The vertical sleeve gastrectomy has recently become the most common type of bariatric surgery, and can be a great lifestyle surgery choice for significant weight loss.

What happens during a vertical sleeve gastrectomy

The vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive form of weight loss surgery. It does not involve any bypass of your intestinal tract, and it can be performed laparoscopically.

During this procedure, your weight loss surgeon will remove approximately 80 percent of the stomach, leaving a cylindrical or sleeve-shaped stomach. With this surgery, the outlet valve and the nerves to the stomach remain intact. While your stomach is drastically reduced in size, its function is preserved.

The sleeve gastrectomy is not reversible.

After your weight loss surgery

The gastric sleeve results in fewer restrictions on the foods you can consume after surgery, although the quantity of food eaten is still considerably reduced. Weight loss can be slow if you do not follow a strict diet post-surgery.

After the procedure, your body will reduce its production of ghrelin, known as the "hunger hormone." This will lead to significantly reduced hunger and improved satiety, which means you will feel full after eating less food.

Advantages of the vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure

For obese patients with a relatively low BMI, the vertical sleeve gastrectomy may be a good choice, especially where existing conditions such as anemia or Crohn’s disease prevent them from having other forms of bariatric surgery. In addition, patients may choose this form of surgery if they are concerned about the long-term effects of gastric bypass surgery or object to having a ”foreign body” implanted into their body, as is the case with gastric banding surgery.

Other advantages to vertical sleeve gastrectomy include:

  • The stomach functions normally
  • The stomach is reduced in size and the amount of food eaten is limited
  • The part of the stomach that produces hormones responsible for stimulating hunger is removed
  • There is less risk of developing ulcers

Possible complications and side effects

Complications can result from stomach stapling, and patients with high BMIs often require a follow-up surgery to achieve their goal.

As with any surgery, there are risks to consider. This procedure, like any weight loss surgery, is geared toward specific patient populations. Our surgical team will help you understand which procedure is right for you.