Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy: Surgery for Weight

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Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy: The Ups and Downs

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a technique of weight-loss surgery that involves altering the size of your stomach so you’ll feel fuller faster, and eat less food. This surgery will require dramatic changes to your daily eating habits and is only recommended for patients who meet certain weight and health criteria. The surgery is a permanent change to your stomach, which means you must carefully consider your options before undergoing this surgical option.

Although specific guidelines may vary from physician to physician, vertical sleeve gastrectomy isn’t for the casual dieter hoping to lose a few pounds. Instead, the procedure requires an assessment that focuses on physical and mental considerations to make sure you can succeed with weight loss following the surgery. While the surgery may change the size of your stomach, it’s up to you to change your eating habits.

Body mass index or BMI is an important measurement to determine if you qualify for the surgery. Vertical sleeve gastrectomy was traditionally reserved for highly obese patients. If you have a BMI higher than 40 or are at least 100 pounds overweight you are considered extremely obese. Today those who are considered just obese or have a BMI of 30.0 to 39.9 may be considered if they have health risk factors, such as diabetes.

You can figure out your BMI by multiplying your weight in pounds by 703, and then dividing the result by your height in inches squared. For example, a 300-lb. person who is 6 feet tall would have a BMI of about 40.7.

BMI alone is not enough to qualify you for the surgery. Your physician will likely order other tests to make sure your body can handle the surgery and ensure your weight isn’t related to a medical condition that can be treated without surgery. These other tests include:

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