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Commonly referred to as “the sleeve procedure”

Learn About Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery

The Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy – often called “the sleeve” – is performed by removing approximately 80 percent of the stomach. The remaining stomach is a tubular pouch that resembles a banana. This procedure works by several mechanisms.

First, the new stomach pouch holds a considerably smaller volume than the normal stomach and helps to significantly reduce the amount of food (and thus calories) that can be consumed. The greater impact, however, seems to be the effect the surgery has on gut hormones that impact a number of factors including hunger, satiety, and blood sugar control.

Short term studies show that the sleeve is as effective as the roux-en-Y gastric bypass in terms of weight loss and improvement or remission of diabetes. There is also evidence that suggest the sleeve, similar to the gastric bypass, is effective in improving type 2 diabetes independent of the weight loss. The complication rates of the sleeve fall between those of the adjustable gastric band and the roux-en-y gastric bypass.

  • Restricts the amount of food the stomach can hold
  • Induces rapid and significant weight loss that comparative studies find similar to that of the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Weight loss of >50% for 3-5+ year data, and weight loss comparable to that of the bypass with maintenance of >50%
  • Requires no foreign objects (AGB), and no bypass or re-routing of the food stream (RYGB)
  • Involves a relatively short hospital stay of approximately 2 days
  • Causes favorable changes in gut hormones that suppress hunger, reduce appetite and improve satiety

Am I A Candidate for Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery?

Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery is not right for everyone. Here are some of the things we will consider when evaluating your candidacy for sleeve gastrectomy surgery.

The Sleeve procedure is indicated for use in weight reduction for severely obese patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 or a BMI of at least 35 with one or more severe co-morbid conditions, or those who are 100 lbs. or more over their estimated ideal weight.

The Sleeve procedure may be right for you if:

  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • Your BMI is 40 or higher or you weigh at least twice your ideal weight or you weigh at least 100 pounds more than your ideal weight. (BMI is calculated by dividing body weight (lbs.) by height in inches squared (in²) and multiplying that amount by 703).
  • BMI Calculator
  • You have been overweight for more than 5 years.
  • Your serious attempts to lose weight have had only short-term success.
  • You do not have any other disease that may have caused your obesity.
  • You are prepared to make substantial changes in your eating habits and lifestyle.
  • You are willing to continue being monitored by the specialist who is treating you.
  • You do not drink alcohol in excess.

If you do not meet the BMI or weight criteria, you still may be considered for surgery if your BMI is at least 35 and you are suffering from serious health problems related to obesity.

  • Is a non-reversible procedure
  • Has the potential for long-term vitamin deficiencies
  • Has a higher early complication rate than the adjustable gastric banding.
While the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is an effective treatment for morbid obesity, the pounds do not come off by themselves. The operation is an aid to support you in achieving lasting results by limiting food intake, reducing appetite and slowing digestion. However, your motivation and commitment to adopt a new lifestyle are extremely important for long-term weight loss. You must be committed to new eating habits for the rest of your life. Exercise is an equally important component of a changed lifestyle.
The Sleeve Gastrectomy is a permanent non reversible operation. You should use contraception if you are still in the child bearing age group. Weight loss and increase your fertility due to hormone changes. Overeating and eating too fast can cause discomfort and eventually an enlarged stomach. This is turn will decrease your ability to eat small portions and weight gain may be the end result.
Due to the lower portion of the stomach being cut stapled and removed you are at risk for leakage along the staple line. The esophagus can also become tight and narrow causing a stenosis or narrow opening. There is also a risk of developing an incisional hernia. Of course these complications can be treated with additional surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery

How will gastric sleeve help me lose weight?
How long will I be in the hospital?
Can I exercise or go back to work?
Will I need to follow a special diet?
How often will I see the doctor after surgery?
How much weight can I expect to lose?
Do I need vitamins or supplements?

Ready To Get Started?

Find out about our free informational seminar on bariatric surgeries including Gastric Bypass, Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band, and Sleeve Gastrectomy

References: 1. Himpens J, et al. Annals Surg. 2010;252(2): 319-323. 2. DeMaria EJ, et al. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2010;6:347-355.

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