Gastric Sleeve Procedures

The Gastric Sleeve procedure is a restrictive surgery that permanently reduces the size of the stomach

Gastric Sleeve Procedures

Gastrectomy is a combination of two Latin words:  “gastro” meaning “stomach”, and “ectomia”, which means “to cut out”.  The sleeve gastrectomy (or Gastric Sleeve) procedure is a restrictive surgery that permanently reduces the size of the stomach by 60-85%.  In the gastric sleeve procedure, a portion of the stomach is removed, and the remainder is reduced to about the size and shape of a banana.

Gastric SleeveDuring the gastric sleeve procedure, the surgeon will remove the larger, rounded part of the stomach.  (This is the only gastric surgery in which part of the stomach is taken out of the body). The remaining stomach looks like a sleeve (or hose or tube) and holds 15-40% as much food as the original stomach.   Unlike gastric bypass, which changes stomach openings, sleeve gastrectomy leaves the openings intact.

This procedure may be helpful for patients who wish to lose weight, but have health conditions that make combined restrictive/malabsortive weight loss surgery less safe at a particular point in time.  It may be a safer and more effective option than gastric bypass for patients with very high BMI, those with medical problems like anemia, osteoporosis, expensive prior surgeries and other complex medical conditions.

Advantages

  • Sleeve gastrectomy may be safer than gastric by-pass for patients who have a number of health risks.
  • It lowers the risks of ulcers compared to gastric bypass.
  • There is a strong ability to control hunger.  The surgery cuts away the part of the stomach that produces grehlin, a stomach hormone that stimulates hunger.
  • Though the stomach is smaller, the openings are left intact, so digestion can go on as normal.
  • The body is free of foreign objects like those used in gastric banding procedures (LAP-BAND®).

Disadvantages

  • Sleeve gastrectomy is more common in Europe.  Most American health insurance carriers still consider it an investigational procedure and do not cover the cost.
  • The procedure is irreversible.  Unlike gastric bypass surgery, a large percentage of your stomach is removed and can’t be reversed.  However, a gastric sleeve procedure can be converted to other weight loss procedures.
  • This procedure does not always produce the weight loss that you may expect.  You may need malabsorptive surgery-intestinal bypass or duodenal switch-in addition to your sleeve gastrectomy in order to lose all of the weight you need and want to lose.  It is also possible to regain lost weight with a gastric sleeve.  Snacks and food with a lot of calories can make the procedure virtually ineffective.  Overtime, it is even possible for the gastric sleeve to stretch and cause you to regain any weight you already have lost.

The operative complication rates are comparable to that of laparoscopic gastric bypass and include gastric leak, bleeding, infection, and blood clots that can lead to pulmonary embolism.  Risks of nutritional deficiency are very low.   Because there is no implant, as with the adjustable gastric band, there is no risk of mechanical failure, and for the need for follow-up band adjustments (fills).

Current evidence shows that the excess body weight loss at 12 months is 45% to 64%, with significant resolution of obesity related illnesses.  Long-term data (5 years or more) is not yet available.  There is still much research to be done, but the most exciting is the effect that restrictive gastric procedures (i.e., the gastric sleeve and LAP-BAND®) have on obese patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes.

Comprehensive and readily available post-operative follow-up by the surgeon is extremely important as with any surgical procedure.

Commitments to healthy lifestyle changes such as eating healthy as well as exercising are also important for successful weight loss.

This procedure is available at the Louisiana Center for Weight Loss Surgery.  Dr. Walter Sartor is board certified and extremely experienced with bariatric surgery procedures and their follow-up.  Procedures can be performed at P&S Surgical Hospital or St. Francis Medical Center.

Please call 866-821-LIVE (5483) for additional information or to make an appointment for your bariatric consultation today.  It could be the best decision you have ever made!

The Louisiana Center for Weight Loss Surgery is a partnership between Dr. Walter Sartor, P&S Surgical Hospital, and St. Francis Medical Center.