Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve)
For many people, the gastric sleeve bypass surgery in San Antonio, Texas 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 the intestines.
The vertical sleeve gastrectomy, also called a “sleeve” or “gastric sleeve,” is a hybrid operation. 80 percent 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 a hockey-stick. The new stomach is very stiff, tubular and narrow stomach, and does not let you eat very much food. The portion of the stomach that is removed is the most elastic.
With sleeve gastrectomy surgery, the weight loss results are very similar to bypass surgery for the first year or so. The procedure is usually covered by insurance.
Why the vertical sleeve gastrectomy helps people lose weight
The vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a metabolic surgery. By removing part of the stomach, we dramatically alter the neuro-hormonal pathways that control the sensation of hunger and the way our body manages the calories that we put in.
There is a hormone called ghrelin that is made primarily in the part of the stomach that we remove. It is the primary driver in the hunger pathway, and with the dramatic drops in ghrelin levels seen after the gastric sleeve surgery, we see a commensurate decrease in hunger! We also see up-regulation of a hormone called GLP1, which is involved with our body's control of glucose. In fact, many of the newer diabetes treatment medications are designed to up-regulate GLP1. The sleeve surgery does this without medication and in this way, it can cause remission of diabetes and metabolic disease quite rapidly.
What to Expect post-op with gastric sleeve weight loss surgery
With a sleeve, you should expect to stay in the hospital for one or two nights. Your immediate goals 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. Patients are usually allowed to begin sipping on liquids a few hours after surgery.
Post-op Day One goal: Transition completely from IV fluids and medications to oral intake and liquid pain medicine. We use a special three-day local anesthetic in the tiny incision sites so the pain will be very well-controlled.
Day Two: Most patients are ready to go home today. Don’t feel bad if you are not quite up to it, though. We realize that everyone is different, and we want you to be completely comfortable before we let you go home.
There are usually about five to six follow-up visits in the first year. Patients are expected to start medical weight loss programs in our office beginning six months after surgery. Our two-year post-op results for patients who have sleeve gastrectomy surgery are significantly better than the national average.