Sleeve gastrectomy is one of the various weight loss surgery types performed in medicine today. As the name implies, this procedure involves the removal of 85% of the stomach with only a fraction (15%) of the former stomach being retained. When compared to gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy reveals a similar success rate with patients losing up to 80% of their excess body weight within the first one to two years following the procedure.
How Does Sleeve Gastrectomy Work
Sleeve gastrectomy is often referred to as restrictive weight loss surgery as it means removal of part of the stomach while the function of the remaining stomach is not altered. However, with such a drastically reduced volume, the new smaller stomach is no longer capable of holding as much food, which ultimately diminishes the amount of food that one can eat in order to feel full. A distinctive feature of sleeve gastrectomy is the elimination of the particular part of the stomach responsible for producing the hunger stimulating hormone.
A great advantage of sleeve gastrectomy as a weight loss surgery procedure is the fact that it eliminates all the complications typically associated with intestinal bypass. With the stomach functioning normally but at a smaller scale, food restrictions are not at all drastic and patients can maintain a healthy diet with relatively few food restrictions. Plus, this procedure does not involve any post-surgical adjustments, which is often required in bypass surgery for the patient to be able to reach a proper level of restriction.
Benefits of Sleeve Gastrectomy
There are many benefits to sleeve gastrectomy as a weight loss surgery procedure. Here are some of the most evident ones:
- The restrictive nature of sleeve gastrectomy does not allow malabsorbtion of calories, a phenomenon incurred by intestinal bypass. Decreased food intake is determined by a more prompt feeling of fullness given the stomach's smaller capacity, which does not alter the stomach's normal functions.
- The hunger stimulating hormone, Ghrelin, is produced by a certain portion of the stomach, which is removed during surgery. As a result, patients experience decreased hunger and radical weight loss.
- Sleeve gastrectomy helps improve or even relieve a diversity of obesity-related disorders, including the dreaded Type II diabetes, heart conditions, acid reflux, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or high cholesterol levels.
- The risks associated with sleeve gastrectomy are a lot smaller than in the case of any other common surgery simply because it is a laparoscopic procedure. Such procedures entail smaller incisions and therefore, less tissue trauma, lower risk of infection, shorter recovery periods, and reduced pain during recovery.
- The normal function of the stomach is not altered as in the case of another popular weight loss surgery, the gastric bypass. The dumping syndrome, which is encountered in gastric bypass, is not at all a risk with sleeve gastrectomy.
- The risk of complications due to a foreign body, such as the gastric band, is practically inexistent as the procedure does not involve such an implant. Therefore, band slippage or erosion is of no concern with this type of weight loss surgery.
- Although food intake is reduced, the body continues to receive vitamins and minerals as required in a healthy diet. Therefore, weight loss is achieved by lower calorie intake, decreased feeling of hunger, and diet.
Learn more about the sleeve gastrectomy procedure, including other health benefits, advantages, surgery eligibility and associated risks.