Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

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How a Sleeve Gastrectomy Works to Help You Lose Weight

During this procedure, a thin vertical sleeve of stomach is created using a stapling device, and the rest of the stomach is removed. The sleeve is about the size of a banana or garden hose. This procedure limits the amount of food you can eat and helps you feel full sooner. It allows for normal digestion and absorption. Food consumed passes through the digestive tract in the usual manner, allowing it to be fully absorbed in the body.  Additionally, due to the removal of a large percentage of the stomach, certain hunger hormones that are made by the stomach is reduced.  Most patients after a sleeve will describe very little hunger, or hunger that is satisfied very quickly.

Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery Benefits

Improvements in health, quality of life, and, of course, significant weight loss are important bariatric surgery benefits. The information below provides greater detail about these benefits and will help you understand how the sleeve gastrectomy can help you achieve and maintain a healthier weight.

Significant weight loss: Studies have demonstrated that patients lost an average of 55 to 65% of their excess weight.

Cost savings over time: studies have shown that expenses associated with bariatric surgery were recouped in about 2 years.  One important reason is that weight loss surgery helps to improve or resolve conditions associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, so patients save money on related prescription drugs, doctor visits, and hospital visits.

A reduction in cravings for sweets: a clinical study showed that 50% of patients who had a sleeve gastrectomy procedure lost their craving for sweets after 1 year, and after 3 years 23% still experienced a loss of cravings for sweets.  In addition, the level of a hormone called ghrelin, which has been described as a hunger-regulating hormone, was found to be significantly reduced after sleeve gastrectomy surgery.

Quality-of-life improvements: clinical studies of laparoscopic bariatric surgery patients found that they felt better, spent more time doing recreational and physical activities, benefited from enhanced productivity and economic opportunities, and had more self-confidence than they did prior to surgery.

The Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure

Like all other bariatric procedures that we perform, theVertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is done laparoscopically.  In this operation the majority of the stomach is removed along the lesser curve creating a long narrow tube of stomach about the size of a garden hose.  Most operations are performerd in less then an hour and patients stay in the hosptial for 2 days and completely recovered in 2-4 weeks.  Most patients can return to work in a week or so depending on the type of work performed. 

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy from Midtown Surgical on Vimeo.

Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery Risks and Complications

As with any surgical procedure, potential risks and complications can occur with sleeve gastrectomy. We’re committed to providing you with the information you need to make a well-informed decision about your surgery. Although these problems rarely occur, we want you to know the facts.  Prior to considering any weightloss procedure you should be familiar with all of these potential risks.  Some of the more salient risks are list below.  For a more complete list of risk please review the sleeve gastrectomy consent form posted on our forms page.

Potentially serious complications:

  • Perforation of stomach/intestine or leakage, causing peritonitis or abscess
  • Internal bleeding requiring transfusion or reoperation
  • Spleen injury requiring removal/other organ injury
  • Gastric outlet or bowel obstruction
  • Death

Other complications generally considered minor:

  • Minor wound or skin infection/scarring, deformity, loose skin
  • Vomiting or nausea/inability to eat certain foods/improper eating
  • Inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis), acid reflux (heartburn)
  • Anemia, metabolic deficiency (iron, vitamins, minerals), temporary hair loss
  • Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, cramping, malodorous stool or gas
  • Development of gallstones or gallbladder disease
  • weight gain, failure to lose satisfactory weight
  • Intolerance to refined sugars (dumping), with nausea, sweating, weakness

Things to Consider

  • Sleeve gastrectomy surgery should not be considered until you and your doctor have evaluated all other options.
  • Weight loss surgery is not cosmetic surgery. The procedures do not involve the removal of fatty tissue by cutting or suction.
  • The success of weight loss surgery is dependent on long-term lifestyle changes in diet and exercise.
  • A decision to elect surgical treatment for weightloss requires an assessment of the benefits and risks as well as the meticulous performance of the appropriate surgical procedure by an experienced bariatric surgeon.

If you’re considering sleeve gastrectomy surgery, we encourage you to attend one of our free weight loss surgery information seminars.  You’ll learn about the risks and benefits of surgical weight loss options, you’ll meet bariatric team members who will support you before and long after your surgery, and you may also hear from patients who have had weight loss surgery. There’s no pressure to make a commitment—and no better way to get the answers you’re looking for. Of course, family and friends are welcome, too.

Want to talk it over? We’re ready to help. Call our office at 706-481-7298 and one of our staff members experienced in all aspects of weightloss surgery will be happy to answer your questions.