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Obesity has become a significant health issue, leading many individuals to explore various weight loss procedures such as gastric sleeve surgery, commonly referred to as sleeve gastrectomy. This article delves into the definition, procedure, benefits, and risks associated with this surgical weight loss option, along with an overview of the Maryland Endoscopic Bariatric Center at Digestive Care Specialists.


Sleeve Gastrectomy

Definition and Procedure

Sleeve gastrectomy is a weight loss procedure that involves the surgical removal of approximately 80 percent of the stomach, leaving behind a narrow gastric sleeve. This minimally invasive surgery is often performed laparoscopically or robotically, resulting in reduced recovery time and scarring.

Benefits and Risks

Gastric sleeve surgery offers significant benefits in terms of sustainable weight loss, improved metabolic health, and reduced risk of obesity-related comorbidities. However, potential risks include complications such as gastrointestinal leaks, bleeding, and infection, which highlight the importance of selecting qualified surgeons and medical centers for the procedure.

Candidate Qualifications

Candidates for sleeve gastrectomy typically have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health conditions. Undergoing thorough medical evaluations, individuals considering this weight loss surgery may need to meet specific criteria to ensure the procedure’s safety and effectiveness.





Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Preoperative Preparations

Before gastric sleeve surgery, patients may undergo comprehensive medical assessments, dietary counseling, and psychological evaluations to prepare for the procedure. It is essential to adhere to preoperative guidelines to optimize surgical outcomes and minimize potential complications.

Postoperative Care

Following gastric sleeve surgery, patients require diligent postoperative care, including close monitoring, dietary modifications, and lifestyle adjustments. The support and guidance provided during the recovery process are instrumental in achieving successful weight loss and long-term health benefits.

Potential Complications

While gastric sleeve surgery is generally safe, there are potential complications such as blood clots, bleeding, leaks, strictures, hernias, or other gastrointestinal issues that may arise postoperatively. Recognizing and promptly addressing these complications through the expertise of skilled medical professionals is crucial for ensuring positive surgical outcomes.


Maryland Endoscopic Bariatric Center at Digestive Care Specialists

Overview and Services Offered

The Maryland Endoscopic Bariatric Center at Digestive Care Specialists is dedicated to providing comprehensive, state-of-the-art endoscopic and medical weight loss solutions. Their services encompass a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating advanced endoscopic bariatric surgeries, nutritional counseling, and ongoing support to facilitate patients’ weight loss journeys.

Team of Surgeons

The center comprises a team of proficient endoscopic bariatric surgeons with extensive experience in performing a range of endoscopic bariatric surgeries, including endoscopic gastric sleeve surgery (ESG) and gastric bypass revision, using advanced techniques and state-of-the-art equipment. Their expertise ensures patient safety and optimal surgical outcomes.

Patient Success Stories

At the Maryland Endoscopic Bariatric Center (The Silhouette Clinic), numerous patients have achieved remarkable success in their weight loss journeys following endoscopic bariatric surgeries. These inspiring success stories reflect the center’s commitment to delivering effective and personalized weight management solutions, transforming the lives of individuals struggling with obesity.


Laparoscopic and Robotic Techniques

Laparoscopic and robotic techniques are advanced surgical methods used in performing weight loss surgeries such as gastric sleeve surgery. These minimally invasive approaches offer several advantages over traditional open surgery, including reduced postoperative pain, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery times.

Advantages of Minimally Invasive Surgery

The minimally invasive nature of laparoscopic and robotic techniques contributes to decreased blood loss, minimal scarring, and lower risk of postoperative complications, enhancing patient comfort and satisfaction. Additionally, these methods provide improved visualization and precision, allowing surgeons to perform intricate procedures with greater accuracy.

Comparison of Techniques

When comparing laparoscopic and robotic techniques, both offer similar benefits in terms of reduced trauma to the body and improved surgical outcomes. However, robotic surgery provides enhanced dexterity and a three-dimensional view, while laparoscopic surgery offers cost-effective advantages and proven long-term results.


Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty

Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG) is a non-surgical weight loss procedure that involves resizing the stomach using an endoscopic suturing device, effectively reducing its capacity. This minimally invasive approach is suitable for individuals who may not be ideal candidates for surgical interventions and individuals who prefer not to undergo more invasive bariatric surgeries.

At The Silhouette Clinic, Digestive Care Specialists’ Maryland Endoscopic Bariatric Center, our endobariatric specialists are some of the top leaders in performing ESG procedures nationwide. Our Maryland Bariatric Center performs a high volume of ESG surgeries regularly. This ensures that all members of the team are experts in performing their part resulting in top weight loss results.

Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty is performed through the mouth. It does not involve any incisions or scars so it is ideal for patients concerned about bariatric surgery scars. Since we do not cut the abdominal wall muscle, our patients can take 2-3 days off work, compared to 2-3 weeks off after traditional laparoscopic bariatric surgery such as sleeve gastrectomy. We place sutures in the walls of the stomach but we do not cut the stomach. This results in a very low risk of complications.

While the weight loss with ESG is less than the weight loss with laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, we can add weight loss medications after the ESG, and the combination of the endoscopic procedure with the weight loss injections can produce weight loss results that approach the ones provided by bariatric surgery.


Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation

Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) accreditation signifies that a bariatric surgery center has met rigorous standards for delivering high-quality care to bariatric patients. This accreditation promotes excellence in bariatric care and patient safety.

Importance of Accreditations

Accreditations such as MBSAQIP play a crucial role in ensuring that bariatric surgery centers adhere to established guidelines and protocols, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and patient-centered care. Patients can have confidence in accredited centers’ commitment to achieving optimal outcomes and providing comprehensive support.

Criteria for Accredited Centers

To attain MBSAQIP accreditation, bariatric centers must demonstrate a commitment to adhering to best practices, employing experienced and qualified multidisciplinary teams, and maintaining state-of-the-art facilities. These criteria are designed to uphold the highest standards of safety, efficacy, and patient satisfaction.

Effect on Patient Outcomes

Research indicates that patients treated at MBSAQIP-accredited centers experience lower rates of complications, reduced hospital readmissions, and improved long-term weight loss outcomes. Choosing an accredited center can significantly impact a patient’s overall experience and contribute to better postoperative results.


Surgeon Profile – Halim Charbel MD

As a highly skilled bariatric endoscopist, Dr. Halim Charbel brings a wealth of expertise and experience to his practice. His extensive training and proficiency in performing advanced weight loss procedures have positioned him as a reputable professional in the field, dedicated to helping patients achieve their health and wellness goals.

Training and Experience

Dr. Halim Charbel completed rigorous training in advanced endoscopy and endobariatric surgery, obtaining specialized qualifications in performing endoscopic gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass revision, and other endobariatric procedures. His extensive experience, paired with continuous professional development, ensures that patients receive advanced endoscopic and surgical care and personalized treatment strategies tailored to their unique needs.

Specializations and Professional Achievements

With a focus on non-surgical weight loss solutions, Dr. Halim Charbel has emerged as a leading specialist in endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty and other endo-bariatric surgeries. He has garnered recognition for his exceptional patient outcomes and contributions to the field, solidifying his position as an esteemed practitioner in the realm of endoscopic metabolic and bariatric surgery.

Patient Testimonials and Success Stories

Patient testimonials and success stories underscore Dr. Halim Charbel’s commitment to delivering exceptional care and transformative results. His compassionate approach, coupled with a dedication to comprehensive support, has empowered numerous individuals to embark on successful weight loss journeys, fostering improved health and vitality.


Scheduling a Consultation

The initial steps toward embarking on a weight loss journey through bariatric surgery involve scheduling a comprehensive consultation with a qualified bariatric surgeon. Understanding the consultation process, insurance coverage considerations and preparatory measures sets the stage for a constructive and informed patient-surgeon interaction.

Initial Evaluation and Consultation Process

The consultation process encompasses a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical history, weight management goals, and suitability for bariatric surgery. Open communication and collaboration with the bariatric care team during this initial phase lay the groundwork for creating a personalized treatment plan aligned with the patient’s aspirations.

Insurance Coverage and Financial Considerations

Insurance coverage plays a pivotal role in the accessibility of bariatric surgery. Understanding the insurance approval process, potential financial obligations and available support resources empowers patients to navigate the financial aspects of their surgical journey while focusing on the attainment of improved health and well-being.

Preparation for the Consultation Appointment

Before the consultation appointment, individuals contemplating bariatric surgery can benefit from preparing a comprehensive list of questions, medical records, and relevant information about their weight loss objectives. This proactive approach facilitates a productive and insightful discussion with the bariatric surgeon, fostering a collaborative and informed decision-making process.