What is Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery?
Obesity is a life threatening disease that is much more serious than just having clothes that do not fit
well or being embarrassment over the extra weight. In the U.S., 33 percent of all adults are considered
obese. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), of that 33
percent, up to 5 percent are morbidly obese, meaning their weight actually endangers their lives.
Unfortunately, these numbers are predicted to grow even higher.
The good news is that bariatric surgery can help by reducing many of the obesity-related health risks. In fact, the ASMBS predicts that life expectancy can improve by as much as 89 percent following bariatric surgery. As our three part series comes to an end, we are going to review the benefits of sleeve gastrectomy surgery.
The surgeon begins by making several small incisions and using staples to divide the patient’s stomach.
Then up to 85% of the stomach is removed, creating a narrow tube or sleeve. This narrow tube will
significantly limit the amount of food that can be absorbed, and the patient feel full faster when he or
she eats anything. As with the other types of bariatric surgery performed by Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Loss Management and Weight Loss Surgery, this surgery is done using a laparoscope camera.
The sleeve gastrectomy surgery can be a good alternative for patients for whom traditional “open”
surgery presents a high risk. It is quicker to perform and safer than gastric bypass because there is no
re-routing of the small intestine and malabsorption is not a problem.
Ideal candidates for this surgery typically have a BMI of 40+. That means that men are approximately 100 lbs. over their ideal weight and women are 80 lbs. over.
This surgery is non-reversible and is performed under general anesthesia. Following surgery, the
abdomen is often swollen and sore for several days. Many patients will be on a liquid diet for two
weeks, after which semi-solid food will be introduced for an additional two weeks. After four weeks,
solid foods are slowly introduced.
On average, patients will lose 50 to 80 percent of their excess body weight within the first six months to a year following sleeve gastrectomy surgery. However, as with all bariatric surgery, the patient must be committed to eating healthily and exercising regularly following surgery.