Gastric Sleeve

What Is Gastric Sleeve?

For patients who need to lose a significant amount of weight, gastric sleeve surgery is an excellent choice. Also referred to as vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), gastric sleeve surgery removes a large portion of the stomach leaving a portion which is approximately the size and shape of a banana. This newly sized and shaped stomach is formed in a way that should give you an earlier sensation of fullness, helping you lose large amounts of weight. Perhaps more importantly, by removing part of the stomach, levels of a hormone named ghrelin are decreased, causing a decrease in hunger. Bariatric surgeon James N. Parrish, MD performs this procedure utilizing the laparoscopic technique – a method which uses very small incisions, which can result in less noticeable scarring and a faster recovery.

Dr. Parrish and his experienced weight loss treatment team focus on a safe, advanced, and comprehensive approach to helping patients fight morbid obesity. We understand the physical and emotional effects this disease can cause, which is why our weight loss surgery program includes support groups, nutritional experts, counselors, aftercare and other services to help you through this important step in your life. We are committed to helping you make positive lifestyle changes and reduce serious risks to your health with comprehensive and compassionate care.

What are the Benefits of Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

  • Many patients experience a loss of up to 50-70 percent excess body weight after just one year
  • Procedure is performed utilizing very small incisions, which can ultimately lead to minimized scarring and a quicker recovery time
  • Procedure does not re-route the intestines, and therefore does not involve caloric malabsorption
  • Weight loss results similar to those often experienced with gastric bypass surgery
  • Often covered by insurance
  • Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and other obesity-related conditions have shown high reduction or cure rates after this procedure
  • Female patients will be able to conceive more easily, and have a safer pregnancy

Am I a Good Candidate for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Patients considering gastric sleeve surgery should have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 35 or higher. If you have high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, a fatty liver, or another serious medical condition associated with obesity, you may want to consider this procedure if your BMI is 30 or higher. These numbers are estimates and may be adjusted based on your unique anatomic needs and goals. Additionally, ideal candidates are individuals who have tried conservative weight loss treatments without success.

While gastric sleeve surgery can be an excellent method to achieve significant weight loss, this procedure is not for everyone. Dr. Parrish is happy to discuss your needs and goals during your initial consultation to help you determine whether gastric sleeve or another advanced procedure is the best option.

What is the Difference Between a Gastric Sleeve and a Gastric Bypass?

Patients have a number of options for bariatric surgery, and each one offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Two of the most popular and effective procedures are gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass surgery. The primary difference between these two techniques is how the stomach is reshaped. In a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, a small pouch is made from the stomach, and the lower intestine is attached to this pouch. The upper intestine is then attached to the lower intestine. In gastric sleeve surgery, a significant portion of the stomach is removed, but the upper and lower intestine remain in their existing locations. Both operations reduce the amount of food that can be comfortably eaten and reduce feelings of hunger. Patients typically experience lower rates of dumping syndrome with gastric sleeve surgery, although they lose weight more slowly as compared with a gastric bypass. Both operations can achieve a similar degree of total weight loss. The right approach for you will depend on several factors, and Dr. Parrish will review his recommendation with you during your initial consultation.

Gastric Sleeve Vs. Gastric LAP-BAND® System

Both gastric sleeve and LAP-BAND® System techniques can make a patient feel full faster, but only gastric sleeve also reduces feelings of hunger. While both procedures offer advantages, there are several notable differences between them. Most patients lose weight more rapidly with gastric sleeve surgery, and average overall weight loss is less with gastric banding. That said, adjustable gastric banding is a reversible procedure that offers a faster initial recovery. LAP-BAND® adjustable gastric banding requires routine checkups and adjustments to achieve the desired outcome, but has a similar diet and exercise program as gastric sleeve surgery. During your first appointment, Dr. Parrish will go over the pros and cons of all your options and explain why one or another treatment is optimal for your needs and goals.

Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Safe?

Gastric sleeve surgery is generally considered a safe procedure with a very high success rate when performed by a qualified and experienced bariatric surgeon. Nevertheless, all surgeries come with inherent risks. The risk of rare complications associated with this procedure include infection, excessive bleeding, development of a pulmonary embolism, reactions to anesthesia, and others. Many of the risks involved with this surgery are general risks associated with other types of surgery. Potential side effects may also include heartburn, exhaustion, or hair thinning. Dr. Parrish is extensively trained and experienced with bariatric surgery procedures and takes significant precautions to minimize the risk of complications. He will also thoroughly explain the potential risks and side effects during your consultation and address any questions you may have. Additionally, you will be provided with detailed post-operative guidelines that can help you achieve the smoothest and safest recovery possible.

What Does the Gastric Sleeve Resection Procedure Involve?

Gastric sleeve resection surgery begins with the creation of very small incisions in the abdominal region. Dr. Parrish will use laparoscopic surgical techniques to remove about 75 percent of the stomach. The remaining part of the stomach will take the form of a slender tube. This stomach “sleeve” will keep its natural openings for the ingestion and expulsion of food – only now it will be much, much smaller. Not only will the patient be less hungry because of decreased ghrelin levels, they will also become full much more quickly.

This procedure typically requires a one-night hospital stay. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved with gastric sleeve surgery. Dr. Parrish will explain all risks, benefits, and potential alternatives to this treatment at your initial consultation and determine whether gastric sleeve surgery is the right option for your needs.

What Do the Gastric Sleeve Surgery Recovery and Aftercare Process Entail?

There will be some degree of discomfort after gastric sleeve surgery; however, this can be alleviated with medication. Since this procedure is performed laparoscopically, recovery should not be as extensive when compared with traditional surgical techniques. Most patients are able to resume normal daily activities after one week. You will be on a liquid diet for about two weeks after surgery, and then soft foods for the following few weeks. Dr. Parrish will schedule regular follow-up appointments with you following surgery to ensure you are healing properly and that you are losing weight safely and effectively. Our comprehensive aftercare program can help you with the lifestyle and dietary changes that will be necessary after weight loss surgery.

What Can I Expect from Gastric Sleeve Surgery Results?

Gastric sleeve surgery has helped many people shed hundreds of pounds and turn their lives around for the better. It can be very effective for not only helping you slim your physique, but also for reducing and even eliminating severe health threats caused by morbid obesity.

While gastric sleeve surgery can be an effective tool for weight loss, it is not a cure for morbid obesity. Regular exercise, diet, and follow-up appointments are important factors in giving gastric sleeve surgery the best chance to help you attain your goals. We will be with you every step of the way to help you succeed!

What Does Gastric Sleeve Surgery Cost?

If your medical insurance covers bariatric surgery, then gastric sleeve should be included in your benefits. We recommend speaking with your healthcare agent about any copays or deductibles you will be responsible for if approved. Many insurance policies require you to show you have made an effort to lose weight through non-surgical means prior to approving bariatric surgery. It’s important to understand that this is a process that can take time; patience and our knowledgeable team will help you get through this experience at each stage. If you are electing to pay out of pocket, gastric sleeve surgery can range in cost depending on your characteristics, complexity of treatment, and other factors. To get a personalized quote on the cost of gastric sleeve, please contact our medical team for a consultation. Medical financing can help bring this cost in your budget, and we work with several reputable lenders. Talk to us about your concerns, and we will provide as much assistance as we can.

Medical care is expensive, and we empathize with patients’ struggles to afford the treatment they need. To help you afford your bariatric procedure, we offer one of the lowest cash prices in the state for gastric sleeve surgery. We want to help you find a suitable payment option that fits in your budget, especially if you are working outside of medical insurance coverage. Talk to our team if you are having difficulty affording your care, and we will make every effort to find a way to assist you. For the most current pricing, please contact our office.

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Why Choose Dr. James Parrish for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Undergoing gastric sleeve surgery is a major decision that needs to be given great consideration. For this reason, choosing a qualified bariatric surgeon is essential. Your surgeon should have a record of successful surgeries and satisfied patients, both of which can often be determined by looking at patient reviews and before-and-after photos or success stories on their website. In addition, your surgeon should be a Fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and both your surgeon and facility should be accredited by MBSAQIP (Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program).

Dr. James Parrish regularly exceeds his patients’ expectations, having helped thousands of patients in the past two decades. He serves as Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at two different institutions, is a past President of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and, in addition to his many years of training and education, makes it a priority to continue learning the latest techniques in bariatric surgery to this day. On top of everything, he’s known for his excellent communication skills and compassionate attitude when it comes to treating patients.

If you have questions about Dr. Parrish’s experience and credentials, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

What a wonderful and life-changing experience! Dr. Parrish and his staff are professional, caring, knowledgeable and effective. I am 8 months post-surgery (sleeve) and my experience could not have been better. I have lost about 75 lbs, am off blood pressure meds, almost off cholesterol meds and am getting close to my goal. Everything Dr. Parrish told us in his seminar was spot-on, from weight loss goals, to the importance of a personal trainer, to meeting nutritional needs and improving health. Dr. Parrish and his staff remind us that we are in this as a team–what a great and powerful message! I sometimes can’t believe that such caring and talented people are willing to help me, but I am so thankful that they are! If you are contemplating this approach to better health, you owe it to yourself to consult with this terrific group!

Brian S

April 05, 2017


Additional FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) About Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Dr. Parrish has provided answers to some frequently asked questions about gastric sleeve surgery. This resource can be used to help you make a decision about your health care. If you would like to know more, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Parrish, please contact our office today.

  • How much weight will I lose after surgery?

    One of the most commonly performed weight loss surgeries, gastric sleeve surgery can help patients lose a substantial amount of weight. Many individuals experience rapid weight loss of up to 50-70 percent of their excess body weight. Additionally, many medical conditions caused by obesity may become less severe, and you may be able to reduce or eliminate intake of certain medications.
  • Will my stomach stretch?

    It’s important to understand how the stomach works before asking this question. The stomach is designed to stretch to hold food; it is also designed to contract once again once it empties. Repeated stretching beyond the normal dimensions over time can lead to an increase in stomach size that is permanent, which could lead to weight gain. We will work closely with you to learn good eating habits and portion sizes to optimize your outcome and enhance the long-term result.
  • Will I have to go on a diet before the procedure?

    A pre-operative diet is a necessary part of the process, and our dietitians will work with you to begin the changes you will need to continue following the procedure. About two weeks before your operation you will be placed on a special diet with lots of protein sources and minimal carbohydrates. This is designed to shrink the size of your liver prior to the surgery. Finally, two days before your sleeve gastrectomy you will be placed on a clear liquid diet. These instructions are put in place for your health, safety, and results. Dr. Parrish will explain the details during your initial consultation.
  • What is the average recovery time after gastric sleeve surgery?

    On average, patients should expect to recover for at least one week before resuming some of their normal daily routines. Since Dr. Parrish typically performs this procedure utilizing laparoscopic techniques, the prospective recovery time is much less when compared to more traditional gastric sleeve surgery techniques. Specific timelines will vary for each individual. Dr. Parrish will be able to provide more exact details upon examination and during routine follow-up appointments. In addition to physically healing, this recovery period allows the patient time to adjust to their new dietary habits and ensure they are staying well hydrated and properly rested.
  • Will the results last?

    The most important factor in losing and keeping the weight off is aftercare. In addition to performing the surgery, Dr. Parrish also provides lifelong care through follow-up appointments. This is designed to give you a reliable system of support and advice, so that you have the help you need and the confidence required to achieve lasting results. If you do experience some weight gain, we will assist you in addressing dietary and lifestyle factors that may have contributed.
  • Is weight gain after gastric sleeve surgery possible?

    Yes, it is possible to regain weight after a sleeve gastrectomy if the patient begins eating excessively large portions or eats too much on a regular basis. Both habits can cause the stomach to expand again, making it possible to recoup excess weight. It is vital to carefully follow post-procedure instructions from your doctor and bariatric surgery team to uphold long-term dietary and lifestyle changes that can help sustain healthy weight loss. The key to avoiding weight regain is a commitment to regular and lifelong follow up visits.
  • Is this procedure reversible?

    Gastric sleeve surgery involves removing a significant portion of the stomach, and is therefore irreversible. If this procedure is done as part of a multi-step process, such as duodenal switch surgery, additional techniques may be used to attain more substantial weight loss. Dr. Parrish will inform you if this applies to you.
  • What is the gastric sleeve success rate?

    Gastric sleeve surgery is known to help patients lose up to 60 to 70 percent of their excess weight in the first year after undergoing the procedure, and the overall success rate is about 80 to 90 percent. The key to maintaining successful weight loss following surgery is being sure to continue the healthy dietary and lifestyle habits necessary for safe weight loss and weight stabilization once goals have been reached.
  • Will I have any gastric sleeve scars?

    Scars from gastric sleeve surgery performed by Dr. Parrish should be minimal due to the fact that our bariatric surgeon utilizes a laparoscopic approach for the procedure. This advanced technique requires very small incisions to access the stomach, and therefore results in scars that are equally small.
  • Will I need to take any vitamins after gastric sleeve surgery?

    Like most other bariatric surgery treatments, gastric sleeve surgery requires patients to take vitamin supplements following the procedure. Since gastric sleeve surgery modifies the stomach in such a way that it won’t be able to hold as much food, this means that it will be getting a more limited supply of nutrients, as well. Vitamin supplementation can accommodate for this effect. It is extremely important that patients stay on the recommended vitamin regimen in order to ensure they are getting proper nutrition. Our bariatric surgery team will provide you with detailed nutritional guidelines and recommendations for vitamin and mineral supplements after gastric sleeve surgery.
  • What are good recipes after gastric surgery?

    Our practice gives patients access to nutrition programs and dietary counseling with helpful tools and guidance for healthy, delicious meal planning favorable for weight loss. We also encourage you to join support groups offered through our practice that can be a helpful way to share and collect recipes from peers. Overall, patients should focus on balanced, nutritious meals that are high in protein and low in sugar and fat.
  • Can I get pregnant after gastric sleeve surgery?

    Patients should be able to become pregnant after gastric sleeve surgery. In fact, a pregnancy may even be a bit easier and safer after excessive amounts of weight have been lost. With this in mind, Dr. Parrish advises patients to wait a minimum of 18 months following gastric sleeve surgery before taking steps to become pregnant. This waiting period is necessary to allow the body time to adjust to the many changes it will be undergoing due to weight loss surgery. If you are planning on a future pregnancy, please let Dr. Parrish know and he can talk more with you about what to expect.
  • When can you start drinking alcohol after gastric sleeve surgery?

    *Generally, it is not recommended to drink alcohol after undergoing any type of bariatric surgery as there can be negative or harmful consequences, including:

    • Increased risk of liver damage and/or stomach ulcers
    • Interference with proper hydration during recovery (alcohol acts a diuretic)
    • Possibility of weight gain due to empty calories and higher sugar intake
    • Disruption of nutrition and fitness goals while intoxicated or thereafter
    • Effects of alcohol are less predictable (higher levels of intoxication for longer periods of time)

    Dr. Parrish can provide more information during your consultation and discuss any additional questions or concerns you may have.

  • Are there any gastric sleeve alternatives?

    Gastric sleeve surgery is not the ideal choice for all individuals. Some patients may be better candidates for another type of bariatric surgery, while others may simply wish to explore additional options. Once Dr. Parrish has examined you and talked with you about your needs and goals during the initial consultation, he can discuss whether gastric sleeve or an alternative procedure is the more appropriate option. Fortunately, our practice offers a full selection of the most commonly performed bariatric surgery procedures, including Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and adjustable gastric banding. We also offer the non-surgical ORBERA™ Managed Weight Loss System, which utilizes an intragastric balloon to help provide patients with an earlier feeling of fullness at mealtimes. The best weight loss treatment for each patient is fully dependent on their unique needs and what they are trying to achieve, in addition to which treatment can offer the safest, most effective weight loss for the individual. Dr. Parrish can talk with you about all of your options and help you make a decision that’s right for you.

Schedule a Consultation

For more information on gastric sleeve surgery, or if you would like to schedule a confidential consultation with Dr. Parrish, please contact our practice today.

Medical Reference:

*Mayo Clinic Connect: Alcohol use after bariatric surgery