Introduction to Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Sleeve gastrectomy is a surgery that reduces the size of the stomach by 85%.
This procedure is helpful for patients who wish to lose weight but have health conditions that make other weight-loss surgeries not possible or as safe.
Advantages of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- Sleeve gastrectomy may be safer than gastric bypass for patients who have a number of health risks.
- It lowers the risk of ulcers compared to gastric bypass.
- The surgery cuts away the part of the stomach that produces grehlin, a stomach hormone that stimulates hunger.
- Though the stomach is smaller, the openings are left intact, so digestion can go on as normal.
- The body is free of foreign objects like the LAP-BAND®.
Related Bariatric Surgery Procedures
How does Sleeve Gastroplasty work?
This procedure works by restricting food intake without any bypass of the intestines or malabsorption. The stomach is restricted by dividing it vertically, creating a small vertical stomach pouch shaped like a banana.
The new stomach pouch measures 2-5 ounces. The remaining part of the stomach is removed. The portion of the stomach that is removed is thought to be responsible for secreting Ghrelin, the hormone that is responsible for appetite and hunger.
By removing this portion of the stomach, the appetite hormone is reduced to almost nothing, usually causing a loss of appetite.
The removed part of the stomach is also the portion thought to “stretch” the most. The new stomach pouch holds only small amounts of food, causing the patient to feel full.
The nerves to the stomach remain in tact, preserving the functions of the stomach while reducing the volume it can hold.
Growth in Number of Weight Loss Surgery Procedures
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the number of bariatric procedures performed has grown in the following manner:
- 1995 – 20,000 weight-loss operations performed in the United States;
- 2002 – 80,000 weight-loss operations performed in the United States;
- 2003 – 103,000 weight-loss operations performed in the United States;
- 2004 – 144,000 weight-loss operations performed in the United States;
- 2005 – 171,000 weight-loss operations performed in the United States;
- 2007 – 230,000 weight-loss operations performed in the United States;
Overall, this represents a growth rate of more than 600%, which can be explained by several factors. These factors include the growth in obesity in the United States, the availability of highly-skilled surgeons and the relative benefits that these procedures safely provide.
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