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Meet Dr. Joshua Long:
Our Bariatric Surgeon
A nationally renowned and double-board-certified Denver bariatric surgeon, Dr. Long uses a partnership care model with each patient to tailor care to their individual needs. Patients routinely thank Dr. Long for his warm, compassionate bedside manner. He’s considered to be at the top of his field, having performed over 1,000 bariatric surgeries. Peers praise his technical skill, and he has some of the lowest complication rates among bariatric surgeons in the nation. Dr. Long and the staff at the Bariatric and Metabolic Center of Colorado consider it an honor to serve every patient with the highest quality of care.
Dr. Joshua Long
MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS
If you suffer from obesity and struggle with health problems as a result, and you’re looking for a solution more permanent than the fad diets and exercise programs, it may be time to consider bariatric surgery. Bariatric procedures can help level the playing field if you’re trying to lose 60-80% or more of your excess weight.
Weight loss surgery can be a transformative tool on your journey to achieve your weight loss goals. At the Bariatric and Metabolic Center of Colorado, we offer different types of bariatric surgery because different procedures work better for some than others. If you’ve already done your own research but are wanting to learn more about a specific procedure, here are all of the details you need to know regarding gastric sleeve surgery.
What Is Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery?
The sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve, changes the size and shape of your stomach to limit the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. There is no additional rearranging of the intestinal anatomy or decreased absorption so it is generally seen as a more natural approach.
Even though gastric sleeve surgery removes a portion of the stomach, it’s extremely safe. Thanks to advances in surgical technique, the surgery is no more risky than any minor out-patient surgery like having your gallbladder removed. Our award-winning bariatric clinic has one of the lowest complication rates in the state.
While surgery is an unbelievably powerful tool, it’s not realistic to see it as a magical cure, and after your gastric sleeve procedure you’ll need to commit to a dietary and exercise plan to maximize and maintain your weight loss. However, bariatric surgery can level the playing field in your struggle with obesity in amazing ways, and give you the same chance to lose weight as anyone else. That means no more yo-yo dieting, or losing weight like a champion only to regain it all.
The gastric sleeve has helped patients like you lose 100-200 pounds or even more and keep it off.* Imagine how that would feel.
How Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Done?
During the procedure about 85% of the left side of the stomach is removed, leaving only a thin tube-like sleeve of stomach about the diameter of your index finger. The sleeve is similar in shape to a hot dog. Removing most of the stomach limits the amount of food you can eat and helps you feel full quicker.
The portion of the stomach that is removed also normally produces a hunger hormone known as ghrelin. Removing this portion of your stomach decreases this appetite-stimulating hormone and as a result generally decreases appetite. Because there are no further anatomical rearrangements, the sleeve allows for normal digestion and absorption. Unlike other procedures that rearrange the intestines, with the sleeve there is minimal risk of patients developing protein and vitamin deficiencies.
How Much Weight Will I Lose with Gastric Sleeve Surgery
The gastric sleeve is a tool to level the playing field in your struggle against obesity, but it is not a stand-alone cure. You can generally expect to lose 60-80% of your unhealthy body weight over about a year*. However, when patients do not use surgery in conjunction with all of the other tools that we recommend (such as eating a healthy diet and regular exercise), weight loss may be slower and less effective. Patients may even regain weight over time.
As with all procedures, the gastric sleeve is a transformational tool that makes all of your other weight loss tools easier to use. However, it is important to start this journey with the expectation that your best and most lasting results will be produced with active, motivated partnership in our comprehensive programs. These programs are specifically designed to give you every tool you will ever need.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Surgery takes approximately 45 minutes. This may vary based on your past surgical history and anatomy. Typically low risk patients can do this as a same-day surgery, but others may need to stay in the hospital overnight. This procedure is done using minimally invasive techniques through four or five small incisions in the abdomen but can also be completed using a single site surgical approach. Minimally invasive surgery generally results in a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures.
Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Safe?
In today’s era of modern medical techniques and technologies, bariatric surgery risks are very low if you receive surgery through a certified ASMBS comprehensive MSAQIP center[JL1] like Parker Adventist Hospital (where our bariatric surgeon performs surgeries). At the BMCC, your safety is our number one priority, which is why we work hard to keep weight loss surgery risks below the national average. However, risks and complications are a valid concern when considering any type of abdominal surgery.
Although minimally invasive, gastric sleeve surgery can have accompanying complications. One of the more common concerns is increased reflux or heartburn. Our double-board-certified bariatric surgeon can work with you to relieve any complications that may occur. While there are potential concerns, the benefits of a gastric sleeve far outweigh the risk of complications. Obesity related health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes are a far greater concern for your long-term health and happiness.
What Kind of Follow-Up Will I Need?
It is important after surgery for you to follow up with your team at the BMCC. You will be asked to return for a post-operative visit with your surgeon two weeks after surgery, and then a visit with the team at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, one year, and annually thereafter. Patients who follow up regularly and use all of the resources that we provide will experience the best weight loss results*.
Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Right For me?
You may be a candidate for a gastric sleeve if you:
- Want to lose 60-80% of your unhealthy body weight*
- Don’t suffer from severe heartburn or reflux at baseline
- Have current vitamin/mineral deficiencies (including anemia) or concerns about long-term health implications of intestinal bypass but still desire surgical weight loss
- Struggle with medical conditions that keep an intestinal bypass from being an option, such as those that require prednisone or anti-inflammatory medications, have had many previous abdominal operations, or suffer from Chron’s disease
You may not be an ideal gastric sleeve candidate if you:
- Suffer from type 2 diabetes and are seeking your best chance of cure
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) >50 and are seeking your most effective long-term weight loss solution. However, a sleeve can be a good first step procedure in this setting.
- Suffer from significant heartburn or reflux (about 20% of patients with reflux may experience worsened symptoms after a sleeve)
What Our Patients Say
“We cannot imagine another Doctor or Practice with whom this process could have been so wonderfully orchestrated…. Dr. Long and his staff are the kindest, most loving, and supportive group of individuals we have ever could have met. Each person has contributed to our success, each and every one.”—Keri and Chris Sexton
If you or a loved one have further questions or would like more information about bariatric surgery or other surgical or non-surgical weight loss, please click the button below and schedule an appointment with our friendly staff.
This page was medically reviewed by Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS. Dr. Long is a double-board-certified bariatric surgeon and bariatric medical director for Parker Adventist Hospital.
Full Bio: Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS
Page Updated: March 22nd, 2021
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*Please note that individual results can vary and are not guaranteed.