Sleeve gastrectomy, also known as gastric sleeve surgery, is one of the most common procedures in bariatric surgery and is offered as one of Baptist Health’s weight loss surgery options. The gastric sleeve procedure is a safe way to shrink the stomach’s size , reduce appetite, and help eligible patients lose weight and keep it off for good.
In this procedure, a portion of the stomach is removed. The remaining stomach is the shape of a slender tube that significantly limits the amount of food consumed. This procedure is also performed laparoscopically (minimally invasive).
What Is a Sleeve Gastrectomy?
A sleeve gastrectomy is a form of weight loss surgery in which roughly 85% of the stomach is removed, leaving behind a small sleeve approximately the size and shape of a banana in its place. This procedure reduces the stomach’s capacity, adjusts hormones associated with hunger, restricts appetite, and helps patients feel fuller faster. Unlike a gastric bypass, there is no bypassing of the intestines, and the digestive system is left otherwise intact. As a laparoscopic procedure, patients often stay in the hospital for one to three days and adhere to a modified diet in the days and weeks following surgery.
How does a Sleeve Gastrectomy work?
With excessive food consumption over time, the stomach eventually stretches, becoming larger and larger. As overeating progresses, this process does too, leaving those affected with a virtual inability to feel full, even after dense or high-calorie meals. A gastric sleeve essentially corrects this process, immediately shrinking the stomach and removing the area that drives hunger hormones. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, sleeve gastrectomy patients can expect to lose 60% to 70% of excess weight in the one to two years following surgery.
Who Can Get a Sleeve Gastrectomy?
While overall eligibility criteria will vary from patient to patient, most patients will have to meet the following qualifications:
- A BMI over 40, or a BMI over 35 in conjunction with weight-related health issues, like type two diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension
- A history of diet and exercise with limited success
- A willingness to commit to permanent lifestyle changes
- An ability to follow diet and exercise guidelines in preparation for surgery
- No health consequences that could impede successful surgery
In general, gastric sleeve surgery is used in one of two ways: as a stand-alone procedure to address obesity, or as the first step in a multi-phase weight-loss process for those with a BMI over 60. A sleeve gastrectomy is used in these patients to inspire initial weight loss, with a gastric bypass to follow in the future.
Start Your Weight Loss Journey
If you are considering a weight loss surgery like a sleeve gastrectomy, Baptist Health is here for you.