What is Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy is a weight loss procedure where the size of the stomach is reduced to about 35% of the usual size, so it would take the shape of a sleeve or tube. The procedure is performed laparoscopically and involves stapling the stomach (a stomach stalple) using the Harmonic Scalpel device. A sleeve gastrectomy is the first step in a gastric bypass or a duodenal switch procedure.

What do the researchers say about Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Researchers in respected journals are showing the significance of sleeve gastrectomy as a procedure with low risks. So for patients that are not super-super obese, but still obese, Sleeve Gastrectomy alone would be a very suitable operation with minimum risks and some surgeons even prefer it over the gastric banding operation (which is a very friendly operation), because it eliminates the need of having to insert a foreign body.

When is Sleeve Gastrectomy performed?

Sleeve gastrectomy is often performed in super-super obese patients, where the risk of performing a gastric bypass or duodenal switch procedure may be too large. So a two stage procedure would be performed from which the first is a sleeve gastrectomy, and the second a conversion into a gastric bypass or duodenal switch. Patients usually lose a large quantity of their excess weight after the first sleeve gastrectomy procedure alone, but if weight loss ceases the second step is performed.

Surgeons in Germany say that by further decreasing the size of the sleeve, weight loss would be greater, causing the second step of the procedure to be eliminated, and weight loss for super-super obese patients may be similar as in procedures like RNY gastric bypass or BPD/DS, but with minimum risks.

Possible complications of Sleeve Gastrectomy

Like any surgical operation, sleeve gastrectomy could have complications like: Leakage, dilation of the sleeve (allowing for more food intake) and other usual complications associated with bariatric surgery. Though the risks are known to be much lower than in RNY Gastric Bypass and Duodenal Switch.