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Sleeve Gastrectomy

The procedure is also called laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) or vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG).This weight loss procedure involves the reduction in the size of the stomach by about 25%. A portion along the greater curvature (left side) is removed in this procedure. Finally, a sleeve shaped structure is obtained and hence the name. The shape is analogous to that of a banana. The procedure is commonly done laparoscopically.

Sleeve gastrectomy evolved from duodenal switch, which was the bariatric procedure used in early days. The procedure then began to be incorporated in a 2 step gastric bypass procedure. The large success obtained in this operation made this an individual surgical procedure.

Presently, sleeve gastrectomy is one among the most sought out weight loss option.

In this procedure, the surgeon makes a couple of incisions in the abdomen. The laparoscope and the instruments used for surgery passed through these cuts. A camera connected to the laparoscope enables the surgeon to clearly see the inner side of the stomach. Through this procedure, almost 80% of the belly portion is removed. The left-over portions are stitched together. The sphincter muscles are left untouched since these are important in the injection & ejection of food to/from the stomach. The fundus present in the stomach is however removed. This is an essential part for the secretion of ghrelin, the substance that creates the sensation of hunger. The entire surgical procedure takes about 1.5 hours to complete.

The effect of such a surgery can be pronounced during eating. The stomach becomes empty after consuming little quantity of food. This is due to the small size of the stomach.

There are many advantages for this procedure, among which some are mentioned below:

  • The method doesn't require the disconnection or reconnection of the intestinal portions.
  • The procedure is simpler and safer compared to gastric bypass or duodenal switch.
  • the procedure can effectively be performed as the first stage of the 2 stage operation. The second part is done after a stipulated period of 8-12 months. In the 2nd method, the sleeve is converted into a gastric bypass or a duodenal switch.

More some individuals, this procedure can result in extensive weight loss. The extent of such a loss is such that this seriously interferes with the normal metabolism. This results in the person being tired and pale.

Sleeve gastrectomy is often recommended for those persons who have a body mass index of 40 or more. It is to be made clear that just this procedure alone does not suffice in treating obesity. Suitable lifestyle changes are also very necessary.