Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve)

Sleeve pictureSleeve gastrectomy is a relatively new bariatric operation,  but has become the most popular operation in the US and worldwide. Sleeve  gastrectomy can be a safer option and is as equally effective as gastric  bypass. Your surgeon will help you decide if it is right for you.

How does it work?

During sleeve gastrectomy, your surgeon will remove a large  portion (about 80 percent) of your stomach. The part of your stomach that is  removed is the area that produces hunger-stimulating hormones. It is also the  part of the stomach that normally stretches to accommodate food, so removing it  reduces the capacity for food.  Your new,  smaller stomach will be about the size of a banana.

Sleeve gastrectomy may have fewer side effects than gastric  bypass as it does not involve re-configuring intestinal connections. This  procedure is also typically done using small incisions in the abdomen  (laparoscopic technique).

What are the risks?

Sleeve gastrectomy is a less complex operation than gastric bypass.  Rare complications include bleeding and infection, hernias, development of  heartburn and rarely, excessive narrowing of the sleeve due to scarring during  healing, or a leak from the staple line. Occasionally GERD (gastroesophageal  acid reflux) may develop or worsen after this operation. Patients who undergo  sleeve gastrectomy will need nutritional supplements after surgery.

What are the benefits?

Weight loss after sleeve gastrectomy ranges from 50-60  percent of excess weight in most patients, similar to gastric bypass. More than  80 percent of patients will experience marked improvement in related diseases  such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease,  osteoarthritis, and more. Additionally, ulcers are not seen after sleeve  gastrectomy, so these operations tend to be the preferred options for patients  who are on pain medications, or who have a tendency to form ulcers.