Sleeve gastrectomy or vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical procedure that aids weight-loss. The procedure involves removal of almost 80% of the stomach of the obese person so as to leave only a tube-shaped stomach that is almost of the size and shape of a banana. The reduced stomach size facilitates weight loss due to limited intake of food as now the new small stomach cannot withhold more than an ounce of food. The person feels full soon and there is limited intake of food or calories that subsequently result in weight loss.
Who all can undergo sleeve gastrectomy?
Sleeve gastrectomy is recommended to individuals with following conditions who have unsuccessfully tried to lose weight:
- A BMI of 40 or more
- A BMI of 35 or more and a serious medical condition
- Excessive weight gain
- Severe obesity
- Inability to lose weight through diet and exercise
- Obese individuals who have excessive hunger and/or need big portions to feel satisfied
- It is also indicated in those obese persons who are at risk of developing potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, severe sleep apnea etc.
How will sleeve gastrectomy aid weight loss?
Sleeve gastrectomy results in weight loss by:
- Limiting the food intake as the new and small stomach can hold limited amount of food
- Restricting the absorption of calories and nutrients by your body
- Altering the gut hormones in a way so that the person feels fuller early and remain full for longer
- Reducing the level of hunger hormone (ghrelin) that makes the person much less hungry after the sleeve gastrectomy
Sleeve gastrectomy procedure
Once a person decides to undergo the sleeve gastrectomy, different lab tests and exams are done to make sure that the person is eligible for sleeve gastrectomy and procedure is also right for the person. There will be a session with nutritionists who will elaborate about the dietary changes required before and after the procedure. Also, there will be some changes in lifestyle like quitting smoke and alcohol etc. some weeks before the surgery. Doctor may prescribe certain medications to help your body handle the upcoming surgery.
Surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. Although the sleeve gastrectomy procedure can be performed as an open procedure with a long incision in the abdomen, but now most of the sleeve gastrostomies are performed with laparoscopic method that requires small incisions and is quick too. It usually takes one to two hours to perform sleeve gastrectomy through laparoscopic technique.
The procedure starts with surgeon making small incisions in the upper abdomen to insert the laparoscope and other instruments to perform the procedure. Now stomach is stapled vertically so that a narrow sleeve is created. The larger curved part of the stomach is removed. The new stomach is almost the size and shape of a banana and can hold only about an ounce of food.
Benefits of sleeve gastrectomy
- Induces rapid and effective weight loss comparable to other weight loss surgeries
- No requirement of band implantation or re-routing of the digestive process.
- Hormonal changes after sleeve gastrectomy improve or resolve diabetes
Advantages of laparoscopic procedure
- The procedure is quick and takes less time as compared to open procedure
- Laparoscopic procedures are mostly done as day care procedures and night stay is not required in the hospital
- People with desk jobs can return to work as early as 1-2 days
- There is negligible blood loss with laparoscopic procedures
- The incisions are very small and almost invisible
Risks associated with sleeve gastrectomy
Other than the risks of usual surgical procedure like infection, formation of blood clot, blood loss, adverse reactions to anesthesia etc, patients undergoing sleeve gastrectomy may have following risks:
- Gastroesophageal reflux symptoms: Some patients complain of abnormal gastric symptoms like heartburn, nausea, vomiting, gastritis, stomach ulcers etc.
- Nutritional deficiencies: As the body gets less foods there can be deficiency of nutrients including vitamins and minerals.
- Bowel obstruction: Stomach may scar resulting in blocking of bowel.
- Gallstones: Quick weight loss after sleeve gastrectomy can cause gallstones.
These all are just expected complications and most of the patients undergoing sleeve gastrectomy do not get these at all. Moreover, all these are manageable conditions and should not deter your decision of undergoing sleeve gastrectomy.
Post Procedure Care
- Patient is shifted to the post-operative room soon after the surgery for few hours to monitor any abnormal signs and symptoms.
- Soon after the surgery, patient is given medications for pain relief and antibiotics to prevent infection.
- Ambulation is encouraged soon after the surgery.
- Patient is discharged mostly on the same day and very rarely a night stay is required in the hospital.
- No extra rest is required after the procedure and patient can resume normal day to day activities 1 or 2 days after the procedure.
- Nevertheless, patient is advised to avoid heavy weight lifting and other strenuous activities for first few weeks.
- Patient is given liquid or mashed foods for first 2-3 weeks.
- A specific diet is introduced for 6 weeks that starts with liquids and then pureed or soft foods are slowly given to the patient.
- After 6 weeks, patient can eat normal diet but in limited quantities as advised by the doctors.
- Patient is required to take calcium supplement, a multivitamin, and a vitamin B-12 injection.
- Patient wears special stockings on legs to prevent formation of blood clots.
- Frequent medical check-ups to monitor the health of the patient are advised for first 6 months after surgery.
- Patient should follow the dietary and lifestyle instructions provided by the surgeon to reduce and maintain weight loss.
Results of sleeve gastrectomy
Sleeve gastrectomy aids long-term weight loss, if the patient follows dietary and lifestyle advises given by the surgeon. Average excess weight loss has been reported to be between 40 to 60% but this depends upon how much the patient follows the surgeon’s advices and makes major changes in his eating habits and lifestyle. Accordingly, patient can lose half, or even more, of the excess weight within two years after surgery. Also, the resultant weight loss improves and, in some cases, completely resolves disease related to overweight like:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Heart disease
- Severe sleep apnea
- Stroke etc.
Above all, sleeve gastrectomy surgery makes you feel confident with your new and improved appearance and immensely improves your ability to perform routine daily activities, which will also improve your quality of life.
Why MedTours Global?
- We are associated with the best hospitals globally having the emergency infrastructure, fully equipped with the latest technologies and techniques to overcome from every emergency condition.
- Our team of doctors are highly experienced in ‘Emergency Patient Management’ and work together to save the patient.
- Consultation from doctors through e-mail, phone, and video calling.
- Rehabilitation programs are organized to assist complex surgery patients.
- Complete support and assistance being given before and after treatment.
- Cost of treatment is quite less as compared to other service providers.
- We are always ready to offer our helping hand and our services are available Free of Cost 24/7.