For patients who need to lose a significant amount of weight, gastric sleeve surgery is an excellent choice. Also referred to as vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), gastric sleeve surgery removes a large portion of the stomach leaving a portion which is approximately the size and shape of a banana. This newly sized and shaped stomach is formed in a way that should give you an earlier sensation of fullness, helping you lose large amounts of weight. Perhaps more importantly, by removing part of the stomach, levels of a hormone named ghrelin are decreased, causing a decrease in hunger. Bariatric surgeon James N. Parrish, MD performs this procedure utilizing the laparoscopic technique – a method which uses very small surgical instruments, which can result in less noticeable scarring and a faster recovery.
Dr. Parrish and his experienced weight loss treatment team focus on a safe, advanced, and comprehensive approach to helping patients fight morbid obesity. We understand the physical and emotional effects this disease can cause, which is why our weight loss surgery program includes support groups, nutritional experts, counselors, aftercare and other services to help you through this important step in your life. We are committed to helping you make positive lifestyle changes and reduce serious risks to your health with comprehensive and compassionate care.
Benefits of Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- Many patients experience a loss of up to 60-70 percent excess body weight after just one year
- Procedure is performed utilizing very small incisions, which can ultimately lead to minimized scarring and a quicker recovery time
- Procedure does not re-route the intestines, and therefore does not involve caloric malabsorption
- Weight loss results similar to those often experienced with gastric bypass surgery
- Often covered by insurance
- Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and other obesity-related conditions have shown high reduction or cure rates after this procedure
- Female patients will be able to conceive more easily, and have a safer pregnancy.
The Gastric Sleeve Resection Procedure
Gastric sleeve resection surgery begins with the creation of very small incisions in the abdominal region. Dr. Parrish will use laparoscopic surgical techniques to remove about 75 to 80 percent of the stomach. The remaining part of the stomach will take the form of a slender tube. This stomach “sleeve” will keep its natural openings for the ingestion and expulsion of food – only now it will be much, much smaller. Not only will the patient be less hungry because of decreased ghrelin levels, they will also become full much more quickly.
This procedure typically requires a one-night hospital stay. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved with gastric sleeve surgery. Dr. Parrish will explain all risks, benefits, and potential alternatives to this treatment at your initial consultation and determine whether gastric sleeve surgery is the right option for your needs.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery Recovery and Aftercare
There will be some degree of discomfort after gastric sleeve surgery; however, this can be alleviated with medication. Since this procedure is performed laparoscopically, recovery should not be as extensive when compared with traditional surgical techniques. Most patients are able to resume normal daily activities after one week. You will be on a liquid diet for about two weeks after surgery, and then soft foods for the following few weeks. Dr. Parrish will schedule regular follow-up appointments with you following surgery to ensure you are healing properly and that you are losing weight safely and effectively. Our comprehensive aftercare program can help you with the lifestyle and dietary changes that will be necessary after weight loss surgery.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery Results
Gastric sleeve surgery has helped many people shed hundreds of pounds and turn their lives around for the better. It can be very effective for not only helping you slim your physique, but also for reducing and even eliminating severe health threats caused by morbid obesity.
While gastric sleeve surgery can be an effective tool for weight loss, it is not a cure for morbid obesity. Regular exercise and diet are important factors in giving gastric sleeve surgery the best chance to help you attain your goals. We will be with you every step of the way to help you succeed!
Additional FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) About Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Dr. Parrish has provided answers to some frequently asked questions about gastric sleeve surgery. This resource can be used to help you make a decision about your health care. If you would like to know more, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Parrish, please contact our office today.
Am I good candidate for gastric sleeve surgery?
Gastric sleeve surgery can be an excellent method to achieve significant weight loss; however, this procedure is not for everyone. Patients considering this technique should have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 or higher. If you have high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, a fatty liver, or another serious medical condition associated with obesity, you may want to consider this procedure if your BMI is 35 or higher. These numbers are estimates and may be adjusted based on your unique anatomic needs and goals. Additionally, you should also have tried conservative weight loss treatments without success.
How much weight will I lose after surgery?
One of the most commonly performed weight loss surgeries, gastric sleeve surgery can help patients lose a substantial amount of weight. Many individuals experience rapid weight loss of up to 50-70 percent of their excess body weight. Additionally, many medical conditions caused by obesity may become less severe, and you may be able to reduce or eliminate intake of certain medications.
Will my stomach stretch?
It’s important to understand how the stomach works before asking this question. The stomach is designed to stretch to hold food; it is also designed to contract once again once it empties. Repeated stretching beyond the normal dimensions over time can lead to an increase in stomach size that is permanent, which could lead to weight gain. We will work closely with you to learn good eating habits and portion sizes to optimize your outcome and enhance the long-term result.
Will I have to go on a diet before the procedure?
A pre-operative diet is a necessary part of the process, and our dietitians will work with you to begin the changes you will need to continue following the procedure. About two weeks before your operation you will be placed on a special diet with lots of protein sources and minimal carbohydrates. This is designed to shrink the size of your liver prior to the surgery. Finally, two days before your sleeve gastrectomy you will be placed on a clear liquid diet. These instructions are put in place for your health, safety, and results. Dr. Parrish will explain the details during your initial consultation.
Will the results last?
The most important factor in losing and keeping the weight off is aftercare. In addition to performing the surgery, Dr. Parrish also provides lifelong care through follow-up appointments. This is designed to give you a reliable system of support and advice, so that you have the help you need and the confidence required to achieve lasting results. If you do experience some weight gain, we will assist you in addressing dietary and lifestyle factors that may have contributed.
Is this procedure reversible?
Gastric sleeve surgery involves removing a significant portion of the stomach, and is therefore irreversible. If this procedure is done as part of multi-step process, such as duodenal switch surgery, additional techniques may be used to attain more substantial weight loss. Dr. Parrish will inform you if this applies to you.
For more information on gastric sleeve surgery, or if you would like to schedule a confidential consultation with Dr. Parrish, please contact our practice today.