Sleeve gastrectomy is a bariatric surgery that reduces the size of the stomach to help people lose weight. Also known as a vertical gastrectomy, restrictive vertical gastroplasty, or vertical sleeve gastrectomy, the procedure is useful in patients with extremely high BMI (50+) where other weight loss surgeries may be more difficult. It is also useful for patients with medical conditions such as anemia, Crohn’s disease, or extensive prior surgery that may make other weight loss surgery procedures a poor choice.
During sleeve gastrectomy, our bariatric surgeons remove about 85 percent of the stomach leaving a long and slender tube shaped like a banana. This new, smaller stomach holds just a few ounces of food and helps people lose weight by restricting the amount of food eaten before feeling full.
The part of the stomach that is removed normally secretes a hormone that is responsible for appetite and hunger. Without it, people don’t feel the need to eat as often as they did before which contributes to their weight loss.
Sleeve gastrectomy is similar to LAP-BAND® because it restricts the size of the stomach pouch and its ability to hold food. Because there is no rerouting of the intestines and no band introduced into the body, some people prefer this option of weight loss surgery over LAP-BAND and gastric bypass. Unlike LAP-BAND, removal of part of the stomach during the sleeve gastrectomy means that the procedure is not reversible.
What to expect from Sleeve Gastrectomy
For most people, weight loss from sleeve gastrectomy is similar to that seen following LAP-BAND surgery. The reduced stomach capacity and decreased secretion of appetite stimulating hormones following sleeve gastrectomy are important aids to losing weight, but long term weight control depends on close adherence to the dietary guidelines provided by our bariatric surgeons.
Minimally Invasive Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery
Whenever possible, our surgeons perform sleeve gastrectomy using minimally invasive techniques. Minimally invasive sleeve gastrectomy surgery can be done either laparoscopically or with the da Vinci® Surgical System. During laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, your bariatric surgeon will use an advanced surgical scope to complete and view the operation through tiny incisions. The da Vinci system also uses minor incisions, but gives your surgeon the advantage of a console that provides enhanced, high-definition views of the surgical site and the help of precise and dexterous robotic arms to complete the procedure.
Because neither form of minimally invasive sleeve gastrectomy requires large, open incisions like those used in traditional surgery, both can greatly improve the results of the operation. Minimally invasive surgery can provide a number of benefits to the patient like:
- Reduced scarring, pain, blood loss and hospital stay
- Reduced risk of complications and infections
- Quicker return to regular daily activities
Minimally invasive techniques make sleeve gastrectomy easier to complete and improve clinical outcomes. Because our bariatric surgeons are highly experienced in these advanced techniques, they can use them to your advantage.