The Ins and Outs of the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
There are many different types of gastric surgery to enable people to lose weight. One of the best known ones is the gastric sleeve. During this procedure, between 60% and 95% of the stomach is removed, leaving a sleeve shape instead, which is able to hold between 60 and 150 cc only. What sets this surgery apart is that the stomach nerves and outlet valve are left alone. The size of the stomach is reduced, but its functioning remains the same. Unlike other forms of surgery, the gastric sleeve cannot be reversed.
The Advantages of the Gastric Sleeve
After the gastric sleeve procedure, the stomach continues to work the same way as the previous one. This means that it is not as restrictive in terms of what people can eat. However, they can eat far less. This is one of the greatest pros of the gastric sleeve, and is further enhanced by the fact that the stomach produces far less hunger hormones, as the part where these are created is also removed.
The biggest advantage of this surgery, however, is the fact that the intestinal tract is not bypassed. This means that you don’t have any of the associated complications with malabsorptive procedures, including anemia, intestinal obstructions, vitamin deficiencies, osteoporosis, and protein deficiency. Furthermore, the surgery can also be used by people who are anemic, for whom weight loss surgery is often unattainable. In fact, even those with Crohn’s disease can have the surgery performed.
The final benefit is that it is one of the only types of weight loss surgeries that can be completed laparoscopically, even in those who are super obese.
The Disadvantages of the Gastric Sleeve
While the gastric sleeve has many advantages, you must also be aware of the disadvantages in order to determine whether it is truly suitable for you. The main issue is that some people find they do not lose as much weight as they would like to. Furthermore, if they don’t make and maintain rigorous lifestyle changes, the weight can come back. This is true with all types of restrictive surgeries, however.
Additionally, the stomach is stapled during the procedure, which means there is a chance of leakages. Additional complications are always possible, including pneumonia, small bowel obstruction, post-operative bleeding, and even death. However, the chance of these complications is very small, generally not exceeding 1%.
Generally speaking, the gastric sleeve is the best solution for people who are super obese, or who find that they have underlying medical conditions that stop them from obtaining other forms of gastric surgery. If people are super obese, however, the gastric sleeve is generally the first part of a surgery, with them having to have another type of surgery once they have lost enough weight to be suitable for a second type of surgery, such as the lap band.
All those interested in this type of surgery must discuss the pros and cons with a professional surgeon to make sure they make the right decision.