The sleeve gastrectomy is a procedure in which the surgeon removes approximately 85% of the stomach, shaping the remaining stomach into a tube or “sleeve”. This limits the amount of food that can be ingested at any given time without altering the normal absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Weight loss tends to be quick after surgery, with 55% to 70% of excess body weight being lost, depending on your circumstances. During the procedure, the nerves of the stomach and the outlet valve are not altered. The sleeve gastrectomy significantly decreases hunger by removing the part of the stomach that produces the main hunger stimulating hormones. It also preserves the pylorus, the valve that regulates emptying of the stomach. This valve allows food to hold up in the stomach longer, making a person feel full as the food digests.
As with any surgery, there are risks involved. Risks related specifically to sleeve gastrectomy include the possibility of leaks along the staple line, development of gastroesophageal reflux, a gastric fistula, a narrowing stoma, hiatal hernias, wound site infections or the formation of blood clots in the leg. Proper consumption of foods and following your doctors’ orders may help reduce your chance of an unwanted complication.