Sleeve Gastrectomy

Bariatric Surgeons at Newton-Wellesley Hospital's Center for Weight Loss Surgery will perform Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery on patients who, for various reasons, are not candidates for intestinal rearrangement as part of the
Roux-en Y gastric bypass. Sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive and metabolic bariatric surgery. Indications for sleeve gastrectomy are evolving and the procedure, originally the first stage of a two-part treatment, is now studied and found to be safe and effective as a stand alone weight loss surgery.

During this procedure, the surgeon creates a small, sleeve-shaped stomach - about the size of a banana. It is larger than the stomach pouch created during Roux-en-Y bypass. Approximately 85 percent of the stomach is removed leaving the sleeve-shaped stomach.

Sleeve gastrectomy has become one of the major weight loss interventions in countries throughout South America, Europe and Asia. It is in rapid progression in the US, with recent private insurers accepting to cover this medically necessary procedure. Data since 2005 from hospitals in the United States show acceptable weight loss with sleeve gastrectomy and show results superior to gastric banding. Studies continue to support the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy as a viable and safe surgical option for long term weight management in patients with morbid obesity and treatment with possible resolution of diabetes similar to gastric bypass.

Advantages of Sleeve Gastrectomy
While the size of the stomach is reduced and a patient must minimize the amount of food they eat, their stomach still functions normally.

  • Patients do not face the complications of intestinal bypass like protein and vitamin deficiencies, intestinal obstruction, anemia and osteoporosis.
  • The part of the stomach that produces hormones that stimulate hunger is removed.
  • There is less risk for "dumping syndrome" and ulcers.
  • High-risk patients with anemia, Crohn's disease and other conditions affected by intestinal bypass can now have the surgery.
  • It can be performed laparoscopically in extremely overweight patients.
  • Diabetes Type 2 goes into remission for 50-65% of patients.

Risks of Sleeve Gastrectomy

  • Weight gain can occur in the long term.
  • Stomach stapling complications like leakage can occur.
  • The procedure is not reversible.
  • Post-operative bleeding, pneumonia, gastric reflux and wound hernia can occur.
  • Patients with a very high BMI can undergo the sleeve gastrectomy safely but may require follow-up weight loss surgery to achieve their goal.

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