Overview of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

If you have been considering bariatric surgery to lose excess weight, you may be a good candidate for a weight loss procedure known as gastric sleeve surgery. Gastric sleeve surgery is one of the latest options in bariatric surgery and is designed to jump-start weight loss in patients who may not qualify for invasive weight loss surgeries such as gastric bypass surgery.
Gastric sleeve surgery makes it easier for people who are overweight or obese to reach a healthy weight without extensive cutting of the stomach, and has been deemed safe and effective by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
Here’s a close look at how gastric sleeve surgery works, and what the key benefits of this weight loss surgery are:

How Gastric Sleeve Surgery Works

The goal of gastric sleeve surgery is to restrict the stomach in a way to reduce caloric intake. The operation is performed with a laparoscopic device so that there is very minimal cutting involved. The surgeon inserts a small camera into the stomach and the bariatric surgeon removes about 60 percent of the stomach. The stomach takes on a tube or sleeve shape as a result of the removal, and after weight loss begins, the patient may undergo a duodenal switch procedure so that weight loss can continue.
Gastric sleeve surgery is designed for people who have been diagnosed with chronic morbid obesity. Patients who undergo this procedure typically have a body mass index of 60 or more and are not eligible for other weight loss procedures such as LAP-BAND surgery or gastric bypass surgery at their current weight.
The average cost of gastric sleeve surgery is $10,000 to $15,000+ depending on the location of the bariatric surgery center and doctor’s fees.

Key Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Some of the key benefits of gastric sleeve surgery include:
  • No band involved that may slip or become infected
  • No issues with nutrient absorption
  • Can be performed in a couple of hours
  • Patients can still eat regular foodstuffs, just in limited quantities
  • Performed under general anesthesia
  • Weight loss begins almost immediately after the procedure

Considerations for Gastric Sleeve Surgery Patients

People who are undergoing gastric sleeve surgery typically need to quit smoking and stop taking certain types of drugs and medications shortly before their procedure. Some types of herbal supplements may interfere with the healing process or increase the likelihood of an infection, so the bariatric surgeon may need to put the patient on a special diet and supplementation program prior to surgery.
Since gastric sleeve surgery is a non-reversible procedure, the patient will need to keep up with a schedule of follow up appointments and visit their general physician to ensure they are not experiencing health problems such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea or blood sugar imbalances. It can take several weeks and months for the body to adjust to the changes after gastric sleeve surgery, and patients will need to maintain an exercise schedule and follow a special diet in order to adapt.
Gastric sleeve surgery is also known as gastric sleeve restriction, vertical sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopic sleeve gastronomy and tube gastrectomy.