This operation reduces the stomach's capacity by giving it a tube-like shape. It makes the patient feel plenty with small amounts of food, and lose weight significantly. The procedure is also done using laparoscopic surgery, stapling and cutting part of the stomach in order to reduce its size. No section or suture at the small bowel is necessary in this operation. The sensation of fullness is real. Besides, the patients observe a marked decrease in their appetite during the first few months after surgery, contributing to a better and easier weight loss. Food absorption is not tampered with this surgery; therefore it is not necessary to take vitamin or calcium supplements on a permanent basis. This method is an excellent alternative to gastric banding since the weight loss is better with less discomfort and less intolerance from the patient. It is also the bariatric surgery preferred for individuals with less severe obesity (BMI between 30 and 35 kg/m²), old patients, and teenagers - due to the fact that when absorption is not altered, normal growth is not halted. A sleeve gastrectomy is very often chosed by patients with morbid obesity ( BMI of 40 or more) who don't want to have a Gastric Bypass for any reason.
Advantages of the sleeve gastrectomy
It is a minimally invasive procedure, which results in a weight loss that can be between 70 and 100% of the excess weight. This is superior to the weight loss obtained with the gastric band, without the discomfort that this latter causes. The dumping syndrome can present in about 30% of the Sleeve gastrectomy patients. There is no need to take vitamins on a permanent basis.
Disadvantages of the sleeve gastrectomy.
A small possibility of requiring vitamin B12 supplement exists. This surgery implies cutting and stapling the stomach. With time, patients might be able to increase their stomach's capacity and increase their weight if the recommendations made by the dietitian are not followed correctly. In cases where there is an important weight increase, the sleeve gastrectomy can be converted into a gastric bypass through laparoscopy, in order to obtain the previous loss. This is not a suggested procedure for people with morbid obesity (BMI greater than or equal to 40 kg/m2), since the weight loss might not be enough to solve their obesity problems.
Risks of the Sleeve Gastrectomy
The risks in this operation include: infection, bleeding, and adverse reactions to medications, just as in any other surgical procedure. There is also a low risk ( about 1%) of a leak in the staple line. The benefits of the sleeve gastrectomy are superior to the risks.