Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is a surgical weight loss procedure in which the majority of the stomach is removed, leaving a narrow tube that resembles a sleeve or banana. The procedure is typically performed laparoscopically and is not reversible. It is possible to convert the sleeve to a RNY Gastric Bypass should the patient not lose the desired amount of weight. The sleeve has an initial capacity of approximately 2 oz. It is a purely restrictive procedure and digestion is normal. The portion of the stomach that is removed is responsible for the secretion of certain hunger hormones. By removing this portion of the stomach, patients typically have a loss or reduction of appetite.

Advantages:

  • Reduces stomach capacity but digestion and absorption of nutrients are normal
  • Eliminates the 'hunger hormone' secreting portion of the stomach
  • Appealing to patients who do not want an implanted device (Lap Band)
  • Guards against marginal ulcers, vitamin deficiencies and intestinal obstructions
  • Pylorus is preserved so there is no risk of anastomotic dilatation as with Gastric Bypass

Disadvantages:

  • High-calorie liquids such as milk shakes and ice cream can be absorbed and slow or halt weight loss
  • This procedure does involve stomach stapling so leaks or other complications from the manipulation of the stomach can occur
  • Patients with higher BMIs (Body Mass Index) may need a second-stage procedure