Gastric sleeve surgery is growing faster than all other bariatric procedures to cure obesity. Patients choose to get a sleeve because it is relatively less invasive, has health benefits, and has high expected weight loss. There are certain requirements used to determine if the surgery is safe and effective for a patient.
Even if you qualify for gastric sleeve, it doesn’t mean that it is the best weight loss procedure for you. In order to make an informed decision, make sure you compare the advantages, disadvantages, benefits, and results of all bariatric surgery options before you sign up.
One of the side effects of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is the worsening symptoms of acid reflux. Patients with reflux problems may have to opt for gastric bypass to avoid this issue after the operation.
GERD After Gastric Sleeve
With a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, the pyloric valve stays intact which is the gateway that food passes to enter the intestines from the stomach. It holds food in the stomach until it’s ready to pass through the digestive process. The acid production and intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) are reduced. The smaller sleeved stomach fills up faster, causing an increase in intragastric pressure and backflow of food in the esophagus.
Pre-existing gastroesophageal reflux disease gets aggravated with gastric sleeve surgery. The pyloric valve should be bypassed in order to eliminate GERD with a more effective anti-reflux surgery like RNY gastric bypass. For patients who have severe GERD or acid reflux may consider gastric bypass instead of sleeve.
Additionally, acid reflux can be a side effect of a hiatal hernia or excess weight. Mexico Bariatric Center® surgical teams repair Hiatal Hernias (HH) in a single surgical session. Obese patients undergoing VSG get relief from reflux after losing extra fatty (adipose) tissues in the abdomen.
The gastric sleeve could work if the surgeon also performs a Nissen Fundoplication surgery during the operation. This involves wrapping the upper stomach around the esophagus to avoid a hernia bulging through the stomach diaphragm.
How Do I Qualify For Gastric Sleeve?
To be eligible for gastric sleeve, you need to be obese, Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30 or 100 lbs overweight. Also, have obesity-related comorbidity, or health concern – for example high blood pressure, severe sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, asthma, certain types of cancer. Here are the specific requirements for undergoing the operation in the United States, Mexico, and insurance companies.
Qualifications for Gastric Sleeve in the U.S.
- Age 18 to 65
- BMI of 40+
- BMI of 35+ with comorbidities
In order to be covered by insurance, patients must follow the insurance providers’ individual requirements to qualify for gastric sleeve surgery.
Qualifications for Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexico
In Mexico, requirements to qualify for gastric sleeve procedure are less strict while safety standards and quality procedures are similar to the United States health standards.
- BMI over 30
- Be healthy enough to undergo surgery
- See if you Qualify for Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexico
Gastric Sleeve Qualifications for Insurance Coverage
It’s important to start by checking if your insurance policy covers gastric sleeve procedure. Different insurance providers and coverage plans all have different requirements and coverage limits.
- BMI is 35 or greater
- One obesity-related health problem – such as diabetes or sleep apnea
- Your medical records for suffering from obesity for at least 5 years
- Tried and failed at least one weight loss program
- Psychological evaluation
- Any treatable diseases are ruled out
If You Qualify, Here are the Criteria for Insurance to Accepted
Every insurance company has individual criteria for patients to be accepted. Even if you qualify for gastric sleeve procedure through insurance, you may not be accepted based on their requirements prior to surgery.
- Minimum of participating and failing one supervised weight loss program
- A psychological evaluation and nutritionist evaluation
- Blood tests for Pituitary, Adrenal, and Thyroid
Reasons You Can Be Denied
Patients may be denied or not approved for gastric sleeve surgery depending on the requirements by the hospital, surgeon, or insurance provider. Reasons that may be denied can include but are not limited to:
- BMI is too low
- BMI is too high (need to lose weight before getting sleeved)
- Age is under 18 or over 65
- Health problems that make surgery high-risk
- Addiction problems with substance abuse
- Certain mental health diagnoses or psychiatric conditions
- Not able to follow the pre-op diet
- GERD and Acid Reflux
- Barrett’s Esophagus
Those individuals that are interested in gastric sleeve should be healthy enough for surgery. Safety is the main determinate for qualifying for weight loss surgery, as surgeons will only accept low-risk patients that are likely to succeed long-term.
Why Choose Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Gastric sleeve surgery is one of the most popular and common weight-loss surgeries performed today. It has many benefits and is fast-acting, but there are also side effects and limitations to consider. It is important that the patient is fully aware of what will go into the surgery both before and after. They should be conscious of the changes that they will need to make to their lifestyle and how they approach food for it to be successful.
Dieting can be difficult for many people and changing diets can become a way of life. While some diets might have worked initially, many people find that they just can’t stick with them, and they are unable to maintain any weight loss. This is one of the reasons that many people turn to gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass for results.
Gastric Sleeve is the process of surgically reducing the size of a patient’s stomach so that it can no longer hold the same amount of food. It is considered a fast and efficient way to help patients to reduce the amount of food that they are taking in and lose weight.
Related: Gastric Sleeve vs. Gastric Bypass
Bariatric Surgery in Adolescents
Obesity among children and adolescents (ages 14 to 18) comes with comorbidities, such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea as well as impaired quality of life. Along with the medical requirements, the patient must also be in the right age bracket for the surgery to be successful and a good fit for them. Although there is no age limitation, there are some risks that will increase as the individual ages.
At this point, it is not recommended for people under the age of 18 unless it is seriously medically necessary and approved by a pediatric endocrinologist. With age group, there are overall risks that can cause problems for those that are considering the surgery.
Things to Consider
There are some other aspects that the bariatric surgeon will need to consider to advise you as to whether the operation will be successful or not. The patient must be willing to change their habits to accommodate a healthy diet and to provide themselves with a chance at success.
Sleeve patients must be of sound mind and be psychologically in a position to handle the situation at hand. There is a great deal that goes along with dealing with the surgery and the changes that will come physically.
Those that are being considered for the surgery will need to be counseled regarding the way to handle their diet and exercise plan after the surgery.
Also See: How Much Can I Expect to Lose?