I am a pre-op Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy patient, and because I have been asked to share, here is some of the info given to me from my bariatric center. Insurance companies and bariatric centers differ in their patient requirements, so please consider this a general
General information about Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery:
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is not a "quick fix" for obesity. It is a tool that will greatly change your lifestyle, but for it to be a success, you must commit to eating healthily and adopting a routine exercise regimen for the rest of your life.
This procedure may be recommended for you if you have:
A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. Someone with a BMI of 40 or more is at least 100 pounds over their recommended weight. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 25.
A BMI of 35 or more and a serious medical condition (co-morbidity) that might improve with weight loss. Some of these conditions are sleep apnea, elevated blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Check with your insurance company, because recommendation may vary.
Once itís determined that you meet the guidelines for surgery, you will also have to complete required testing. Generally, they include, but are not limited to the following:
Extensive lab work
A psychiatric evaluation
An exercise evaluation
Behavior modification classes
Monthly meetings with a nutritionist
Monthly pre-op meetings with a physician
Monthy post-op group meetings
I also was required to provide family disease history, and an account of past dieting efforts.
Your surgeon will remove most (about 80 - 85%) of your stomach using 2-5 small incisions to do so. The remaining portions of your stomach are joined together using staples. This creates a long vertical tube or banana-shaped stomach. This is an irreversible surgery.
The surgery does not involve cutting or changing the sphincter muscles from the pylorus that allow food to enter or leave the stomach. Because of this, you will continue to absorb the nutrients of the foods you eat. Also, there is no involvement of the small intestine.
When you eat after having this surgery, the small pouch will fill up quickly. You will feel full after eating just a very small amount of food. The reduced stomach forces portion control. It also lessens appetite through decreased hormone levels, such as ghrelin.
I hope other sleevers will add comments and requirements not listed here.