VCU Surgical Weight Loss Center
Weight Loss Options


Sleeve Gastrectomy

illustrationSleeve gastrectomy is a surgical weight-loss procedure in which a major portion of the stomach is removed to leave the size of the resulting stomach to about 25% of its original volume, therefore limiting the amount of food you can eat by helping you to feel full, sooner. It allows for normal digestion and absorption so that food consumed passes through the digestive tract in the usual order, allowing it to be fully absorbed in the body.

During a sleeve gastrectomy, a thin vertical sleeve of stomach is created using a stapling device, and the rest of the stomach is removed. The remaining portion is shaped like a sleeve and is about the size of a banana. The severed edges are sealed together by three rows of staples to form a “sleeve” or tube.

patientThe majority of weight loss sleeve gastrectomies performed today use a laparoscopic technique, which is considered minimally invasive. Laparoscopic surgery usually results in a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures.

If you're considering sleeve gastrectomy surgery, we encourage you to call any of our experienced bariatric surgeons at the Surgical Weight Loss Center. You can learn more about the risks and benefits of surgical weight loss and meet our bariatric team. We also encourage you to read testimonials from some of our patients.

There's no pressure to make a commitment regarding your weight-loss—and no better way to find out and consider all of the options for weight loss surgery.

Call us today: 804.827.0045

Key Clinical Points:

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is a safe and effective primary procedure for weight loss in patients with severe obesity, without the risk of marginal ulcers, internal hernias, malabsorption issues, adjustments, or foreign-body complications of other bariatric surgical procedures. Life-long vitamin and iron supplementation is less stringent than with the gastric bypass. On the other hand, unlike the gastric band, it is not reversible.

Indications include the same as those for other bariatric procedures. At our institution, this procedure is offered to patients who meet National Institutes of Health guidelines (BMI > 40 kg/m2  or  BMI >35 kg/m2)  with major comorbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea or crippling arthritis) and one of the following: the patient expresses a preference for this approach versus others, is a patient for whom other approaches are contraindicated (eg, intolerant of oral iron or  must take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen).

The procedure is contraindicated in patients with a strong history of acid reflux, esophageal varices, and autoimmune connective tissue disorders.

Bellanger DE, Greenway FL. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, 529 cases without a leak: short-term results and technical considerations. (PDF) Obes Surg. 2011 Feb;21(2):146-50.

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