The Sleeve Gastrectomy (or Vertical Gastric Sleeve) was originally part of a very complex operation called Biliopancreatic Diversion / Duodenal Switch. It’s use as a “stand alone” bariatric operation has evolved within the past several years. Early research suggests that it is a very safe and effective operation for Severe Obesity.
How it’s done
Sleeve Gastrectomy is performed laparoscopically and patients can usually go home after one or two nights in the hospital. Normally, the full stomach has a capacity of 35 to 50 ounces. In this operation, a special stapling device is used to create a narrow stomach tube, or “sleeve”, with a capacity of only 3-4 ounces. The remaining 80-85% of the stomach is completely removed from the body. No alterations are made to the intestine.
How it works
Because the stomach sleeve is small, you will feel full after eating a smaller amount of food. Consequently, you will take in fewer calories. In addition, the upper part of the stomach is the primary source of Ghrelin, the body’s hunger-producing hormone. By removing this part of the stomach, your body’s Ghrelin production is drastically reduced, resulting in less hunger. Sooner after eating, other hormones secreted by the lower intestine are triggered, causing you to still experience satiety, the feeling of satisfaction that occurs after eating. Therefore, after a Sleeve Gastrectomy, you will feel less hunger in general, eat less and take in fewer calories each day, but still feel satisfaction after eating. As a result, you will not feel deprived or constantly fighting temptation, as is the case with dieting.
How well it works
Early research indicates that Sleeve Gastrectomy is a promising operation, comparable to Gastric Bypass in reducing weight and improving other obesity-related medical problems. On average, patients will lose 65-70% of their excess weight within one year of surgery and have an excellent chance of resolving their other weight-related medical problems. However, enthusiasm for this procedure must be tempered by the fact that the operation is relatively new compared to Gastric Bypass.