Bariatric Surgeries (Gastric Sleeve)

2. Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG)

It’s a surgical operation that involves removing a portion of the stomach resulting in getting the stomach to a smaller hollow tube and it is also called a gastric sleeve. The operation is aided with a laparoscope which is a tube-like telescope that helps the surgeons visualize the viscera. The idea of sleeve gastrectomy is about reducing the stomach to less than half of its size to decrease its food capacity so the patient feels satiety earlier. The first documented sleeve gastrectomy was performed in 1998.

In recent years, laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy has gained a wide reputation as a successful restrictive weight loss procedure. There has been a noticeable increase in the rate of sleeve gastrectomy as the high success rate of sleeve gastrectomy encouraged surgeons to enlist it as a first-line surgery for obese patients. 60% of the bariatric surgeries that were performed in the US in 2019 were gastric sleeves with a total count of 150,000 operations.

Is gastric sleeve successful? Gastric sleeve has a dramatic effect on patients’ weight by easing their feeling of fullness. It is believed that patients could lose up to 65% of their weight in the first year after surgery. Many surgeons favor sleeve gastrectomy over gastric bypass to avoid mal-absorption disorders that aren’t common in patients who had sleeve gastrectomy. Skin scarring after is said to be minimal and fade gradually with time.

Although gastric sleeve has a high success rate estimated to be 90%, patient’s commitment is the main key to getting the best outcome out of the surgery. Regaining weight after surgery is usually owed to a lack of patients’ compliance. Lifestyle modification after gastric sleeve is a must to restore a healthy life. Keep in mind that setting realistic expectations is essential.

What are the disadvantages of the gastric sleeve? On the other hand, sleeve gastrectomy has a few disadvantages. Irreversibility is considered the main disadvantage of sleeve gastrectomy as the excised part of the stomach cannot be reattached. Gastric sleeve is more invasive than gastric banding, therefore it exposes patients to more risks. Patients who had gastric sleeves may complain about moderate abdominal pain but mostly it could be suppressed by simple analgesics. Pricing of gastric sleeve is really variable and has a wide range from 3000 to 27000 dollars. Most Health insurance companies cover up to 80% of the costs.