My reason for having a sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve)
In a nutshell, a sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical weight loss procedure where part of your stomach is removed. It means you can only consume small amounts of food and feel full very quickly. It's usually only considered for very obese patients (BMI 45+) but there are other factors to be considered as well which might make it more suitable for someone rather than other surgical and non-surgical options. My reasons for wanting a sleeve gastrectomy were:
- my BMI was 44 with emerging health issues.
- I have battled with diet and exercise for the better part of the last 10 years and knew that even if I did manage to shift all the weight in one mammoth effort... I would still have an ongoing battle for the rest of my life to keep the weight off. I wanted a permanent solution.
- I looked into the alternative (a gastric band), but the ongoing maintenance of having fluid injected and removed from the band didn't appeal to me and I also was a little concerned that, from my own research, it didn't seem to give as good long term results as the sleeve. I was also a little turned off by stories of band patients having difficulty eating some foods like meat, fibrous veggies and bread.
A handy video I found which explains it all quite nicely (and not too graphically...):
Of course if you would like to see videos of the actual surgery, search for "Dr Laurent Layani" on you tube - he has some great videos of the vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery he has performed. Just a warning though, they are a little gory and I recommend them for avid fans of medical videos only.
Yes... I watched them before my surgery... that won't surprise those of you who know me!
Weight Loss Solutions Australia - www.1300weightloss.com.au
Dr Laurent Layani's clinic. This website has lots of excellent information if you're researching weight loss surgery (they also do the band and the Orbera balloon thingy). The whole team at WLSA are just brilliant. If you live in south-east Queensland Australia they run regular information sessions at John Flynn Hospital which is a really great way to check them out without any referral or commitment. I went to one before I booked my surgery and was blown away by the three ex-patients who told their stories.
Online support - www.gastricsleevesupport.com
This is a fabulous forum for talking to other sleeve gastrectomy patients (and those considering the surgery). It's mostly Aussies but there's a good international section on there too. It's great if you are researching surgeons in your local area as you're more than likely to run into ex-patients of most of the surgeons here in Australia. It has also been excellent support leading up to and following my surgery - there is always someone online to answer your questions or give advice.