How to pick your weight loss surgeon?
The single most important factor that would determine your outcome is the surgeon you choose to perform your weight loss surgery!
Over the years I have realized that all surgeons don’t do the same quality of work, and don’t achieve the same patient outcomes. Some achieve significantly better outcomes than others.
The two important parameters of outcome that you should focus on is the percentage of excess weight loss and complication rates.
Outcomes Vary significantly between Gastric Sleeve Surgeons
Different studies have shown that the rate of serious complications after weight loss surgery varies from 0.6% to 10.3%. This variation in complication rates is attributed to the different skill levels and different ways of doing the operations by surgeons at different centers.
Similarly, weight loss results after the gastric sleeve operation have been reported to be anywhere from 40% average excess weight loss to 80% average excess weight loss, depending on the surgeon.
Individual surgeon gastric sleeve leak rates are reported to 0 in >500 operations, to 1 in 25 operations – that is a greater than 20-fold difference between individual surgeons!
Outcomes vary between gastric sleeve surgeons!
Because there is significant variation in weight loss outcomes and complication rates between different surgeons, in my view, the surgeon’s record of actual patient outcomes should be the single most consideration when choosing a sleeve gastrectomy surgeon.
Why is there such a big difference in outcomes between surgeons?
Most operations (Except Bariatric and Cosmetic) are fairly standardized, meaning that all surgeons do pretty much the same thing when they perform the operations. Some operations like cosmetic surgeries and Bariatric surgeries are not standardized, and therefore different surgeons do their operations differently.
This variation in technique between surgeons results in patient outcomes variation.
The gastric sleeve operation is not a standardized operation – different gastric sleeve surgeons do the operation in different ways. It is also obvious to me, as a weight loss surgeon, that variation in surgical technique has a major impact on patient outcomes
The difference in technique and the skill level of the surgeon will determine your overall success. Stomach size and shape varies among individuals and the final outcome will be determined by how much of the stomach is removed and the final shape and size of the stomach. Unfortunately not all surgeons remove the same amount of stomach, hence the amount of weight patients will lose varies significantly among surgeons.
Dr. Kakkilaya is a pioneer in the sleeve gastrectomy and has excellent outcomes, his patient outcome statistics ranks among the best in the weight loss surgery field. His patients lose on average lose 70-75% of their excess weight in one year. His complication rates exceptionally low compared to national average for similar procedures.
So please research your surgeon’s outcome before making the most important decision of your life: to get the weight loss surgery!