Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve Gastrectomy or Gastric Sleeve is a laparoscopic and minimally invasive operation done to significantly reduce the size of a person’s stomach. A thin vertical “sleeve” of stomach is created by surgical stapling. Approximately 80% of the stomach is removed which significantly reduces stomach capacity and hunger.

By creating a smaller stomach, Sleeve Gastrectomy limits the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. The sleeve is designed to help people feel full sooner and stay satisfied longer. Food passes through the digestive tract in its usual order. The stomach is the only organ affected. In contrast to Gastric Bypass, the intestine is not touched and the absorption of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients is essentially unchanged. In contrast to the Lap-Band, there is nothing placed in the body and adjustments are not possible or needed.

It is important to note that a Sleeve Gastrectomy is IRREVERSIBLE. Once 80% of the stomach is removed it cannot be replaced or repaired. A Sleeve Gastrectomy is a safe operation but does have an approximately 5% risk of staple line leak or bleeding, both of which can prolong hospitalization and recovery. In rare instances an additional procedure may be required to facilitate healing.

The advantage of a Gastric Sleeve is that it is a "one and done" operation. There is no "foreign body" placed inside the patient. There is nothing to adjust, slip, or erode. There is no change in intestinal form or function. Weight loss averages 1.5-2 lbs/per week and a 100 lb weight loss during the first year is not uncommon. Weight loss with a Gastric Sleeve often significantly improves co-morbidities like Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, and Sleep Apnea.

As with all weight loss operations, long term success with a Sleeve Gastrectomy is predicated on significant behavioral change and a commitment to life-long follow-up with the weight loss surgery team.

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