Sleeve Gastrectomy: A Great Option for Patients With a Lower BMI

Bariatric physicians, or clinicians who provide safe medical weight loss management treatments, recommend bariatric weight loss surgery to certain patients for a variety of reasons, including to lower their risk for serious health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. 

You might have struggled with your weight for many years, despite giving every weight loss method under the sun a try, or perhaps you enjoyed initial success and lost weight many times, only to gain it back, and then some. 

Michael Sutker, MD, PA, in Dallas and McKinney, Texas, offers hope to patients for whom standard weight loss methods haven’t worked. Dr. Sutker’s advanced treatment options, combined with a caring, personalized approach have gained the trust of many patients. 

Understanding BMI and bariatric surgery

In order to assess whether a patient’s weight falls within a normal, overweight, or obese range, we view this information through the lens of your body mass index (BMI). BMI is a number that’s calculated using your height and weight, and scores are classified as follows:

Obesity can be divided into three BMI subgroups: Class I obesity is 34.9, Class II is 35.0-39.9, and Class III is 40.0 and above. 

Bariatric surgery describes a family of procedures designed to bring about significant, long-term weight loss. These are safe and proven methods, and all involve Dr. Sutker surgically altering your stomach so that you can only eat limited portions of food thereafter. 

In addition to this anatomical tweak, the procedures play a role in appetite reduction by modifying your digestive hormones. 

Dr. Sutker performs minimally invasive laparoscopic bariatric surgeries, which require that he make only small incisions at your surgical site. 

He’s assisted by the state-of-the-art Da Vinci® robotic surgical platform, which enhances his vision, precision, and control while performing your surgery. Robotically assisted surgery allows Dr.Sutker to visualize and work with three-dimensional, high-definition clarity. 

As compared with traditional surgical methods, minimally invasive procedures require just a few very small incisions, so you heal more quickly and experience less pain, bleeding, and scarring. Your risk for infection is also reduced. 

What if I’m not morbidly obese? Is there a bariatric option for me?

There is! The type of bariatric surgery that Dr. Sutker recommends to each patient takes many factors into account, from your current weight to whether you’re at risk for or living with any serious obesity-related health conditions. 

Though bariatric surgery is typically recommended for people whose BMIs are over 35, some clinicians are reexamining the arbitrary nature of the BMI and recommending weight loss surgery for patients with lower BMIs, such as those who fall into the Class I obesity spectrum. 

Dr. Sutker now offers certain patients with lower BMIs sleeve gastrectomy for several reasons. Patients who aren’t morbidly obese often experience short-lived success with weight loss when achieved through nonsurgical methods such as diet and exercise. 

Lower BMI patients (30-35) are also at risk for serious obesity-fueled diseases like diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, and sleep apnea; and some are living with these conditions even at a lower BMI.

Factors in addition to BMI must be analyzed when considering bariatric surgery, such as whether a patient currently has a chronic condition — for example, bariatric surgery is particularly helpful for Class I obesity patients with diabetes.

There’s also evidence that lower BMI patients experience greater success in achieving a non-obese BMI sooner than higher BMI patients. An expansive study revealed that just one in three patients bring their BMI below 30, the obesity level, during the year following their surgery. But lower BMI patients accomplished this most frequently.

Dr. Sutker only recommends sleeve gastrectomy after he performs a thorough physical exam and learns all he can about your medical history and the current risk factors and conditions you live with. 

What’s involved in sleeve gastrectomy?

During a sleeve gastrectomy procedure, Dr. Sutker removes approximately 80% of your stomach, and the remaining 20% is surgically stapled to form a narrow tube. Because you have so much less room in your stomach for food, you can only eat a fraction of what you were able to ingest prior to the surgery, resulting in weight loss. 

Even after surgery though, it’s important to commit to eating and exercise habits that ensure you maintain your weight loss. 

Sleeve gastrectomy may be the safest, most effective solution for achieving lasting weight reduction and staving off serious health conditions or reversing those you already have, even if you have a lower BMI. 

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Sutker to see whether you’re a candidate for sleeve gastrectomy by calling our office most convenient to you or requesting an appointment online today.

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