Before we talk about the pros and cons of sleeve gastrectomy, let’s talk about what it is and how it helps people lose weight.
Sleeve gastrectomy surgery is sometimes called a “restrictive” procedure because it “restricts” the amount of food that your stomach can hold.
In sleeve gastrectomy, the surgeon removes the left side of your stomach, leaving a tube or sleeve in its place. This sleeve is shaped sort-of like a banana. Because the surgery is performed laparoscopically, it is considered minimally invasive.
Patients who have very high BMIs (over 55) have an increased risk for complications in respect to bariatric surgery. If you have a BMI over 55, your surgeon may initially recommend performing a sleeve gastrectomy to help you lose weight. Then later, to assist you with losing the remaining weight, your surgeon may perform bypass surgery.
Because you would have lost weight from the sleeve gastrectomy, there will be less risk for you in respect to bypass surgery. If you’re a highly motivated patient and achieve adequate weight loss by the sleeve gastrectomy alone, you may not even require bypass surgery.
Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery Advantages
A hormone called Ghrelin is what stimulates you to feel hungry. The part of your stomach that produces Ghrelin is removed. Plus, because sleeve gastrectomy reduces your stomach’s volume, you’ll feel full faster.
Your stomach will also function normally, so you will be able to eat most of the foods that you have always eaten, just in smaller portions. And because the pyloric portion of your stomach is left intact, there is no dumping syndrome.
Typically sleeve gastrectomy patients spend less operative and post-operative time in the hospital than bypass surgeries, and sleeve gastrectomies do not implant foreign bodies like band surgeries do.
Potential Disadvantages of Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery
There is a higher potential that you will have inadequate weight loss, or even regain weight as compared to bypass surgeries. The sleeve gastrectomy surgery is also irreversible.
As with any major surgery, there are risks with sleeve gastrectomy surgery. While the typical sleeve gastrectomy patient will not have complications after surgery, it is important that you understand risk before undergoing surgery. Talk to your surgeon or health care provider about any concerns you might have.
Are you considering sleeve gastrectomy surgery? Come to one of our free information seminars. One of our surgeons will answer your questions and start you down the path to weight loss success. Call (781) 306-6166 to register today.