Sleeve gastrectomy surgery makes the stomach smaller by using a stapler to divide the stomach vertically and turn it into a long, narrow tube (or sleeve). This change in size allows you to feel full more quickly than when your stomach was its original size. Thus, fewer calories are consumed which leads to weight loss.

Sleeve Gastrectomy has gained popularity due to its simplicity, improved weight loss, and less intensive follow-up when compared to laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. This is a restrictive procedure that limits food intake by dividing and reducing the size of the stomach. The remaining larger portion of the stomach is then permanently removed. Unlike Gastric Bypass, in this procedure there is no rerouting of intestines.

Results of Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

Patients lose about 50–70 percent of excess weight in 12–24 months.

This is a newer operation, and therefore information is lacking on long term outcomes when compared to laparoscopic gastric bypass and adjustable gastric banding.

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Overview

If you are severely overweight, obesity surgery may be a choice for you. Obesity surgery is also called bariatric surgery. Your healthcare provider may recommend it if you have a body mass index (BMI) higher than 40. A BMI of greater than 40 typically means that you are about 100 pounds overweight. One of the newer choices for bariatric surgery is called laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG).

The LSG procedure

LSG surgery is done in a hospital under general anesthesia. Your surgeon will make about five small cuts in your belly. He or she will do the surgery using a thin, long, telescope with a tiny camera at the end. Instruments pushed through the incisions will be used to remove about 80% of your stomach. Your surgeon will do the procedure using images on a TV screen in the operating room.

This surgery takes out the part of your stomach that curves outward, called the fundus. After the fundus is taken out, your surgeon will close the rest of your stomach into a tube shape that looks like a banana or the sleeve of your shirt, hence the name "sleeve gastrectomy." Because you will have a much smaller stomach, you will fill up quickly at mealtimes and eat less.

The fundus contains most of the area of your stomach that secretes a hormone called ghrelin. Because ghrelin may be partly responsible for making you feel hungry, taking out this part of your stomach may also help you lose weight afterward by decreasing your hunger.

LSG surgery takes about 2 hours. Most people stay in the hospital for about 2 days after surgery.

Reasons to consider LSG surgery

Here are some reasons why LSG may be right for you:

  • If you have a BMI of more than 60, LSG may be used as a first surgery to help you lose enough weight so you can then safely have a more extensive type of weight-loss surgery such as a gastric bypass or duodenal switch with biliopancreatic diversion. The risks with some forms of  bariatric surgery are much higher for people with a BMI over 60.

  • If you are older or have other risk factors for surgery like heart, lung, or liver problems, LSG may be a safer choice for you than other longer and more complicated weight-loss surgeries.

  • If you have a BMI of about 40 to 50, your healthcare provider may recommend LSG as the primary weight-loss surgery. That's because it's less likely to cause side effects. These include stomach ulcers or poor food absorption than other forms of weight-loss surgery.

Weight-loss benefits of LSG

In the first 2 years after LSG, most people will lose between 40% and 50% of their body weight. If your BMI before surgery is 60 or more, you may lose about 125 pounds.

Studies also show that if you have obesity-related problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or high cholesterol, you have about a 75% chance that these conditions will also improve.

Risks of LSG surgery

Any surgery done under general anesthesia carries some risk for heart and brain damage, but these risks are low. LSG is a shorter procedure than other types of gastric bypass surgery. With LSG surgery you have a 5% to 10% risk for a complication such as:

  • Leaking of stomach juices from where the stomach has been removed

  • Bleeding

  • Blood clot that forms in your leg and travels to your lungs and heart

  • Narrowing of the inside diameter of the new stomach

  • Infection

  • Nutrients poorly absorbed

To help protect against GI problems and weight regain, you should continue to have careful follow-up past the third year after surgery.

Weight loss after LSG slows down after a few years, and your stomach may stretch and grow. For any bariatric surgery to succeed, you must make important lifestyle changes that include both better nutrition and regular exercise.

Be sure to discuss any type of weight-loss surgery carefully with your healthcare provider. Before surgery you will need to have a complete physical exam to make sure you are healthy enough to have the procedure. You should also receive nutritional and mental health counseling to make sure you are prepared for what to expect after surgery. 

Anna R. Ibele, M.D.

Patient Rating:

4.7

4.7 out of 5

Dr. Ibele’s clinical interests include the surgical and endoscopic management of obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease.... Read More

Specialties:

Bariatric Surgery, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Surgery, General

Locations:

South Jordan Health Center (801) 587-3856
University Hospital
General Surgery, Clinic 5
(801) 585-2521
University Hospital
Bariatric Surgery, Clinic 5
(801) 587-3856

Ellen H. Morrow, M.D.

Dr. Morrow completed a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery and has significant experience in esophageal surgery and diagnosis of pathophysiology. She has performed a high volume of laparoscopic procedures for reflux, paraesophageal hernias, and achalasia. Dr. Morrow is certified in bariatric (weight loss) surgery, with experience in laparosc... Read More

Specialties:

Bariatric Surgery, Gastric/Esophageal Surgery, Hernia Surgery (open and laparoscopic), Minimally Invasive Gastrointestinal Surgery, Surgery, General, Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Surgery

Locations:

University Hospital
Bariatric Surgery, Clinic 5
(801) 587-3856
University Hospital
General Surgery, Clinic 5
(801) 581-2765

Eric T. Volckmann, M.D.

Patient Rating:

4.6

4.6 out of 5

Dr. Eric Volckmann is the Director of the University of Utah Health Care Bariatric Surgery Program at the University Hospital in Salt Lake City. Dr. Volckmann specializes in minimally invasive upper gastrointestinal procedures and bariatric (weight loss) surgery. Dr. Volckmann received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina Scho... Read More

Rebecca M. Kohler, PA-C

Patient Rating:

4.8

4.8 out of 5

Rebecca Kohler, PA-C is a certified Physician Assistant and works in Bariatric and General Surgery at the University Hospital. She holds a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Utah and completed her undergraduate degree at Alma College in Michigan. As a part of her undergraduate education, she studied abroad in both... Read More

Specialties:

Physician Assistant, Surgery, General, Bariatric Surgery

Locations:

University Hospital
General Surgery, Clinic 5
(801) 587-3856
University Hospital
Clinic 5
50 N Medical Dr.
Salt Lake City, UT 84095
Map
(801) 581-2121
South Jordan Health Center 5126 W. Daybreak Parkway
South Jordan, Utah 84095
Map
(801) 213-4500