Sleeve gastrectomy is becoming the most popular weight loss operation throughout the world. It involves reshaping the stomach into the shape of a tube or banana, and the excess stomach, usually between 50-70%, is stapled off and discarded. The purpose of the sleeve gastrectomy is to offer patients where dieting and exercise has failed, to lose approximately one third of their total body weight. The operation, partly as a result of weight loss, significantly improves health problems related to excess weight. Interestingly, independent of weight loss, the operation also has rapid effects on the metabolism leading to rapid improvements in patients who suffer with conditions like type 2 diabetes.
How does sleeve gastrectomy differ from other weight loss procedures?
The sleeve gastrectomy is simpler than a gastric bypass operation, as it only involves removing part of the stomach, without the need for any new joins between the stomach and intestines.
The sleeve gastrectomy is also different to the gastric band as the weight loss is automatic, not requiring any gastric band adjustments.
How does a sleeve gastrectomy help you to lose weight?
The sleeve gastrectomy clearly results in a smaller stomach, which then results in people eating less food. However, recent research has shown that the sleeve gastrectomy results in various changes in hormones, which causes people to feel less hungry, and full earlier.
In particular, the blood levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, rapidly fall after the sleeve gastrectomy.
How long does it take to recover from a sleeve gastrectomy?
A sleeve gastrectomy is usually performed with keyhole surgery, taking about 45 minutes, and most patients can leave hospital following an overnight stay. Patients can usually return to normal activities within a week.
Patients that have the sleeve gastrectomy can return to normal eating habits straight after the procedure (though the portion sizes will likely be smaller) and are encouraged to take frequent walks in the week following surgery to aid recovery.
If you would like to discuss options for a sleeve gastrectomy with a consultant surgeon, you can do so here.