About the Surgery
- How much time do I need to take off of work?
Most patients are back to their “normal selves” in about a week or less (similar to gallbladder surgery). However, if possible, we suggest patients take 2-4 weeks off from work to focus on adjusting to their new stomach and lifestyle.
- Will I have scars after the surgery?
The surgery is performed laparoscopically and typically involves 5 tiny incisions. 4 of these incisions are about 5mm (the width of a pea). One of the incisions is approximately 15mm (less than the width of a loonie ).
- How long will I be in hospital?
Patients are monitored for about 24 hours after surgery.
- Will I be completely asleep during the procedure?
Yes. An expert, board-certified anesthesiologist will be present to ensure you are completely asleep for the entire duration of the procedure.
- How long does the actual operation take to perform?
For most patients, once they are asleep, the procedure takes less than 30min to complete.
- Do I need to take vitamins after the surgery?
Yes. You will need to take a few daily vitamins for the rest of your life to ensure that you are as healthy as possible.
- Is the surgery reversible?
Since we remove the stretchy portion of the stomach, this procedure cannot be reversed. In unusual circumstances, we can convert it to a gastric bypass or a duodenal switch, but this is rarely necessary. Read on for more information.
- Will I be able to dine at restaurants with family and friends?
Dining out is often the focal point of many social events. This habit won’t change much after you have weight loss surgery, but your portion sizes definitely will. Whether you are going to a big chain restaurant or stopping at a convenience store for a snack, eating out after bariatric surgery is certainly possible as long as you continue to focus on making healthy choices to ensure that you are meeting your daily protein goal. Remember, now that you’ve had bariatric surgery, it may be helpful to try to share a meal with a friend, ask for a box ahead of time, or order off the kids menu to help you to watch portion sizes.
- Will weight loss surgery also improve my other medical conditions?
Weight loss surgery will often completely cure or significantly improve virtually every obesity-related disease. This includes: high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, coronary artery disease, infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome, osteoarthritis, and urinary stress incontinence to name a few!
- Is this procedure like a “lap band”?
No. This procedure is quite different from a lap-band. It does not involve placing any foreign materials into your body. The gastric sleeve results in numerous hormonal and biochemical changes within your body to help curb your appetite and keep your body from storing fat. The gastric sleeve has become the most commonly performed procedure in North America and has essentially replaced the old lap-band procedure.
Our Program & How We Work
- How quickly can I get this surgery done?
It typically takes 2-4 weeks from the time of your first consultation. It is critical that we properly prepare you prior to surgery. This means having a thorough medical assessment to make sure you are medically fit for surgery. It also means teaching you what to expect after surgery and how to manage your new stomach once surgery is completed so that your weight loss is permanent.
- Is the gastric sleeve covered by OHIP?
This is an extremely important question. The Sleeve Clinic is a private, boutique bariatric surgery clinic specializing in the gastric sleeve surgery. It is not covered by OHIP. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) does cover a different procedure, called: “gastric bypass” in patients with a BMI >40 or BMI>35 with specific obesity-related health conditions. The MOHLTC will only cover a gastric sleeve if: 1) there is severe scar tissue from a previous surgery that prevents surgeons from performing a gastric bypass, 2) the patient has a BMI>60 and/or 3) the patient has certain pre-existing medical conditions that makes a gastric bypass excessively risky (e.g., ulcerative colitis, chronic steroid use, ect.).
- Why do I need such an extensive workup before surgery?
We take your success extremely seriously. If you’ve finally reached the point that you realize that a gastric sleeve is the only solution for you, then it is absolutely critical that you do this the right way. Our process has been designed and honed to ensure that you get through the surgery safely and achieve excellent weight loss results. Now is not the time to cut corners. A few extra weeks of preparation will make all the difference in the world. Our workup takes approximately 4-6 weeks. Sometimes a bit less. Sometimes a bit more.
- Will Dr. Gmora be involved in my care once the surgery is complete?
If you know anything about Dr. Gmora you know that he is extremely hands on. He personally reviews each patient’s progress on a frequent basis and actively manages individual issues with his clinical team.
- Is the cost of gastric sleeve surgery tax deductible?
Typically – yes. To verify this in your particular case, we recommend that you consult your accountant and/or refer to the Revenue Canada website.
- After I Iose my weight, will I have excess skin?
Some, but not all patients, may have excess skin after surgery. Whether this occurs depends on a host of factors, including, the patient’s weight prior to surgery, the amount of excess weight loss, the patient’s age and genetics. For patients with concerns of excess skin, plastic surgery after the gastric sleeve can be a highly effective option. We typically recommend that patients wait 12-18 months from their surgery to ensure that their weight has stabilized.
- Do I need to stop smoking before surgery?
Generally speaking, smoking and surgery (of any kind) DO NOT go well together. If you are taking the leap to get your health under control, isn’t now the perfect time to quit smoking? So the answer is yes; patients need to stop smoking before surgery. But don’t worry. We will refer you to a special Clinic that specializes in smoking cessation to help you crack this habit once and for all!
- Is surgery the “easy way out”?
Nothing could be further from the truth. Taking responsibility for your own health with weight loss surgery is very hard work! Not an “easy way out”.