Sleeve gastrectomy is a relatively new bariatric procedure in the United States. You may also hear sleeve gastrectomy, called a vertical gastrectomy, restrictive vertical gastroplasty, or vertical sleeve gastrectomy. It has advantages over LAP-BAND and Roux-en-Y, for some patients, especially those who are too large or too sick to be considered for other bariatric surgeries.
How Sleeve Gastrectomy Works
Like adjustable gastric banding, the sleeve gastrectomy works by limiting the amount of food a person can eat before feeling full. This is achieved by removing a large portion of the stomach and leaving behind a smaller stomach shaped like a very slender banana. The new stomach only holds between 1 and 5 ounces of food. Unlike adjustable gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy is not reversible because part of the stomach is removed.
Because the part of stomach that is removed is responsible for secreting hormones that stimulate hunger, sleeve gastrectomy patients experience reduced appetite after surgery. Reduced appetite along with the restriction in food imposed by the smaller stomach results in weight loss for these patients.
Sleeve gastrectomy is often used on extremely obese patients to reduce their weight prior to gastric bypass surgery. Weight loss is similar to that seen in adjustable gastric banding.