Sleeve gastrectomy, also known as gastric sleeve, is a form of bariatric surgery or weight loss procedure. It is used as a treatment for obesity. This procedure involves removing a large portion of the stomach surgically, making it much smaller, thus aiding weight loss. It is a less invasive surgery as compared to gastric bypass and is usually performed in patients for whom a gastric bypass is not a plausible option.
Obesity is fairly self diagnostic and can be determined with a simple physical exam by a doctor. However, the doctor may perform certain tests to determine the level of obesity and the presence of other obesity related disorders. The following diagnostic procedures may be followed.
The sleeve gastrectomy procedure is performed laparoscopically in most cases. This is done by making several small incisions in the abdomen. The surgical instruments are inserted through these incisions. The stomach is then reduced in size to almost 15% of its original size to form a small narrow tube almost like the shape of a banana. The open edges are then stapled and the excess stomach tissue is removed and discarded. Reducing the size of the stomach automatically reduces the amount of food one can consume thus aiding in weight loss. It also reduces the production of the hunger producing hormone ghrelin, which would make the patient feel satiated with smaller quantities of food. It does not involve re-arranging the intestines like in gastric bypass, and is therefore less invasive.
The patient may be required to stay in the hospital for the next 4 - 5 days post surgery during which he will be on a diet of liquids only. In the next 4-6 weeks the patient can gradually move from liquids to solids. A person can lose up to 60 – 70% of their excess weight with the help of this procedure. However, some people might start regaining the weight post surgery. To avoid this, the person must follow a disciplined regime with regular diets and exercise to gain maximum benefits from the surgery.