Sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical procedure that helps you lose weight by reducing the size and capacity of the stomach. It is a permanent procedure that results in the stomach encompassing only 15% of its original size. The intestines are not removed or bypassed and food is absorbed in the same way. However, after a sleeve gastrectomy you feel full rather quickly and hunger pains are reduced.
Why do you feel full faster? The part of the stomach that is removed in a sleeve gastrectomy is the part that was most likely to expand and allow an individual to eat more. Sleeve gastrectomy reduces the level of ghrelin, or “hunger hormone”, permitting pains to be significantly reduced.
Sleeve gastrectomy is offered to patients whose Body Mass Index, or BMI, is too high for other types of surgery to be performed. For example, if your BMI is over 50 your doctor may recommend a sleeve gastrectomy to help you lose weight before undertaking other surgeries, such as a gastric bypass.
Sleeve gastrectomy is also a good option when a patient has additional complicated health needs, such as a heart or lung problems, as well as being overweight.
You may be eligible for sleeve gastrectomy surgery if your BMI is higher than 35. People who have severe cholesterol and diabetes complications should consider this surgery as well. However, patients must be prepared to make substantial changes in their eating habits and lifestyle.
Sleeve gastrectomy is performed under a general anesthetic using a surgical procedure called laparoscopy – sometimes known as “key-hole “surgery.
After the stomach is inflated, a surgeon makes a number of small incisions in the abdomen, rather than the large single incision used in traditional surgery. The laparoscope, or viewing tube, is inserted to perform the procedure.
During a sleeve gastrectomy, surgeons remove part of the stomach and the open edges are then re-attached leaving a banana shaped tube or sleeve.
Sleeve gastrectomy surgery usually takes less than one hour to complete. This shorter time of surgery is particularly beneficial for patients with heart or lung problems.