The Sleeve Gastrectomy is a restrictive procedure that reduces the size of the stomach. A portion of the stomach is removed leaving a stomach that has a size and shape similar to a banana. The overall goal of this operation is to help limit the food intake and thereby assist in weight loss. The operation works by allowing the patient to feel full faster when eating and thereby limiting portion size and caloric intake. In addition, there are hormonal changes that occur as a result of the removal of the portion of the stomach which help decrease hunger.
The Sleeve Gastrectomy can be a good alternative to the gastric bypass or the gastric band. It is a simpler operation than the gastric bypass in that there is no rearranging of the intestines. But, unlike the gastric bypass, a portion of the stomach is removed and there is a higher risk of leakage from that area where the stomach is removed. When compared to the gastric band there is no foreign body placed around the stomach and there would be no need for adjustments.
The Team at Center for the Surgical Treatment of Obesity will be happy to discuss this alternative with you and help you decide if this operation is appropriate for you. The Sleeve Gastrectomy can be performed as a stand-alone operation or it can be used in a "staged" or two-step operation for those who are at higher risk for complications after surgery. The Sleeve Gastrectomy can be performed first and then later (after adequate weight loss) followed by the completion operation which would be the gastric bypass operation.
Advantages of the Sleeve Gastrectomy include:
It is a simpler operation than the gastric bypass (potentially less risks).
- It can be performed using minimally invasive techniques
- Weight loss is generally better than the gastric band
- There is no device left in the body
- There is no need for adjustments and therefore follow-up would be less rigorous than with the gastric band.
Disadvantages of the Sleeve Gastrectomy include:
- It is a newer operation and does not have long term results like the gastric bypass or gastric band
- A portion of the stomach is removed unlike the bypass/band. The remaining stapleline/sutureline is a site of potential leakage (which is higher than the gastric bypass)
- Risk of complications is higher than the gastric band.
Note: Not all insurance companies currently cover the Sleeve Gastrectomy. Speak with a member of our Team for more information.