Gastric Sleeve Resections
Antony Galitsky, MD, is a bariatric surgeon on staff at Banner Estrella Medical Center.
Question: I’ve been considering bariatric surgery for some time and would like to learn more about gastric sleeve resections. Will you please explain what a gastric sleeve resection is and how it is performed?
Answer: Many people are aware of gastric bypass surgery and gastric banding as popular approaches to bariatric surgery. However, gastric sleeve resections are also growing in popularity, especially for individuals who may have weight or health issues that make other surgical approaches unsafe or inappropriate.
A gastric sleeve resection involves the removal of 60-85% of the stomach. By removing the large, rounded portion of the bottom of the stomach, the remaining portion takes on a sleeve or tube-like appearance. As you would expect, removing this much of the stomach significantly reduces the amount of food than can be consumed.
Gastric sleeve resections are performed laparoscopically, where the surgeon makes small incisions and uses very small instruments to remove the appropriate portion of the stomach with great precision. The portion of the stomach that remains is stapled closed. This is the only bariatric procedure where part of the stomach is removed from the body, making it irreversible.
The advantages of a gastric sleeve resection include: it is often safer if weight or health complications exist; reduced risk of ulcers, when compared to gastric bypass; the portion of the stomach that produces the hunger hormone is also removed; digestion continues as normal; and, no foreign objects are placed in the body.
Potential risks, which are associated with any surgical procedure, include the possibility of blood clots, leaking or bleeding at surgical sites, discomfort or nausea after surgery, and infection.
It’s very important that people realize that regardless of the type of bariatric procedure, surgery is not a magic bullet that automatically cures all weight-related issues. Exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes are also crucial components of healthy, successful, and sustained weight loss.
If you’re considering bariatric surgery, speak with your healthcare provider to determine if you are a candidate and which option is best for you.