Gastric Sleeve surgery, or a Sleeve Gastrectomy, is a surgical procedure during which a part of the stomach is removed leaving the remaining part to function as a new smaller stomach.
This procedure is intended for patients suffering from morbid obesity and results in significant weight loss.
Statistically the reported weight loss after this procedure ranges from 60% of the excess weight, even better results are obtained with good adherence to dietary and behavioral guidelines.
With this procedure, which is performed laparoscopically, the surgeon removes approximately 75 percent of the stomach. This results in the stomach taking on the shape of a tube or “sleeve” which holds much less food.
Removing a portion of the stomach reduces the body’s level of a hormone called ghrelin, which is commonly referred to as the “hunger hormone”. Thus, many people find that they are much less hungry after the sleeve gastrectomy.
Unlike adjustable gastric band and gastric bypass, the sleeve gastrectomy is a permanent procedure – it cannot be reversed. The volume of the stomach is reduced permanently therefore the production of hunger hormone decreases accordingly.
The stomach retains all of its previous functions, therefore, food can still be digested properly. The biggest change is a significantly decreased feeling of hunger. Moreover, the patient feels full faster and can eat smaller portions of food.
Is it safe?
Gastric sleeve procedure is recommended to individuals whose body mass index (BMI) is 40 or greater than 40. It is a completely safe procedure and is minimally invasive.
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy improves a number of obesity-related medical conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, hypertension, cardiac disorders, obstructive sleep apnea, dermatitis due to skin folds, urinary incontinence, and metabolic syndrome.
Before gastric sleeve surgery a patient undergoes a complete physical examination to exclude possible risks.
The benefits of Gastric Sleeve surgery
- Sleeve gastrectomy induces rapid and effective weight loss, allowing a patient to lose more than 60 percent of their excess body weight.
- Significant reduction in one‘s weight causes a remission of serious health-damaging conditions.
- Less invasive than other bariatric surgeries. With the sleeve gastrectomy there is no foreign body implanted, as with adjustable gastric band, and there is no complex intestinal rearrangement, as with gastric bypass.
- Satisfaction with smaller portions of food.
- More vitality and energy to engage in new physical activities.
After gastric sleeve surgery:
- The patient should expect to spend at least a few days in hospital.
- The patients should wait 48 hours until having a shower and should avoid baths, pools and hot tubs for four weeks or until the wounds have healed completely and are dry. The patient will be advised on a more detailed wound care by the doctor.
- The patient should expect to return to usual activities in about 2 to 4 weeks, but refrain from sports and strenuous training for 2 months. In order to ensure stable weight loss, regular exercise, like swimming or walking, should gradually become a part of one’s life.
- A specific diet will also have to be followed, which will be discussed with the doctor.
With smart food choices, regular exercise and good eating habits, patients who have had a sleeve gastrectomy will enjoy and maintain good weight loss.