What is the Gastric Sleeve?
The gastric sleeve (also called Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy) is a surgical weight loss procedure that removes roughly 80% of the stomach. It is one of the most commonly performed bariatric procedures in the United States.
How the Sleeve Helps with Weight Loss
After the gastric sleeve procedure, your new stomach will be substantially smaller than its original size. This means that people with the sleeve report they feel fuller much quicker, so patients generally eat notably less food at a time which helps them lose weight. There’s another interesting component to the sleeve which is related to hormonal changes. People generally find that their appetites are reduced after this surgery, and it’s believed to be because the part of the stomach that produces most of your hunger-boosting hormones is removed during the procedure.
How the Sleeve Works
During a gastric sleeve procedure, Dr. Shayani makes several small incisions in the abdomen and uses a laparoscope (an instrument with a tiny camera that sends pictures to a monitor) and other medical instruments needed to perform the surgery. The instruments are very thin which allows him to do your surgery with incisions that are mostly just a few millimeters. He separates a large portion of the stomach which will be removed. The remaining portion of your stomach is formed into a banana or sleeve-shaped tube. This new, smaller stomach can hold only a few ounces of food at a time, while an average sized stomach can hold up to two quarts.
Am I a Candidate for Sleeve Surgery?
You may be a candidate for the sleeve if you have tried to lose weight with less aggressive measures, such as diet and exercise, and have not been successful. You must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater, which translates to being about 100 pounds or more overweight, or have a BMI of 35-39.9 and a weight-related health condition. Please let up a consultation with Dr. Shayani to learn whether the sleeve is the best choice for you, or if there is another procedure like the Lap Band or Aspire Assist that may be a better fit for your goals.
The sleeve may be a good choice for you if you are interested in a surgical treatment for obesity and related conditions like diabetes and sleep apnea. While the surgery itself limits the amount of food you can eat at once, you will still need to make good food choices and it will require lifelong changes in your diet. In some cases, insurance will cover most of the cost of your sleeve surgery, but every case is different so please ask our team about insurance coverage and finance options.