If you’re overweight or obese, strolling through Manhattan’s Central Park may be more of a chore than a walk in the park. But it’s an iconic Manhattan landmark that’s been featured in over 240 movies and visited by more than 40 million people a year.

Imagine being able to escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and walk through the 843-acre park dotted with 19,000 trees, man-made ponds and streams, and over 9,000 wooden benches. A brisk walk can improve your mood, burn calories, and improve your health. But if your weight is a problem, your health and ability to get around may not be ideal. Fortunately, a weight-reduction procedure for obesity called Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy can help you lose weight, control hunger, and be more active.

What is Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy?

If you’re obese or overweight and have a chronic health condition, you may be a candidate for Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery. In addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, this procedure promotes long-term weight loss by removing about 85 percent of the stomach.

What to expect: Before surgery, you’ll meet with the New York Bariatric Group healthcare team in Manhattan to determine if you’re a candidate for Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery. If you are obese or overweight with a chronic health condition, you may qualify.

1. When it’s time for surgery, you’ll receive a dose of general anesthesia to promote sleep and reduce pain.

2. The surgeon makes a small incision about 1-inch wide inside your umbilicus (belly button). In most cases, this is the only incision required to perform Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery. All necessary medical tools and video imaging equipment are inserted into your abdomen through this incision. Carbon dioxide gas is then used to expand your abdomen, giving the surgeon space to work.

3. Once all of the staging elements of the surgery are completed, the surgeon removes a large portion of your stomach, and seals the remaining portion of the stomach with surgical staples.

4. Then all of the medical tools used to complete the surgery are removed through the incision. Sutures are used to close the incision, and the entire surgery is completed in less than two hours.

Benefits

Losing weight is one of the best things you can do to lower your risks for chronic disease, improve your quality of life, and increase mortality. But it’s not always easy. Many people try diet pills and weight loss supplements, but they can lead to yo-yo dieting, harm your health, or simply waste your money, according to a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

Long-Term Weight Loss


Fortunately, losing weight and keeping it off is possible with Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy. In fact, one recent study found that most patients lose about 61.5 percent of their excess body within 1 to 2 years after surgery. Researchers also found that most Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy patients maintain their weight loss for five years or more.

Appetite Control

Removing up to 85 percent of the stomach also has a dramatic effect on appetite control. Most patients notice a dramatic difference in hunger immediately after surgery. Having a smaller stomach means you won’t need to eat as much food to feel full. Removal of a large portion of the stomach also reduces the amount of ghrelin (a hormone that increases appetite) in the stomach.

Lower Risks for Chronic Disease

Long-term weight loss and appetite control and the primary benefits of Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy. But they’re not the only benefits. Losing weight after Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery also helps:

  • Lower Body Mass Index
  • Control blood sugar levels linked to diabetes
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Eliminate obesity-related sleep disorders like sleep apnea, snoring, etc.
  • Reduce joint and muscle pain and the need for joint-replacement surgeries
  • Lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels linked to heart disease and stroke
  • Increase mobility
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Restore sexual function
  • Improve overall quality of life

Minimally Invasive – In other words, the surgery can be performed without multiple or large incisions the way weight reduction surgeries were performed in the past. This lowers the risk for infection and speeds recovery time.

Recovery

Because Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy is minimally invasive, you’ll only need to stay in the hospital one or two nights after surgery. When you go home, you’ll need to keep the incision site clean until it heals. You’ll also need to adjust to eating smaller and healthier amounts of food. Most people take 1 to 2 weeks off work and normal duties following surgery. Within about two months, most patients fully adjust to the post-surgery diet, resume normal activities, and are losing weight.

Risks

The most significant risk associated with Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy is developing acid reflux disease post surgery. A recent study found that 14.6 percent of patients develop acid reflux after surgery. Fortunately, dietary changes and medication can usually help control acid reflux.

Other complications are rare, according to a study published in the journal BMC Surgery, but include:

  • Infection or complication during surgery
  • Leaking along stomach staple line – 1.7 percent chance
  • Internal bleeding – 5 percent chance
  • Abdominal wall abscess – Less than 1 percent chance

Dietary Guidelines After Surgery

To maximize weight loss after surgery and improve your health, you’ll need to eat a balanced diet.

For the first two weeks, a liquid diet of water, chicken or vegetable broth, and unsweetened juice is recommended.

Then you can introduce pureed foods to your diet like baby food, smoothies, and protein shakes.

After about a month, you’ll be ready to try soft foods like bananas, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soft meat, and cooked vegetables.

Within about two months, most patients adjust to eating healthier and smaller amounts of food.

Follow Up Plan

You meet with your doctor a couple weeks after surgery to make sure the incision is healing, measure your weight, evaluate your diet, and talk about exercise and lifestyle habits. Typical follow-up after that is once every few months during the first year.

If you’re ready to see Central Park and Manhattan’s city life like you’ve never seen it before, contact the New York Bariatric Group in Manhattan to find out if Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery is right for you.