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Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

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 in an effort to limit the patient’s food intake, resulting in weight loss. The gastric sleeve is a non-reversible procedure but 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 is the stomach, is reduced. 
*The tube used to size the stomach is removed after the operation.

The gastric sleeve 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

Patients who have gastric sleeve 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.
Improvement or resolution of serious medical conditions
Long term cost savings as a result of reduced medical care
Improvement in overall health and quality of life

Risks

Before considering any surgical procedure, you should be familiar with the potential risks.
Minor complications that uncommon and can be managed fairly easily: 
  • Minor wound or skin infection
  • Loose/excess skin
  • 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