About Gastric Sleeve Surgery

What is gastric sleeve surgery?

Sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve resection, is a surgical weight loss procedure. The surgery is typically performed laparoscopically, or robotically, which enables us to use small instruments in multiple small incisions in the abdomen instead of one large incision. 

During sleeve gastrectomy, approximately 80% of the stomach is removed, leaving a tube-shaped stomach about the size and shape of a banana. Patients typically spend only one night in the hospital. This surgery does not involve re-routing the small intestine, which is done in gastric bypass and other more complex bariatric surgeries. 

What does gastric sleeve surgery do?

Sleeve gastrectomy limits the size of your stomach, which restricts the amount of food you are able to consume and induces gut hormone changes that dramatically decrease your appetite. These same hormonal changes, as well as the weight loss, can help relieve conditions associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea and polycystic ovarian syndrome. 

Do I qualify for gastric sleeve surgery?

In general, sleeve gastrectomy surgery could be an option for you if:

  • Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher (extreme obesity).
  • Your BMI is 35 to 39.9 (obesity), and you have a serious weight-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnea.
  • In some cases, you may qualify for weight-loss surgery if your BMI is 30 to 34.

When a sleeve does not appear to be the best option, we will discuss and direct each patient to other weight loss options. Always check with your health insurance plan to find out if your policy covers weight-loss surgery. If not, we offer self-pay options.

Learn more about your eligibility:

Do I Qualify?

About the procedure

At Baptist Medical Group-Bariatric and General Surgery, we perform robotic gastric sleeve resections using the daVinci surgical system. This system enables the best available visualization and precision, using sometimes as few as three small laparoscopic incisions. 

You are given general anesthesia before your surgery begins. Anesthesia is medicine that keeps you asleep and comfortable during surgery.

To perform a sleeve gastrectomy, the surgeon divides the stomach vertically with a stapling device that also seals the edges with tiny titanium staples. This leaves behind a narrow, banana-shaped “sleeve” of stomach. The larger and more stretchy part of the stomach is removed, leaving this smaller, tubular “sleeve” stomach.

Surgery usually takes one to two hours. After surgery, you awaken in a recovery room, where medical staff monitors you for about an hour. From there, you will be admitted to a room on a surgical floor and most likely be able to go home the next day.

Gastric sleeve surgery results

Sleeve gastrectomy can provide long-term weight loss. The amount of weight you lose depends on your change in lifestyle habits. It is possible to lose approximately 60%, or even more, of your excess weight within two years. It can also improve your ability to perform routine daily activities and can help improve your quality of life.

In addition to weight loss, sleeve gastrectomy may improve or resolve conditions related to obesity or decrease your risk of developing those conditions, including:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Infertility
  • Arthritis

Patients typically recover very well without complications. As with any major surgery, sleeve gastrectomy does pose potential health risks, both in the short term and long term. We will discuss the risks with you in the office, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions about risks, benefits and alternatives at that time.

When weight-loss surgery doesn't work

It's possible to not lose your desired amount of weight or to regain weight after weight-loss surgery. This weight gain can happen if you don't follow the recommended lifestyle changes. If you frequently snack on high-calorie foods, for instance, you may have inadequate weight loss. To help avoid regaining weight, you must make permanent and healthy changes in your diet and we can provide guidance to ensure your success.

It's important to keep all of your scheduled follow-up appointments after weight-loss surgery so that your doctor can monitor your progress. If you notice that you aren't losing weight or you develop complications after your surgery, see your doctor immediately.

Learn more about life after bariatric surgery:
What to expect after

Ready to start your weight loss journey?

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