Gastric Sleeve / Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery
Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as the sleeve gastrectomy, is one of the fastest growing procedures currently available to those suffering from obesity. The procedure is popular with surgeons and patients alike because of its straightforward approach to food restriction. The gastric sleeve is a purely restrictive procedure, meaning that it limits the amount of food that a patient can eat. It does not require the alteration of the small intestine in any way. The gastric sleeve was, in past, performed as the first part of a two-stage procedure. The other portion of the surgery was usually the duodenal switch. It became very clear that the sleeve offered exceptional weight loss results on its own and surgeons began performing it as a primary procedure.
How It Works:
Gastric sleeve surgery is performed laparoscopically (minimally invasive) meaning that unlike open surgery, several small incisions are used to access the abdominal cavity. We use specially made medical devices to perform the surgery. One of these devices, a laparoscope or high definition camera, can be manipulated as needed to give a clear image of the abdomen and surgical field.
Approximately 75% of the stomach pouch is cut away along the greater curvature. The portion of the stomach pouch that remains is about the size and shape of a banana. The rest of the stomach is removed from the abdomen. No other part of the digestive system is altered. The restriction offered by the procedure means that patients will feel fuller sooner. An added bonus is satiety. The fundus, which produces much of the hunger hormone called ghrelin, is removed along with the stomach. The result is that many patients feel fewer hungers pangs after surgery.
Results will vary between patients. The gastric sleeve, on average, offers exceptional weight loss potential – greater than that of the gastric band, but slightly less than that of the bypass. Expectations will be discussed at consultation.
Advantages of the Gastric Sleeve
- Rapid initial weight loss
- Excellent weight loss and disease resolution potential
- Many patients will feel a decreased appetite and prolonged sense of fullness after meals
- Is performed in a minimally invasive manner (less pain, shorter hospital stay)
- Does not require the implantation of a medical device such as a gastric band
Risks and Considerations of the Gastric Sleeve
- The procedure is not reversible
- Possible nausea and vomiting during initial recovery – easily treatable with medication and diet considerations
- Remote possibility of staple line leakage requiring immediate care – we use a specialized instrument that applies 3 rows of staples to minimize this risk
- Other risks associated with any surgical procedure – all minimized by pre-op clearances and special protocols following surgery