Sleeve gastrectomy, also known as gastric sleeve surgery, is a relatively new surgical technique for weight loss. You may be a candidate for this procedure if your body mass index (BMI) is greater than or equal to 40 or between 35 and 40 with other medical problems, such as Diabetes, Sleep Apnea, Heart Disease, and High Blood Pressure. BMI is the measure of body fat based on your height and weight.
Gastric sleeve surgery may be an option for you if you are severely obese and have not been able to shed your pounds through diet and exercise. The procedure, along with lifestyle modifications such as the right proportion of healthy food and exercises, can help improve your overall health and quality of life.
Sleeve gastrectomy works by changing the structure and reducing the size of your stomach. About two-thirds of your stomach is surgically removed during this procedure. At the end of the procedure, you are benefited with a smaller stomach which fills up quickly thereby limiting the quantity of food you eat and the amount of calories absorbed by your body.
Sleeve gastrectomy is performed laparoscopically. A laparoscope is a small tube like instrument fitted with a camera on the end. The camera is connected to a video monitor and allows your surgeon to see inside your abdomen to perform the surgery.
During the procedure, you will be given general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep and feel no pain throughout the procedure. Your surgeon will then create 5 small surgical openings on your abdomen. The laparoscope and small surgical instruments are introduced through these openings into your abdomen. Your surgeon will then divide your stomach in a vertical manner and remove a major portion (80-90%) of your stomach. The remaining portion of your stomach is joined together using surgical staples. This results in a long tube like or banana-shaped stomach.
The procedure takes about 30-45 minutes to complete. You will be started on a clear liquid diet following the procedure. You will be given medications to help alleviate any pain or discomfort. You will be instructed on a special diet plan to avoid stretching your stomach.