What is gastric sleeve surgery as TOWIE star James ‘Arg’ Argent has his operation

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Former The Only Way Is Essex star James Argent has recently had gastric sleeve surgery.

The star elected to go ahead with the surgery after his weight ballooned to over 27 stone during the lockdown.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun two days before his operation, the 33 year old admitted that his doctor did tell him their was a chance of death.

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He said: "This is the biggest operation I’ve ever had in my life – so I was scared,” Arg admits. “I did say to the surgeon: ‘Is there a chance I might not wake up?’

"He said there was a small chance."

But what exactly is the surgery? Here is everything you need to know….

What is gastric sleeve surgery?

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The NHS website explains that gastric sleeve surgery, or known as a sleeve gastrectomy, is an operation where “a large part of the stomach is removed so it's much smaller than it was before.

“This means you cannot eat as much as you could before surgery and you'll feel full sooner.”

Who can get it done?

Generally, this operation is an option for people who have a BMI of 40 or higher (extreme obesity), or those with a BMI of 35 to 39.9 who have weight-related health problems such a type 2 diabetes.

What are the risks?

Similarly to all major surgeries, sleeve gastrectomy can carry some potential health risks, both short and long term.

The short term risks can include excessive bleeding, infection, blood clots, breathing problems, adverse reactions to anaesthesia and leaks from the cut edge of the stomach.

The long term risks include hernias, malnutrition, gastrointestinal obstruction, vomiting and low blood sugar and gastroesophageal reflux.

Surgery always carries risks, which is why this serious operation is an effective last resort.

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How do you prepare?

The Mayo Clinic website explains that: "In the weeks leading up to your surgery, you may be required to start a physical activity program and to stop any tobacco use.

"Right before your procedure, you may have restrictions on eating and drinking and which medications you can take."

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Arg was supposed to stick to a 1,000-calorie-day diet, which he found tricky.

He told The Sun: “I was supposed to stick to 1,000 calories a day for three weeks and my BMI had to be below 50 but I was 49.7 and 26st 11lb.

“I did struggle. There were a few times I found it too hard and couldn’t stick to it. I was almost too big to have the operation, which is scary.”

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