The Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy – often called the Gastric Sleeve – is performed by removing approximately 70-80 percent of the stomach. The remaining stomach is a tubular pouch that resembles a banana.
This procedure works by several mechanisms. First, the new stomach pouch holds a considerably smaller volume than the normal stomach and helps to significantly reduce the amount of food (and thus calories) that can be consumed. The greater impact, however, seems to be the effect the surgery has on gut hormones that impact a number of factors including hunger, satiety and blood sugar control.
Short term studies show that the sleeve is as effective as the roux-en-Y gastric bypass in terms of weight loss and improvement or remission of diabetes. There is also evidence that suggests the sleeve, similar to gastric bypass, is effective in improving type 2 diabetes independent of weight loss.
The Sleeve Gastrectomy restricts the amount of food the stomach can hold without the mal-absorptive element of the Gastric Bypass. It has been shown to induce rapid and significant weight loss comparable to Gastric Bypass. Weight loss results range in excess of 50 percent up to five years, with similar long term maintenance of 50 percent of weight loss. This procedure results in a relatively short hospital stay of approximately 2 days, and as with Gastric Bypass, causes favorable gut changes that suppress hunger hormones which reduce appetite and improve satiety.
As with Gastric Bypass, Sleeve Gastrectomy is a non-reversible procedure and holds the potential for long-term vitamin deficiencies, somewhat lessened by the non-mal-absorptive nature of the surgery.