What is Sleeve Gastrectomy?
By: Jeanne Karson, Adult Nurse Practitioner since 2010.
Operations for weight loss include a combination of volume restrictive and nutrient malabsorptive procedures that affect satiety, absorption, and insulin sensitivity. Practitioners use these procedures in conjunction with behavior modification to achieve and sustain weight loss.
Sleeve Gastrectomy is a single stage primary operation procedure. It has a low rate of complications, which if they happen, occur the first few days after surgery. The surgery causes reduces production of the hormone Ghrelin (hunger hormone). As a result, you will:
- Feel full faster,
- Lose weight,
- Experience improvement of insulin resistance, therefore, promote glycemic control (blood glucose control).
How the sleeve Gastrectomy is performed
The Sleeve Gastrectomy is performed laparoscopically.
It is a partial gastrectomy which involves removing the greater curvature of the stomach. The surgeon makes five or six small incisions in the abdomen. He then places a laparoscope and long instruments through these small incisions to remove 75%-80% of the stomach, leaving a narrow tube or “sleeve”.
Surgical practitioners first offered sleeve gastrectomy to patients with BMI over 60 as the first stage in surgical management. The procedure is technically easier to perform and considered not “as drastic” as other bariatric procedures. In 2016, sleeve gastrectomy was the most commonly performed bariatric procedure in the world and the United States.
The sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive procedure. It will reduce the size of your stomach and limit the amount of food you consume at one time. You will feel full after eating small quantities of food. Consequently, you will lose 60-70% of excess body weight within 18 months to 2 years.
How the Sleeve Gastrectomy will improve your life
After you undergo Sleeve Gastrectomy,
- You will lose excess body weight (depending on pre-operative weight) in the first year of surgery
- If you have obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and cholesterol, they will improve or be resolved.
However, you should watch out for weight regain. 3 out of 10 gastric sleeve patients gain weight after reaching their low weight. The amount varies widely by patient, ranging from only a small amount of weight to all of it.
Tips for successful recovery after Sleeve Gastrectomy
Taking good care of yourself after your weight loss surgery will promote faster recovery. The following are tips for boosting your recovery process:
- Take some time off. Plan on being out of work for at least 2-3 weeks depending on whether you have a sedentary vs. physically demanding job. Return to full activities within 4 weeks of surgery.
- Stick to your planned diet as your “new stomach” and surgical incisions need time to heal.
- Never advance your diet on your own. Follow the directions of your health care provider to optimize recovery.