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Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure

SSM Health Weight Management Services offers the laparoscopically performed sleeve gastrectomy weight-loss surgery. During this procedure, also known as a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), approximately 85% of the stomach is removed. Generally, patients lose about 60% of their excess weight with this procedure. It is often part of a two-stage process that includes gastric bypass surgery.

What Happens During a Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure?

During this laparoscopic procedure the left side of the stomach, or “greater curvature,” is removed, resulting in a stomach the size and shape of a banana. This new stomach continues to function normally; however, the quantity of food that you consume will be considerably reduced. In addition, the surgery removes the portion of the stomach that secretes hormones to stimulate hunger, so you’ll likely feel less hungry after the procedure, which further aids in weight loss.

What is Two-Stage Bariatric Surgery?

For patients with more extreme cases of obesity, the sleeve gastrectomy is sometimes completed as the first step of a two-stage bariatric surgery process. Patients with a BMI of 60 or greater or who have extreme weight in the midsection are at an increased risk for complications from surgery. When a sleeve gastrectomy is performed first, it often results in the patient losing 80 to 100 pounds, helping to make the second stage of the surgery substantially safer.

The second stage operation is typically completed eight to 12 months later, during a procedure in which the sleeve stomach is transformed into a formal gastric bypass or duodenal switch. This will help to permit more permanent and more substantial weight loss than that provided by a sleeve gastrectomy alone.

Benefits of Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy offers certain benefits over other laparoscopic weight loss procedures.

A sleeve gastrectomy is a technically simpler operation than gastric bypass or duodenal switch because it does not involve any “rerouting” or reconnecting of the intestines. A sleeve gastrectomy may be a good option for patients who would be put at excessive risk by a gastric bypass or duodenal switch.

This procedure features a lower risk of intestinal obstruction, and dumping syndrome (food contents moving too quickly through the small intestine) typically does not occur or is minimized.

There is no risk of marginal ulcer, which occurs in over 2% of Roux en Y Gastric Bypass patients.

This procedure is relatively easy to modify should more weight loss be desired or should weight gain reoccur.

The risk of certain complications, such as vitamin and protein deficiencies, is minimal since there is no intestinal bypass involved in the procedure.

Get Started on Your Weight Loss Journey

Making the decision to have weight loss surgery can feel extremely overwhelming. The caring and compassionate team at SSM Health Weight Management Services will help you consider all of your options - both surgical and nonsurgical - so you can feel confident in your choice. Make an appointment today so you can get started on your path to better health.

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