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Sleeve Gastrectomy

There are several names to describe this procedure — vertical gastrectomy, sleeve gastrectomy or vertical sleeve gastrectomy. This is a newer laparoscopic procedure being performed for weight loss and isn’t always an approved procedure with insurance companies like the adjustable gastric band or gastric bypass.

The sleeve gastrectomy involves removing the portion of the stomach that functions mainly as a storage receptacle for food. You are left with a small tube shaped stomach and it doesn’t take much food to make you feel full. This is similar in concept to the adjustable gastric banding procedure as it is a restrictive procedure, limiting the amount of food that you can consume.

Most studies show that the amount of weight loss with the sleeve gastrectomy is slightly less than with a gastric bypass but slightly more than with adjustable gastric banding.

The average hospital stay is 1-2 days. The estimated weight loss is 60-70% of excess weight typically within the first year.

Advantages:

  • Weight loss is much faster than with adjustable gastric banding
  • Weight loss is similar to gastric bypass
  • There is no implantable device as with adjustable gastric banding
  • The risk is lower than gastric bypass, yet the weight loss is similar
  • Can be converted to gastric bypass
  • Since there isn’t a mechanical device as with adjustable gastric banding, there are fewer food intolerances than with adjustable gastric banding

Disadvantages:

  • Sleeve gastrectomy is a newer procedure, thus it is less time-tested
  • It is non-adjustable like the adjustable gastric band
  • It is non-reversible
  • The risk is slightly higher than with adjustable gastric banding