The vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve) removes up to 85% of the stomach laparoscopically, so the stomach takes the shape of a small tube or "sleeve." Weight loss is achieved because of the restricted food intake and the reduction of hunger-stimulating hormones.
Sleeve Gastrectomy may be appropriate for patients whose surgical options are limited by other medical conditions. The Sleeve Gastrectomy generates weight loss only by limiting the amount of food eaten; it does not involve bypassing the small intestine or restricting the calories and nutrients absorbed. Because up to 85% of the stomach is removed, it is not reversible; however, it can be converted to almost any other weight loss procedure. In some patients, particularly those who are extremely overweight, it can be the first of two stages of surgery to help them lose all of their excess weight. This is the only weight loss surgery that removes a part of the stomach – and it removes the part that produces the majority of hunger-stimulating hormones. The nerves to the stomach, and its outlet valve to the small intestine, are preserved so the stomach keeps functioning in a normal way. This procedure is less restrictive than the Gastric Bypass, so most food can still be eaten – just in smaller amounts. However, the Sleeve Gastrectomy allows more calories and nutrients to be absorbed in the small intestine, so weight loss may be slower than with bypass procedures.
For some patients, Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery may be performed laparoscopically, with several small incisions and special instruments, or with an open incision. Your surgeon will evaluate your current condition, your medical history and the amount of weight loss desired to help you determine which type of surgery is right for you.