Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve)
The Sleeve gastrectomy, also called a “Sleeve”, is a hybrid operation. 80% of the stomach is completely resected and removed from the body. The resection is done along the long axis of the stomach so that the new stomach looks like a “banana” or like a hockey-stick. The new stomach is a very stiff, tubular, narrow stomach that does not let you eat very much food. The portion of the stomach that is removed is the most elastic portion of the stomach.
For many people, the sleeve is appealing because it is not quite as drastic as a bypass and yet it does not involve an implant like the banding procedure. With the sleeve gastrectomy, there is NO dumping syndrome because there is no re-routing of any intestines.
With the sleeve gastrectomy, the weight loss results are not as well known as they are with the bypass. It appears that early weight loss results are similar to a bypass for the first year or so. It is worth noting that many insurance companies do not yet cover or approve the sleeve gastrectomy. As a result, many patients have to pay for this operation themselves or take advantage of one of our financing options.
What to Expect post-op with the Sleeve
With a sleeve, you should expect to stay in the hospital 2 to 3 nights. Your immediate goals in the hospital after surgery are to walk frequently and to do breathing exercises using a special tool called an incentive spirometer. In addition, we will give you some blood-thinning medication to prevent blood clots. You will receive this medication every 12 hours while you are in the hospital, and occasionally for a few weeks after discharge. Patients are usually allowed to begin to sip on liquids 6-8 hours after surgery.
DAY 2 Goal: Transition completely from IV fluids and medications to oral intake and liquid pain medicine. We use the On-Q pain buster system which delivers long-acting lidocaine into the incision sites so the pain will be very well controlled.
Day 3: Most patients are ready to go home today. Don’t feel bad if you are not quite ready though. We realize that everyone is different, and we want you to be completely comfortable before we let you go home.
Please click here to view narrated live procedures of the Sleeve Gastrectomy!