Monday, October 5, 2009

What exactly is a sleeve?

I have been asked a ton of questions about Gastric Sleeve and how it differs from the Gastric Bypass or the LapBand. I found this information on This should provide a little bit more insight.

It is officially called Sleeve Gastrectomy.

What is it? This is a relatively new form of restrictive weight loss surgery. In the operation, which is usually done with a laparoscope, about 75% of the stomach is removed. What remains of the stomach is a narrow tube or sleeve, which connects to the intestines.

Usually, a sleeve gastrectomy is a first step in a sequence of weight loss surgeries. It's typically followed up by gastric bypass or biliopancreatic diversion, which will result in greater weight loss. However, in some cases, it might be the only surgery you need.

The Pros. For people who are very obese or sick, standard gastric bypass or biliopancreatic diversion may be too risky. A sleeve gastrectomy is a simpler operation that allows them a lower-risk way to start losing weight. Afterwards, once they've lost weight and their health has improved -- usually after 12-18 months -- they can go on to have a second surgery, such as gastric bypass. In people with high BMIs, sleeve gastrectomies result in an average weight loss of 40% to 50% of excess weight after three years. People with lower BMIs tend to lose even more of their excess weight. The preliminary evidence suggests that sleeve gastrectomy works about as well as adjustable gastric banding.

Because the intestines aren't affected, a sleeve gastrectomy doesn't affect the absorption of food, so nutritional deficiencies are not a problem.

The Cons. Since a sleeve gastrectomy is often just the first step in weight loss surgery, you will probably face further operations later on. Unlike gastric banding procedures, a sleeve gastrectomy is irreversible. Most importantly, since it's relatively new, the long-term benefits and risks aren't yet known.

The Risks. Typical surgical risks include infection, leaking of the sleeve, and blood clots.


Anonymous said...

Is this something you are considering?

Nicole said...

So............part of your stomach will just be hanging out in there? WOW!

greygillfish said...

Thank you for the explanation. We will be thinking and praying for you during your recovery. Hopefully, you won't have to have the second procedure.

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