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What is the Gastric Sleeve Procedure?

The Gastric Sleeve (also known as the sleeve gastrectomy/vertical sleeve gastrectomy/VSG) procedure reduces weight primarily through restriction, or creating a smaller stomach. Through good nutrition and smaller portion sizes, patients lose weight while having a feeling of fullness. Secondarily, the gastric sleeve is thought to significantly reduce the production of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin, which reduces the amount of hunger patients feel after surgery. Depending on your unique needs, the gastric sleeve can be an excellent tool for gaining long-term control of weight.

Gastric Sleeve Advantages

  • Almost always performed laparoscopically: Without large incisions, which leads to faster healing and less pain.
  • Most restrictive weight loss procedure: Leading to greatest potential weight loss*.
  • Reduces hunger hormone: Surgery also reduces ghrelin hunger hormone production – Less Hunger!
  • Excellent results: Safe, reliable and effective.
  • Fewer side effects than gastric bypass and less management needs than gastric banding.

Ideal Candidates

This gastric sleeve procedure may be particularly suited to persons with a BMI of 35+ with co-morbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint pain, fatigue and more who wish to have quick and enduring weight loss. The gastric sleeve is for people who want to have the surgery and get on with their life with less frequent management of their new tool.

Gastric Sleeve patients wish to have profound and quick results. Most people are able to return to work in 10-14 days. (Also, many people choose the gastric sleeve who need to be tolerant of a broad variety of medications that may have variable absorption in and/or not be tolerated in other procedures—examples: immunosuppressants in transplant patients/candidates, those who need lifelong NSAIDS, those with medically-sensitive depression/bipolar who need a seamless un-interruption of their med regimens. Please ask us if special considerations may apply to you).

Procedure

At the Denver Center for Bariatric Surgery, we perform the Gastric Sleeve as a minimally-invasive (i.e. laparoscopic) procedure — very small incisions allow abdominal access with small instruments. This approach leads to reduced pain and scarring and faster recovery. On extremely rare occasions, a planned laparoscopic procedure will have to be converted to an “open” procedure for safety reasons. Both approaches have similar risks and complications and have excellent long-term success.

The laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve involves removing about 70%+ of the stomach, which creates a “sleeve” of your stomach –making it the size and shape of a medium banana. The new stomach can hold about 3-4 ounces, resulting in significant restriction which leads to weight loss. Beneficially, the Gastric Sleeve surgery preserves the stomach’s pyloric valve, which regulates emptying of the stomach. This usually reduces side effects and provides for the normal process of stomach emptying to continue — allowing for the feeling of fullness. The remainder of the stomach is removed, which is an irreversible part of the procedure.

Serving Size

Gastric Sleeve patients experience an early sense of fullness, followed by a very profound sense of appetite satisfaction, with even the most minimal meal volumes. Instantly, most patients are full from a meal consisting of just a couple of ounces, and after six months patients are satisfied with 3-5 ounce servings. Even though the portion size may be small, there is rarely hunger due to the loss of ghrelin “hunger hormone” production, and few feelings of deprivation. When truly satisfied, patients feel indifferent to even the most tempting of foods. At the same time, patients continue to enjoy eating delicious and gourmet foods — but they enjoy eating less volume. Yes, foodies are welcome! The sleeve is tolerant of all food types, consistencies, and varieties.

Weight Loss

Weight loss approaches that which is seen with gastric bypass surgery. Weight loss is projected to be in the range of 65%+ of excess body weight*.

Long-term success is dependent on accepting new rules for eating and food selection (that will be taught in the pre-operative and follow-up periods, with education before and after surgery). Don’t worry, we’ll help you get there… and stay there! Patients report newfound energy levels and activity interests that will lead to increased planned exercise and a more active lifestyle. .

*Individual results may vary.

To learn more about gastric sleeve surgery, complete our contact form or call us at (303) 280-0900.