Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is surgery to help with weight loss. The surgeon removes a large portion of your stomach.
The new, smaller stomach is about the size of a banana. It limits the amount of food you can eat by making you feel full after eating small amounts of food.
Gastrectomy - sleeve; Gastrectomy - greater curvature; Gastrectomy - parietal; Gastric reduction; Vertical gastroplasty
You will receive general anesthesia before this surgery. This will make you sleep and keep you pain-free.
The surgery is usually done using a tiny camera that is placed in your belly. This type of surgery is called laparoscopy. The camera is called a laparoscope. It allows your surgeon to see inside your belly.
In this surgery:
Your surgeon will remove most of your stomach.
When you eat after having this surgery, the small pouch will fill quickly. You will feel full after eating a very small amount of food.
Weight-loss surgery may increase your risk of gallstones. Your doctor may recommend having a cholecystectomy (surgery to remove the gallbladder) before your surgery or at the same time.
Weight-loss surgery may be an option if you are very obese and have not been able to lose weight through diet and exercise.
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is not a quick fix for obesity. It will greatly change your lifestyle. You must eat healthy foods, control portion sizes of what you eat, and exercise after this surgery. If you do not follow these measures, you may have complications from the surgery and poor weight loss.
This procedure may be recommended if you have:
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy has most often been done on patients who are too heavy to safely have other types of weight-loss surgery. Some patients may eventually need a second weight-loss surgery.
This procedure cannot be reversed once it has been done.
Risks for any anesthesia are:
Risks for any surgery are:
Risks for vertical sleeve gastrectomy are:
Your surgeon will ask you to have tests and visits with your other health care providers before you have this surgery. Some of these are:
If you are a smoker, you should stop smoking several weeks before surgery and not start smoking again after surgery. Smoking slows recovery and increases the risk of problems. Ask your doctor or nurse for help quitting.
Always tell your doctor or nurse:
During the week before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
You can probably go home 2 days after your surgery. You should be able to drink clear liquids on the day after surgery, and then a puréed diet by the time you go home.
When you go home, you will probably be given pain pills or liquids and a medication called proton pump inhibitors.
Your doctor, nurse, or dietitian will recommend a diet for you. Meals should be small to avoid stretching the remaining stomach.
The final weight loss may not be as large as with gastric bypass. And this may be enough for many patients. Talk with your doctor about which procedure is best for you.
The weight will usually come off more slowly than with gastric bypass. You should keep losing weight for up to 2 to 3 years.
Losing enough weight after surgery can improve many medical conditions you might also have. Conditions that may improve are asthma, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and gastroesophageal disease (GERD).
Weighing less should also make it much easier for you to move around and do your everyday activities.
This surgery alone is not a solution to losing weight. It can train you to eat less, but you still have to do much of the work. To lose weight and avoid complications from the procedure, you will need to follow the exercise and eating guidelines that your doctor and dietitian gave you.
Moy J, Pomp A, Dakin G, et al. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy for morbid obesity. Am J Surg. 2008 Nov;196(5):e56-9.
Richards WO. Morbid obesity. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 15.
Woodward G, Morton J. Bariatric surgery. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2010:chap 7.