"Lap Sleeve" Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve) is a weight loss surgery that works by decreasing the amount of food intake.  85% of the stomach is permanently removed from the body, resulting in a smaller stomach that takes the shape of a "sleeve" or banana shaped tube. It is considered not reversible.  The gastric sleeve is a less complicated operation than the gastric bypass, but more complicated than the adjustable gastric band procedure.

How does a Lap Sleeve work?

The sleeve gastrectomy makes a small stomach because 85% of the stomach is removed.  It is a new surgical weight loss procedure which works by restricting the amount of food that a patient can eat (called a restrictive procedure).  It is permanent and can not be reversed as compared to other weight loss procedures such as the adjustable gastric band procedure and the roux-en-Y gastric bypass which can be reversed if needed.

By making a small "new stomach",  the procedure reduces how much food the stomach can hold (usually two to four ounces at a time).  Also by removing 85% of the stomach, many of the hormones which stimulate the appetite are removed allowing patients to feel satisfied eating small amounts of food.

Since the gastric sleeve is a new procedure, there are no long term results (greater than five years) reported and it is not known whether there is long term regain of weight.  At the present time, many insurance companies still consider this procedure experimental and will not approve it.

General Procedure

This surgical procedure reduces the size of the stomach to a long narrow tube-like pouch which holds only 2-4 ounces of food.  Over 3/4 of the stomach is removed from the abdomen: therefore, making this procedure irreversible.  No intestinal bypass is performed as done with the gastric bypass and no foreign body is inserted as with the adjustable gastric band.

Originally, the gastric sleeve was developed for high risk patients or super obese patients with the intention of performing another surgery at a later date.  It was found that many patients did not have to have a further surgery because they had significant weight loss with the gastric sleeve.  There are no long term studies (greater than five years) on any significant number of patients yet. Some insurance companies do not offer this as a covered benefit since they still consider the procedure experimental.

The gastric sleeve can usually be performed through the laparoscope (small tiny incisions).

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
  • Laparoscopic
  • May be an option for carefully selected patients, including high-risk or super-super-obese patients
  • Mean excess weight loss at 1 year of 59%
  • No implanted medical device



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