What Is Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery?
The sleeve gastrectomy changes the size and shape of your stomach to limit the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. There is no additional rearranging of the anatomy or decreased absorption.
Even though sleeve gastrectomy surgery removes a portion of your stomach, it’s extremely safe. Thanks to advances in surgical technique, the surgery is no more risky than any minor out-patient surgery like having your gallbladder removed. Our award-winning bariatric clinic has one of the lowest complication rates in the state.
Surgery isn’t a magical cure, and after your sleeve gastrectomy you’ll need to stick to a diet and exercise regime to maximize your weight loss. However, bariatric surgery can level the playing field in your struggle with obesity, and give you the same chance to lose weight as anyone else. That means no more yo-yo dieting, or losing weight like a champion only to regain it all.
The gastric sleeve has helped patients like you lose 100-200 pounds or even more and keep it off*. Imagine how that would feel.
How Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Done?
During the procedure about 85% of the left side of the stomach is removed, leaving only a thin tube-like sleeve of stomach about the diameter of your index finger. The sleeve is similar in shape to a hot dog. Removing most of the stomach limits the amount of food you can eat and helps you feel full quicker.
The portion of the stomach that is removed also normally produces a hunger hormone known as ghrelin. Removing this portion of your stomach decreases this appetite-stimulating hormone and as a result generally decreases appetite. Because there are no further anatomical rearrangements, the sleeve allows for normal digestion and absorption. Unlike other procedures that rearrange the intestines, with the sleeve there is minimal risk of patients developing protein and vitamin deficiencies.
What Should I Expect From a Gastric Sleeve?
The gastric sleeve is a tool to level the playing field in your struggle against obesity, but it is not a stand-alone cure. You can generally expect to lose 60-80% of your unhealthy body weight over about a year*. However, when patients do not use surgery in conjunction with all of the other tools that we recommend (such as eating a healthy diet and regular exercise), weight loss may be slower. Patients may even regain weight over time.
As with all procedures, the sleeve is a powerful tool that makes all of your other weight loss tools easier to use. However, it is important to start this journey with the expectation that your best and most lasting results will be produced with active, motivated partnership in our comprehensive programs*. These programs are specifically designed to give you every tool you will ever need.
What is Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery Like?
Surgery takes approximately 45 minutes. This may vary based on your past surgical history and anatomy. The typical hospital stay is generally a night or two. This procedure is almost always done laparoscopically through four or five small incisions in the abdomen but can also be completed using a single site surgical approach. Laparoscopic surgery generally results in a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures.
How Much Pain Will I Have After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Most surgical procedures cause some level of pain. At the BMCC we use a variety of innovative techniques to reduce or even eliminate post-surgery pain*. One technique that we have pioneered for bariatric patients is the use of a TAP block. The TAP block uses a long-acting anesthetic that reduces post-operative pain. It is so effective at reducing pain that after a TAP block many patients don’t feel they need pain medication.
What Kind of Follow-Up Will I Need?
It is important after surgery for you to follow up with your team at the BMCC. You will be asked to return for a post-operative visit with your surgeon two weeks after surgery, and then a visit with the team at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, one year, and annually thereafter. Patients who follow up regularly and use all of the resources that we provide will experience the best weight loss results*.
Is a Sleeve Gastrectomy Right For me?
You may be a candidate for a sleeve gastrectomy if you:
- Want to lose 60-80% of your unhealthy body weight*
- Have current vitamin/mineral deficiencies (including anemia) or concerns about long-term health implications of intestinal bypass
- Struggle with medical conditions that require prednisone or anti-inflammatory medications, have had many previous abdominal operations, or suffer from Chron’s disease
You may not be an ideal sleeve candidate if you:
- Suffer from type II diabetes and are seeking your best chance of cure
- Have a BMI >50 and are seeking your most effective long-term weight loss solution. However, a sleeve can be a good first step procedure in this setting*.
- Suffer from significant heartburn or reflux (about 20% of patients with reflux may experience worsened symptoms after a sleeve)
What Our Patients Say
“We cannot imagine another Doctor or Practice with whom this process could have been so wonderfully orchestrated…. Dr. Long and his staff are the kindest, most loving, and supportive group of individuals we have ever could have met. Each person has contributed to our success, each and every one.”—Keri and Chris Sexton
If you or a loved one have further questions or would like more information about bariatric surgery or other surgical or non-surgical weight loss, please click the button below and schedule an appointment with our friendly staff.