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Dropping Weight is no Laughing Matter



Comedian Lisa Lampanelli is well-known for two things…being side-splitting funny and being overweight. Well, good thing she’s still hilarious because she’s no longer the larger than life lady whom you’re used to seeing. Lampanelli, who maxed out at 248 pounds, lost 80 pounds after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery this past April.

Lampanelli said In Touch, “I feel so much healthier” and that “the size I am right now is the size I was always meant to be.”

So what exactly is gastric sleeve surgery, and how did it help Lampenelli completely remake her body and health?

Otherwise known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, this new type of surgery is different than gastric bypass surgery. Instead of creating a smaller pouch inside the stomach, the surgeon will go in and remove more than half of the patients’ stomach. Left behind is a tube that resembles a banana. The portion removed is the section of the stomach that stretches most after eating, eliminating that ability. That means this new tube is not likely to spread anywhere near as far as previously and will limit the amount of food it can hold.

Another effect of the surgery is that the portion of the stomach removed is also the portion that secretes Ghrelin, the hormone that controls appetite and hunger. With the level of this hormone dropped to nearly zero, it means the patient will get hungry less and require less food to feel satiated.

Who is a candidate for gastric sleeve surgery? Usually, a candidate has a BMI higher than 40. That means that a man who is at least one hundred pounds overweight or a woman who is at least eighty pounds overweight would make sense for the surgery.

The surgery has proven to be pretty successful so far, as evident by Lampenelli’s success. Since this version does not include dealing with the intestines, the odds of intestinal obstruction or ulcers are reduced and often eliminated. Patients concerned about possible complications post-surgery will probably be drawn to this version over other gastric surgeries.

Any patient who has the surgery done should assume they will spend one to two days in the hospital recovering. In the first two weeks following surgery, liquid diets are recommended as the new stomach gets used to digestion. After that, they should only ingest pureed foods for six weeks before finally returning to solid foods. Patients will soon realize that slower chewing and smaller quantities are necessary. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are also required to make sure the lost weight stays lost for years ahead.