Sleeve gastrectomy restricts the amount of food than can be eaten by removing 85 percent of the stomach. The surgeon creates a small, sleeve-shaped stomach — larger than the stomach pouch created during Roux-en-Y bypass — about the size of a banana. The idea is to preserve the functions of the stomach while severely reducing its volume and without bypassing the intestines or causing any gastrointestinal malabsorption. There also appear to be some metabolic effects with the sleeve, adding to its potential benefit.
Sleeve gastrectomy is an approximately 60-minute surgery involving an average hospital stay of one to two days. The recovery period is two to three weeks. Potential complications include leaks and stricture. This non-reversible surgery may be a standalone bariatric procedure or be perfomred as the first procedure in a two-part treatment for patients with a BMI of 60 or higher. The second part of the treatment can be Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
Life After Sleeve Gastrectomy
In Dr. Pryor’s experience, patients typically lose 50 to 60 percent of their excess weight following sleeve gastrectomy, and most of the weight is lost during the first year post-surgery.
Like any bariatric procedure, sleeve gastrectomy can help you feel satisfied sooner and with less food, but it won’t eliminate the desire to eat. To reach your goals, you will need to follow the specific diet and exercise guidelines provided by your health care team. Required diet changes include smaller meals focusing on protein intake.
For more information about the effect of surgery on weight-related co-morbid conditions, see Results of Bariatric Surgery.
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