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Sleeve Gastrectomy

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“The Gastric Sleeve” is the most common bariatric surgery performed in the US.

The procedure involves removing approximately 80% of the patient’s stomach and is a restrictive operation. This means the stomach will be made smaller by surgically restricting the amount of food a person can eat. The food continues into the intestine and digestion will occur normally. Reducing the amount of food and calories also reduces the production of the hormone ghrelin. This hormone triggers the appetite, helping patients to feel less hungry.

The procedure divides the stomach into two parts:

  • The sleeve is created using a surgical stapler and is the new stomach. This smaller stomach is about the size of a banana and will restrict the amount of food and calories that can be eaten.
  • The remaining stomach is about 75-80% of the total stomach. This portion will be removed and discarded during the surgery. Because the new sleeve is small, patients will feel full sooner. Food will continue into the intestine and digestion will occur normally. Reducing the amount of food and calories also reduces the production of the hormone ghrelin that helps reduce appetite after surgery.

After a sleeve gastrectomy, patients can expect to stay 1-2 nights in the hospital and follow a special diet to allow for healing. Patients return to a regular healthy eating plan in about two months. Because a large portion of the stomach has been removed, certain vitamins and minerals can no longer be absorbed like they once were. Vitamin and mineral supplements will be needed for the rest of one’s life.