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Sleeve Gastrectomy

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Sleeve gastrectomy is one of three bariatric surgery procedures performed at Dignity Health hospitals to help qualified patients achieve their weight loss goals.

What Is Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive procedure that removes 85 percent of the stomach, leaving a small, sleeve- or banana-shaped stomach. Also known as the “sleeve,” sleeve gastrectomy restricts the amount of food you can eat before becoming full. It is a briefer and less complicated procedure, which reduces your overall risk.

Because sleeve gastrectomy removes an area of the stomach where ghrelin (the hormone that induces hunger) is produced, the result is a significantly reduced appetite. Gastric sleeve surgery is best for people who have a BMI of at least 40. For people who are too overweight for gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy may be a suitable alternative.

Since sleeve gastrectomy does not involve any bypass of the intestinal tract, it can be performed using a minimally invasive surgical technique.

How is Sleeve Gastrectomy Performed?

This procedure is typically performed laparoscopically. Your surgeon will place instruments and a camera through several very small incisions in the abdomen, an approach that is less invasive than open surgery. On average, the hospital stay is a day or two.

Under general anesthesia, your surgeon will make two to five small cuts in your abdomen and pass the laparoscope and other instruments needed to perform the surgery through these openings. Roughly 85 percent of your stomach will be removed, leaving a sleeve or banana-shaped stomach. The remaining portions of your stomach will be joined together using surgical staples. Although this surgery will drastically reduce the size of your stomach, it will still function normally afterward.

What Are the Benefits of Sleeve Gastrectomy?

There are many benefits to sleeve gastrectomy as a surgical weight loss option, including:

  • not affecting stomach function
  • eliminating the hormone ghrelin (which is responsible for feelings of hunger)
  • reducing how much food you can eat after surgery, with fewer restrictions on what types of food you can eat, unlike the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

What Type of Support Can I Expect with Sleeve Gastrectomy?

At Dignity Health, our bariatric surgeons, specialists, and support staff care about getting you back in shape. We walk you through different bariatric surgery options and help you select the one that best meets your needs. Post-surgery, we stay connected as you make important lifestyle changes.

Our services include the following: 

  • introductory education session
  • physician consultation
  • nutrition counseling
  • post-surgery support

It is important to note that the sleeve gastrectomy is still considered a new procedure and may not be covered by all health insurance plans. If this is the bariatric surgery option you and your surgeon decide is best for you, talk with your health insurance provider to determine your coverage.

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