Gastric Sleeve Surgery
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How Gastric Sleeve works
The sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve) decreases hunger and meal size by reducing the size of the stomach. Originally used as the first stage of a gastric bypass procedure, it has become popular because a proportion of people maintain weight loss without needing to proceed to a gastric bypass—the smaller size of the stomach is often enough to assist with weight loss.
Because no band is required, there is no need for ongoing adjustments following a sleeve gastrectomy, although as with all bariatric surgery the results are more predictable when a regular follow-up program is in place. Because part of the stomach is removed, the sleeve gastrectomy is not reversible. It does, however, have a lower complication rate than gastric bypass surgery in most patients.
A new approach
Sleeve Gastrectomy (also known as Gastric Sleeve surgery) is a relatively new approach to weight loss surgery. With Gastric Sleeve, using a small stapling device, around two thirds of the stomach is removed laparoscopically, via a small tube.
How does Gastric Banding compare to Gastric Sleeve?
The adjustable Gastric Banding Procedure uses a restrictive device and requires no cutting, stapling or removal of any part of the stomach. Instead, a band is placed around the stomach to limit the amount of food it can hold.
Requires stomach cutting and stapling to create a small sleeve shaped stomach, about the size of a banana. The larger part of the stomach (around two-thirds) is permanently removed.
Highlights of Gastric Sleeve
Minimal follow up
Compare this with Gastric Bands where the average number of consultations with the surgeon is 8 for the first year and then 1 or 2 per year, and Bypass 4 in the first year then annually. The reason we don’t need to see patients who have had a Sleeve Gastrectomy very often is there is very little that needs to be done. It is really quite easy to live with a Sleeve and there are no issues of malabsorption or excessive weight loss, and of course, there are no adjustments required. People find the weight loss is initially almost automatic in most cases. Some people experience eating squeezing for the first few months, which is difficulty eating most foods, but this settles by itself with time.
Minimal lifestyle changes
Because the eating style of Sleeve is so much like “normal eating”, you don’t have to change much to get it to work. Obviously, the more effort you put into losing weight and the better your diet is the more weight you will lose. But unlike the gastric Band where you need to follow a long list of simple eating rules the Sleeve is more straightforward. The eating rules with a band are easy for some people to follow and difficult for others. How much of your lifestyle are you willing and able to change to lose weight? What do you know from your previous attempts at weight loss? F you can make big lifestyle changes and maintain them, then the band is a reasonable choice. But if realistically, you will not change how and when you eat to make the band or Bypass work, then you should consider the Sleeve. This is because with a Sleeve Gastrectomy there are fewer rules to follow to avoid problems such as blockages and sabotage.
More weight loss
The Sleeve Gastrectomy will on average result in more weight loss than a Gastric Band. The difference between the 2 operations when it comes to weight loss is small, at 70% for the Sleeve, and 50 to 60% for the Band. But this difference is just statistics. The real difference we see clinically is that sweet eaters, high-calorie soft food eaters, and many other eating styles do better with a Sleeve because the volume of food is non-negotiable, whereas for a Gastric Band, if you eat a certain way you can eat more (see above).
More natural and durable
When you eat something with the Sleeve Gastrectomy, food enters the stomach as normal (unlike the band where it is slowed up by the band) and leaves the stomach through the normal, natural passageway (the pylorus). So food travels normally through the part of the body the gives you fullness. So fullness feels normal, and eating feels normal. This is not the case for the band or the bypass. So how does that help? No matter what you are feeling like, no matter how distracted you are, no matter how hungry, food goes down normally and makes you feel full quickly. So imagine you are inclined to eat really large meals when you are very hungry, especially after a stressful day at work, and you quite like a bit of drive-through convenient, fast food. (Nothing wrong with that in general, by the way, but perhaps you tend to do it too often.)
With a Gastric Band you are likely to get a blockage and find it difficult to eat and eventually stop eating the takeaway and be less inclined to get it next time you feel like this. The Sleeve Gastrectomy will let you eat the take away normally, but only a much smaller amount, the meal ending when there is simply no room left in your stomach to eat anything more. So both the band and the Sleeve help with impulsively high calorie eating, but for the person with the Sleeve the feeling is more natural.
And if there is a moment or a period in your life when you are determined to eat your take away, and you have a Gastric Band, you might find some way to get the food down so you can keep on eating, because at that time you want to eat more, even though it will mess up your weight loss. With the Sleeve Gastrectomy, no matter how hard you try, you will still only eat a small meal. This durability gives people with a Sleeve the comfort that the weight control is going to persist, no matter how they are feeling, and is less subject to sabotage. Neither operations are effective at weight control unless you have a calorie controlled diet.
Not adjustable or reversible
Once the Sleeve Gastrectomy operation is finished, if there is any adjustment required, you would have to have a further operation. Fortunately this is only rarely required, in less than 2%. And there is no way of returning the stomach to its original size and shape. So the operation is not reversible or adjustable, but it can be modified if required. The modifications that can be achieved are, however, quite limited, and seldom needed. This being the case, many patients are very pleased this is the case. Their weight problem was not temporary and was not reversible, so why should the solution be reversible? This can be comforting to some and concerning to others. You need o choose the operation that suits you best.
Is the procedure adjustable?
Gastric Banding can be quickly, easily and non-surgically adjusted to affect weight loss results during a brief visit to the doctor’s office.
Adjustment is not possible.
Is the procedure reversible?
Adjustable Gastric Banding can be reversed with the stomach returning to its original shape.
Due to stomach cutting and removal this procedure is considered permanent and cannot be reversed.
Are the results long term?
Complications can include:
- Acid reflux and vomiting
- Band slippage
- Stoma obstruction
Mortality rate: 0.05%
Total complications: 9%
Major complications: 0.2%
Complications can include:
- Gastric sleeve can stretch
- Risk of possible staple-line leakage
- Staple line bleeding, leakage and gastric strictures
- Risk of gastric reflux
Mortality rate: <1%
Major complications: 2.9%
No surgical procedure is risk free. The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. Before proceeding, you should discuss your particular situation with the doctors at the Centre for Weight Loss
Why Consider Surgery With Us?
Holistic Approach and Care
Research has shown that even with the right food and exercise, an imbalance in the microbiome can cause weight gain and poor metabolism. Our integrative gut regeneration and microbiome balancing program for bariatric and anti-reflux surgery patients have lasting results!
After Surgery Support Package
When you choose to have your weight loss surgery with Centre for Weight Loss, our team’s support of your journey covers MORE than just the surgery itself. As part of your weight loss journey, we provide our patients with 8 BONUS ITEMS – all FREE for our surgery patients.
The Fresh Start Program
Comes with over 2 Years of Lifestyle and Mindset Support! Many people find after their Weight Loss Surgery that some of the lifestyle habits that led them to surgery in the first place are still a challenge. This is why it’s so important to ensure that you have this support, tools and motivation.
Discover how a happy gut holds the key to achieving and maintaining your healthy weight. Read more here. “Happy Gut, Healthy Weight” is now available on Amazon and bookstores.