Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric Sleeve, also known as Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is purely a restrictive type of procedure. During this surgery approximately 60 to 80% of the stomach is removed.

A cut is made along the greater curvature of the stomach leaving only a narrow sleeve as the new stomach. The cut away portion is removed from the body. In most other bariatric surgeries, the unused portion of the stomach remains intact and left in place. Therefore this procedure is not reversible.

The new gastric sleeve extends from the natural stomach opening to the natural outlet, the pyloric valve. There is no cutting or rerouting of the intestines involved either, thus allowing the digestion process to continue unchanged.

With a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure you are able to loose weight by dramatically reducing the size of the stomach, thus limiting the amount of food you can eat. You also feel less hungry because the amount of ghrelin, a hunger stimulating hormone, has been reduced as well.

This procedure has been around for years. Originally intended as the first part of a two stage procedure for severely obese patients with a BMI of over 50 who are considered high risk. The later second operation would be either gastric bypass or duodenal switch. But some patients have done well with just the Gastric Sleeve and didn't require the second step.

Doing this procedure alone is fairly new and not alot of statistics are available. Short term weight loss has been favorable. In researching this weight loss procedure I came across a revised statement from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, regarding gastric sleeve surgery.

"The ASMBS recognizes Sleeve Gastrectomy as an acceptable option as a primary bariatric procedure, and as a first stage procedure in high risk patients as part of a planned staged approach."

This procedure can also be done laparoscopiclly by a qualified surgeon. Several small incisions are made in the abdomen and a tiny camera is inserted along with specialized surgical tools to complete the procedure. Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve is generally safer then open surgery with a much quicker recovery time.

Advantages Disadvantages
Easily done with minimally invasive approach Stomach not as small as other procedures
No intestinal re-routingNot yet approved for payment by most insurance companies
Least expensive option for self-payNot reversible - most of stomach is removed

Bariatric Weight Loss Surgeries, like any surgery involves a certain degree of risk either during or after surgery. You should research any surgery you may be interested in and then consult with an experienced, qualified, bariatric surgeon before making up your mind. The surgeon you choose is as important as the surgery you decide on. You will literally be putting your life in his or her hands.

There are many things to think about when deciding which surgery is best for you. Some procedures are much more complicated than others and therefore involve more risk. Each one offers a varying percentage of excess weight loss which is another factor to consider when making a decision. They also require a dramatic lifestyle change that must be adhered to in order to have successful weight loss and a high quality of life and good health.

Good Luck with your decision. Please read about My Decision and the Choice I made.
View an actual video of a Gastric Sleeve Surgery: