Sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical weight-loss procedure in which the stomach is reduced to about 25% of its original size by surgically removing a large portion of the stomach and leaving a banana-shaped "sleeve" that connects the esophagus to the small intestine.
Unlike gastric bypass surgery, this procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach, although there could be some dilation (or stretching) of the stomach in the future. The procedure is generally performed laparoscopically and is permanent and non-reversible.
Today, sleeve gastrectomy is the fastest growing weight loss surgery option in North America and Asia. In many cases, sleeve gastrectomy is as effective as gastric bypass surgery, including weight independent benefits on glucose homeostasis. In Michigan it has become the most popular weight loss procedure with over 60% of patients choosing this surgery.
In gastric sleeve surgery, the bariatric surgeon makes six small incisions to allow insertion of a small scope that is connected to a video camera and the tools needed to perform the operation. The surgeon then staples and divides the stomach, removing about 85 percent of it. The remaining stomach is curved and tubular, shaped like a banana.
It is important to note that the part of the stomach that is removed is responsible for secreting ghrelin, a hormone that causes feeling of hunger. As a result, patients report less hunger after the procedure. Additional benefits of gastric sleeve surgery include a minimized risk of protein and vitamin deficiency following the surgery and a minimized risk of intestinal obstruction as the intestines are not rerouted
The disadvantages of gastric sleeve bariatric surgery include a possibility of slow or inadequate weight loss as well as possible leaks and other complications from stapling.