The gastric sleeve procedure — also called vertical sleeve gastrectomy — is often an option for people who are not eligible to safely have other bariatric procedures.
In gastric sleeve surgery, about 60 percent of the stomach is removed laparoscopically, leaving behind a sleeve of the stomach. This smaller stomach restricts the amount of food a patient can eat and leads to significant weight loss.
In most cases, your bariatric surgeon will perform this gastric sleeve operation laparoscopically, making several small abdominal incisions.
Weight loss is slower than gastric bypass. In some gastric sleeve patients, this procedure is performed instead of gastric banding or gastric bypass surgery. In others, especially those at higher surgical risk, it is offered as the first part of a two-stage surgical plan. As weight is lost following the gastric sleeve procedure and patients become healthier, they can safely be offered a second operation, either gastric bypass or gastric banding, for additional weight loss.
Sleeve gastrectomy is a simpler operation than the gastric bypass procedure because it doesn’t involve rerouting or reconnecting the intestines.
Also, unlike the gastric banding procedure, the sleeve gastrectomy doesn’t require implanting a banding device around a portion of the stomach.
Advantages of Sleeve Gastrectomy:
- Fewer food intolerances than with gastric banding
- Weight loss generally is faster with the sleeve than with gastric banding
- There is no implantable band device, so slippage and erosion are not a risk
- The surgical risk is lower than with gastric bypass procedures, but the weight loss is similar. In addition, our team can perform the sleeve gastrectomy using minimally invasive techniques that help speed recovery time
- No device that needs adjustment is inserted, so the follow-up regimen is not as intense as it is with gastric banding
Disadvantages of Sleeve Gastrectomy:
- Sleeve gastrectomy is not adjustable or reversible
- Complication risks are slightly higher than with the band
- Standard risks associated with surgery
- Leakage at the suture site
- Blood clots
Hospital stay averages 48 hours
Most patients return to normal activity within two weeks
Full surgical recovery usually occurs within three weeks
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