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Gastric Sleeve Surgery

What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery? 

The gastric sleeve surgery, otherwise known as the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a popular procedure due to its effectiveness and perceived simplicity. It consists of removing a large portion of the stomach to limit the patient’s food intake, resulting in weight loss. Although the gastric sleeve is a non-reversible procedure, it can be revised to a gastric bypass if needed. 

How it Works

During the operation, the surgeon will place a tube in the stomach along the inner curve. The purpose of the tube is to act as a guide. The surgeon will then staple the stomach from the lower edge to the upper edge, allowing the outer part of the stomach to be removed. This results in a tubular, or banana, shaped stomach that is 70 to 80% smaller than its original size.

Since the new stomach has a smaller volume, patients will feel full faster and consume smaller portions of food, resulting in weight loss. Additionally, since a large portion of the stomach is removed, patients can experience a reduction in hunger as the hunger-regulating hormone, ghrelin, which is produced in the stomach, is reduced. 
*The tube used to size the stomach is removed after the operation.

The gastric sleeve weight loss surgery takes about 30 minutes to perform, and patients can expect to stay in the hospital for 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Depending on the type of work performed, patients will be able to return to work within 2 to 4 weeks from surgery.  

Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Patients who have gastric sleeve weight loss surgery can expect to lose 65 to 75% of their excess body weight within the first year. 
*Excess body weight is the percentage of how much weight was lost based on how much you have or want to lose.
Weight loss surgery benefits bariatric clinic in Georgia
Improvement or resolution of serious medical conditions
Cost Savings as a benefit of weight loss surgery in Georgia
Long term cost savings as a result of reduced medical care
Improvement in health as a benefit of weight loss surgery in Georgia
Improvement in overall health and quality of life

Risks of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Before considering the gastric sleeve operation, you should be familiar with the potential risks.
Minor complications that uncommon and can be managed fairly easily: 
  • Minor wound or skin infection
  • Excess / loose skin 
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Acid reflux (heartburn)
  • Development of gallstones or gallbladder disease
  • Nutritional deficiencies, less common than a gastric bypass
Major complications, that could result in re-operation:
  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs
  • Internal bleeding
  • Gastric leak

Frequently Asked Questions 

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Should I get the gastric sleeve or the gastric bypass?
The gastric sleeve is less invasive than the gastric bypass. The gastric sleeve also has fewer potential complications, and patients are not faced with the ongoing issue of nutrient deficiencies. However, some patients are not candidates for the gastric sleeve procedure or have a physical condition that makes gastric bypass a better option. Your surgeon will work with you to find the best procedure based on your health history and your goals.  
How much weight will I lose after gastric sleeve surgery?
Research shows that patients will lose between 65 and 75% of their excess weight. Patients who achieve greater success after gastric sleeve surgery are those individuals who follow their surgeon and dietitians' instructions and incorporate exercise into their daily activities. 
How long after gastric sleeve surgery can I become pregnant?
It is often recommended to allow at least 12 to 18 months to sufficiently recover from surgery and let your hormones become balanced before becoming pregnant. Women often become much more fertile once they have lost weight and are closer to their ideal weight. Therefore, it is important to use a form of birth control to prevent pregnancy too soon after bariatric surgery. 
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