Gastric Sleeve

The sleeve (vertical) gastrectomy or gastric sleeve is an operation to remove a portion of the stomach and resize it stomach to roughly the size and shape of a banana. A smaller stomach size helps patients become full faster and decrease the sensation of appetite.

You may have heard the sleeve gastrectomy called "partial gastrectomy," "sleeve gastrectomy," "longitudinal gastrectomy" or "vertical gastrectomy."

The sleeve gastrectomy does not involve any "rerouting" or reconnecting of the intestines and is a simpler operation than the gastric bypass or the duodenal switch. Unlike the Lap-Band, the sleeve gastrectomy does not require the implantation of an artificial device inside the abdomen. It can be done laporascopically, and discharge from the hospital occurs within one day.

Sleeve gastretcomies are recognized as a first and single procedure for weight loss because it can achieve more than 50 percent excess weight loss in as little as 18 months.

For certain patients, in particular those with a body mass index greater than 60, the sleeve gastrectomy may be the first part of a two-stage operation. Patients may safely lose up to 100 to 150 pounds in a six to 12 month period, at which point the weight loss may plateau and other procedures such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery become less risky.

Both stages of the surgery can be performed laparoscopically and offers the advantages of shorter recovery time, shorter incisions, fewer incision-related problems and less pain.

Within one to two years after a sleeve gastrectomy, patients in medical studies have shown resolution of medical problems including:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Sleep apnea

Like any surgical operation, sleeve gastrectomy has possible complications, such as leakage, dilation of the sleeve (which allows for more food intake) and other usual complications associated with bariatric surgery. These risks, however, are known to be much lower than in RNY gastric bypass and duodenal switch.

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