What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

The gastric sleeve surgery, also called the vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive form of weight-loss surgery in which approximately 85% of the stomach is removed, leaving a cylindrical or sleeve-shaped stomach, which is above the size of a banana.  With this surgery, the outlet valve and the nerves to the stomach remain intact and, while the stomach is drastically reduced in size, its function is preserved.

For obese patients with a relatively low BMI, the vertical sleeve gastrectomy may be a good choice, especially where existing conditions such as anemia or Crohn’s disease prevent them from having other forms of bariatric surgery.

How it works

Most sleeve gastrectomy procedures are now performed laparoscopically, which is a minimally-invasive technique. During the procedure, several small cuts will be made in your abdomen. Gas will be pumped in to inflate your abdomen, making it easier for the doctor to see. A laparoscope (a thin, lighted tool affixed with a tiny camera) and surgical tools will be inserted through the incisions. The laparoscope sends images of your abdominal cavity to a monitor, through which your surgeon will view his work during the procedure.

Surgical staples will be used to divide the stomach vertically, leaving a new, small stomach pouch, which can hold 50-150 mL (milliliters) of food – about 10% of what a normal adult stomach can hold. Incisions will be closed with staples or stitches. The gastric sleeve results in few restrictions on the foods that patients can consume after surgery, although the quantity of food eaten is still considerably reduced. It does not involve any bypass or the intestinal tract.

Advantages of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Patients who have gastric sleeve surgery can expect to lose 65 to 75% of their excess body weight within the first year.

Improvement in overall health and quality of life. Food passes through the digestive tract in the usual order, allowing vitamins and nutrients to be fully absorbed into the body.

Limits the amount of food that can be eaten at a meal and reduces the desire to eat. No postoperative adjustments are required.

Shown to help resolve high blood pressure and obstructive sleep apnea, and to help improve type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia.