Sleeve gastrectomy, also commonly known as the gastric sleeve, is a type of bariatric surgery that limits the amount of food you can eat in one sitting. The gastric sleeve is typically considered the ideal treatment option for weight-loss surgery patients who have a BMI between 35 and 40 with significant comorbidities, or a BMI of 40 or greater with or without comorbidities.
Gastric sleeve results
Clinical studies have shown that sleeve gastrectomy patients can potentially lose between 55% and 75% of their excess body weight following surgery. Sleeve gastrectomy has also been shown to resolve many health problems associated with obesity, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obstructive sleep apnea, joint pain, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes. In the months and years that follow surgery, most gastric sleeve patients are usually able to stop taking medications for these conditions, and have reported that they feel happier, healthier, and more energetic as a result of undergoing weight-loss surgery.
Gastric sleeve risks
Since sleeve gastrectomy is considered a restrictive surgery and does not involve any intestinal re-routing, the risk for experiencing long-term nutritional deficiencies is greatly reduced. Food passes through the digestive tract in a natural manner, allowing your body to fully absorb vitamins and nutrients. No post-operative adjustments are required.
Undergoing sleeve gastrectomy
During sleeve gastrectomy, your surgeon will remove approximately 85% of your stomach and leave behind a small pouch that resembles a sleeve. The stomach pouch, or sleeve, is larger than the pouch created during gastric bypass surgery and is roughly the size of a banana. The sleeve typically holds between 50 and 150 mL of food, limiting the amount of food you can eat in one sitting.
At CarePoint Health Center for Bariatric Surgery, sleeve gastrectomy is performed as a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, which means that your surgeon will make a series of tiny incisions across your stomach instead of one long incision. When performed laparoscopically, sleeve gastrectomy results in less pain and produces smaller scars, which heal faster and are less visible. Gastric sleeve surgery typically takes no more than an hour and results in very little downtime, so you can go home shortly after surgery and recover comfortably in the privacy of your own home.
Diet following sleeve gastrectomy
Your bariatric surgeon will provide you with specific instructions regarding what you can safely eat following sleeve gastrectomy. For the first several days after surgery, you’ll be restricted to a liquid diet before you can begin transitioning to soft or pureed foods. When your stomach has fully healed, you can begin introducing solid foods back into your diet.
Meal planning and nutrition play an important role in your ongoing weight-loss success following sleeve gastrectomy. CarePoint Health will schedule follow-up appointments with you so we can guide you through these new lifestyle changes. The gastric sleeve will limit your food intake and portion sizes for the rest of your life, so it’s vital that you understand the importance of eating a diet high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
To learn more about sleeve gastrectomy, visit the website for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and review the ASMBS Position Statement on Sleeve Gastrectomy As a Bariatric Procedure.