still surgery, and fairly radical at that since we’re removing a large part of an organ (your stomach), so the decision to undergo this procedure should not be taken lightly.
Getting down to numbers
As we pointed out above, a sleeve gastrectomy is an extreme approach to weight loss that should only be considered if you’ve exhausted every avenue available to you to lose weight, with little to show for your efforts.
As a rule of thumb, bariatric surgeries are available to those people with a BMI of 40 or higher, which constitutes severe obesity. These numbers are so incredibly dangerous, raising your risk of death by an eye-opening 250%, that extreme measures should be taken as soon as possible to shed the weight, getting you back to within healthy ranges.
But there are always exceptions to rules, and bariatric surgery is no different. If you have a BMI of 35 or higher, and you’ve developed any of the following diseases, you may still be a candidate for a sleeve gastrectomy:
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Severe joint pain
These are just some examples of medical situations where you need to take quick action to shed some weight. And a sleeve gastrectomy is quick — enabling you to shed 40-70% of your excess weight in the first year. It also offers a 75% cure or improvement rate in the conditions listed above.
But numbers being numbers, they don’t always apply across the board. If you’re struggling to lose weight and your health is declining, but your BMI is below 35, you should come in and see us to discuss which bariatric options are best for your unique situation. Simply give us a call or use the easy online booking tool to set up a consultation.