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Sleeve Gastrectomy

One of the newest weight-loss surgery procedures, the sleeve gastrectomy, does not reroute the ntestinal tract. Sleeve gastrectomy patients may experience dramatic weight loss, but have a reduced risk of developing some of the complications associated with gastric bypass.

This laparoscopic procedure is a restrictive surgery that removes approximately 75 percent of the stomach.  In addition to limiting the amount of food a patient can consume, this reduction in stomach size results in the body producing less of the hormones that stimulate hunger. As a result, patients often experience long-term appetite suppression.

During the sleeve gastrectomy procedure, a thin vertical sleeve of stomach is created using a stapling device. The sleeve-shaped stomach remaining is longer than the stomach pouch created during Roux-en-Y gastric bypass—and is about the size of a banana.

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Advantages

  • Weight Loss
    Sleeve gastrectomy patients lose 50 percent to 83 percent of their excess weight 12 to 24 months following surgery. 
  • Reduced risks
    Since the intestines are not bypassed and the stomach, although surgically reduced, operates normally, the risk for some of the complications related to gastric bypass is reduced.
  • Eliminates Hunger Hormone
    Because a significant portion of the stomach is removed, the production of hormones responsible for stimulating hunger is greatly reduced. Therefore, patients feel full faster with a significantly less amount of food.
  • Safer for High Risk Patients
    Sleeve gastrectomy is a solution for patients with conditions that place them at an unacceptably high risk for other forms of bariatric surgery.

Special Considerations and Risks

  • Inadequate Weight Loss
    Weight loss may not be as rapid or dramatic as for those patients who have gastric bypass. 
  • Weight Gain
    Patients can hinder weight loss if they do not make the appropriate dietary changes after surgery. Soft calories from foods such as ice cream and milk shakes can be absorbed and may slow weight loss.
  • Leakage
    This procedure requires the removal of a portion of the stomach and stapling creates the smaller stomach pouch. Complications can arise if a leak forms at the staple line. This severe postoperative problem is treated with antibiotics. Many cases heal with time. However, the leak can be serious enough to require emergency surgery.
  • Not Reversible
    A portion of the stomach is permanently removed, therefore this surgery cannot be reversed. Although it can be converted to gastric bypass and duodenal switch.