Making the decision to get gastric sleeve surgery is a double-edged sword: exciting because it can radically improve your entire life and nerve-racking because, well, it’s surgery. Before you make any decisions, you deserve honest answers from prospective surgeons.
Question #1: Is it safe?
Gastric sleeve is an overwhelmingly safe procedure. There are virtually no long-term risks because gastric sleeve doesn’t implant anything into your body or prevent nutrients from being absorbed. Typical short-term risks include things like gastric leak and post-op bleeding. Medical literature tells us that the average patient experiences up to a 1% risk of any reported complication. My statistics are even better. Only .32% (a fraction of 1%) of my patients have experienced a gastric leak, which was corrected immediately, and none of my patients have experienced post-op bleeding. In fact, all of my stats are better than the average complication rates, which are already very low.
Question #2: How much experience do you have?
Your surgeon’s experience is crucial when it comes to a successful gastric sleeve. Many bariatric surgeons offer a variety of different procedures and may only do a sleeve surgery once a week—or once a month! In contrast, I’ve done nothing but gastric sleeve surgery since 2006. That’s 11,500-plus sleeve surgeries and counting, each given my complete attention and expertise. As a bonus, most of the highly skilled surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists on my team have been with me for every one of them. We’ve all perfected our technique to world-class standards, which is why most other physicians can’t match our results.
Question #3: How much does it really cost?
Finding the bottom-line cost of a gastric sleeve can be difficult because many doctors don’t include things like prescriptions, insurance co-pays and deductibles, anesthesiology costs, hospital stay, etc., in the price they quote. They just give you the price for the actual surgery, leaving patients shell-shocked when all the bills come in. We do it differently at Endobariatric. There’s one price—$8,900 USD—that includes everything except your transportation to and from San Antonio, Texas. And we do mean everything. Hotels, ground transportation, all pre- and post-op testing, the entire surgical team, prescriptions, paperwork, hospital stay—even snacks! And we partner with Health Assist Finance, which offers patients a low-cost payment plan spread over 18 months.
Question #4: How much weight will I lose?
Ultimately, how much weight you lose depends on you. Gastric sleeve doesn’t do all the work for you; rather, it provides a significant advantage that helps people permanently shed pounds—often for the first time in their lives. The Endobariatric team provides comprehensive nutrition and exercise information that takes you from pre-surgery through the rest of your life. We also offer 24-hour support, as well as social media platforms so our “patient family” can assist and learn from each other. The average patient loses 60% of excess weight—that number includes people who follow proper nutrition and those who don’t. If you’re committed to your transformation, you can definitely lose more than that 60%.
Question #5: Is it hard to lose weight after gastric sleeve?
Let’s put it this way: You would have to work hard not to lose weight, especially in the beginning. During surgery I remove up to 80% of a patient’s stomach, which means your body won’t be able to handle more than a few ounces of quality food at a time. Another reason weight loss occurs is because most of the area that produces ghrelin (aka, the “hunger hormone”) is removed during the surgery. So many of our post-op patients simply aren’t very hungry anymore. It’s a one-two combination that usually leads to substantial weight loss without feelings of deprivation or hunger.
Question #6: Do you have testimonials from other patients?
Any physician you’re considering should be able to produce a long list of patient testimonials. Their experiences, after all, are a preview of what you can expect from a quality and care-giving standpoint. Endobariatric has video testimonials and a massive before-and-after picture gallery on our website, Facebook page, and Pinterest—compiled from patients who are thrilled to share their success. You can also find more than 850 patient reviews of Endobariatric on ObesityHelp.com. We invite you to see for yourself why thousands of our patients say things like “Dr. A and his staff are phenomenal” and “best decision ever.”