Gastric Sleeve / Sleeve Gastrectomy Arkansas
The gastric sleeve is the relative newcomer in the major bariatric procedure world. To this point, the gastric sleeve was commonly employed as the first part of a two-stage procedure. The second stage of the procedure was a duodenal switch. The gastric sleeve was performed on extremely obese patients – those with BMIs over 60 – to allow them to lose some weight before the malabsorptive procedure was performed.
It is the gastric sleeve’s simplicity that is so attractive to surgeons and patients alike. Today, after exceptional results as a standalone procedure, the gastric sleeve is being performed on its own. Further, most major insurance companies now cover the gastric sleeve as an alternative to the gastric bypass or gastric band.
How the Gastric Sleeve Works:
The procedure is performed laparoscopically, meaning that the surgeon will create five tiny ½ to 1-inch incisions in the abdomen. The surgeon will then cut away about 75% of the existing gastric pouch along the greater curvature of the stomach. This leaves a long banana shaped sleeve that holds far less food than the original stomach.
The portion of the stomach that is cut away is removed from the abdominal cavity entirely. The fundus of the stomach is contained within the excised portion of the stomach meaning that some patients will feel fewer hunger pangs since the fundus produces much of the hunger hormone in the body.
Advantages of the Gastric Sleeve Include:
- The procedure often yields excellent results with relatively lower risk than gastric bypass.
- Weight loss potential is excellent.
- Potential disease improvement or resolution of co-morbidities including type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and sleep apnea is excellent.
- No medical device is implanted in the abdomen.
- The procedure is performed in a minimally invasive manner, meaning recovery time and hospital stays are reduced significantly over open procedures.
- Removal of the fundus of the stomach may make patient feel fewer hunger pangs.
Risks and Considerations of the Gastric Sleeve Include:
- This procedure is not reversible.
- Most patients will have to take vitamin supplements for the rest their lives.
- If the staple line leaks, it can cause a serious condition requiring immediate care.
- The stomach pouch can stretch over time, especially if the patient does not follow their diet.
- The procedure is not adjustable.
While the gastric sleeve is still major surgery that comes with inherent surgical risk, it can also change your life and health forever. Know all you can about the procedure – start by attending a free weight loss surgery seminar to learn more.