Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve or VSG)

The Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve or Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy) is a safe and effective weight loss procedure for individuals who are extremely overweight or obese.  During the procedure approximately 85% of the stomach is surgically removed creating a cylindrical or sleeve shaped stomach with reduced capacity. The surgery is performed using a minimally invasive technique called laparoscopic surgery.  This avoids the need for large incisions or cutting of muscle.  Laparoscopic surgery is safer and there is significantly less post operative pain.  Healing and return to work occur in just a few days.  During the VSG procedure the outlet valve and stomach nerves remain intact and the stomach remains fully functional. Unlike other forms of surgery such as the Lap-Band procedure, the sleeve gastrectomy is not reversible. 

The new stomach continues to function normally so there are no restrictions on kinds of food that patients can consume after surgery.  The sleeve gastrectomy works because patients feel satisfied and less hungry with smaller portions of food.  One of the theoretical advantages of the Sleeve Gastrectomy is that the removal of the majority of the stomach reduces the production of the hormones that stimulate hunger.

The gastric sleeve does not involve rerouting or bypass of the intestinal tract which avoids complications such as intestinal obstruction, anemia, osteoporosis, vitamin deficiency and protein deficiency that can be seen with procedures such as gastric bypass.  It also makes it a suitable for patients who suffer from anemia, Crohn’s disease and other conditions that are at high risk for intestinal bypass.  Unlike the Lap Band, the gastric sleeve procedure is not adjustable and does not require regular postoperative visits for adjustments.

Sleeve Gastrectomy Advantages

  • The stomach is reduced in size, and the portion size is reduced, but the stomach functions normally
  • The part of the stomach that produces hunger stimulating hormones is removed
  • The problem of dumping is avoided as the pylorus valve is retained
  • Avoids problems associated with bypass weight loss surgery (anemia, intestinal obstruction or blockage, osteoporosis, protein and vitamin deficiency)
  • No need for vitamin, mineral and protein supplements
  • Option for patients with medical conditions that put them at high risk for other bariatric surgeries
  • Performed using laparoscopic techniques which minimizes pain and shortens post operative recovery

Because the VSG procedure requires stapling of the stomach there is a small risk (< 0.5%) of leakage from the staple line or bleeding. As with all forms of weight loss surgery, the vertical gastrectomy does carry risks.   These will vary from one patient to the next and will be discussed with your physician.

Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve or VSG) last modified: November 24th, 2015 by Centric Health
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