The Gastric Sleeve can be performed for patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 35. Calculate your BMI. This procedure is performed laparoscopically in about 45 minutes. Thin instruments, and a tiny camera are used to do the entire procedure allowing us to complete the whole thing using a few small 5mm to 10mm skin incisions. During the procedure, approximately 75% of the stomach is removed, leaving a smaller stomach in the shape of a banana. This is a common sense surgery: A small stomach means you feel full after eating just a small amount of food, and the less you eat, the more you lose. Ofcourse, eating healthy food is always recommended, since eating calorie dense junk foods will minimize the results. Since there is no cutting or re-routing of intestines (which are important in absorbing nutrients), there is very little loss of vitamins and nutrients that our body needs.
The stomach is measured using a tube called a bougie, which is temporarily placed inside the stomach as a guide to sizing the gastric sleeve. The smaller the bougie diameter, the smaller the gastric sleeve can be made. The stomach created is just enough to help you lose 60-70% of your extra weight while allowing you to eat a normal healthy diet.
Staples & Sutures
The standard way to perform a gastric sleeve is by using cutting staple devices that cut and seal the stomach, simultaneously. This allows us to create and seal the banana shaped stomach mentioned earlier. There are 2 leading companies that make these stapler devices. Both have been around for years, both are well-respected brands, and there is no consensus among surgeons on which is better. Bariatric surgery is serious work, so it becomes obvious for us to use the best products available, and as technology and knowledge advances, we make sure to keep up with the advancements. The staples themselves are less than 2 mm in length, which is tiny by any measure. Although hundreds of such staples are used during the surgery, they are harmless; they don’t set off alarms, and don’t lead to unnecessary fondling by airport security. There is no such thing as doing a sleeve without staples. I say this because once in a while someone will ask me not to use staples, but only sutures instead. Sutures can be used additionally, on top of the staple line for added security.
Buttressing materials are thin strips of reinforcement materials that sandwich the staple line on both sides of the stomach, for added strength. Two such materials are available Peristrips®, and Seamguard®. These have shown to decrease oozing from the staple line and may be used during the procedure.
A leak test is used in the operating room right after the new stomach pouch is created, to make sure the staple line is completely sealed, and there is no micro-hole in the stomach that is not visible to the naked eye.
What can I expect after treatment?
- 1 to 2 night hospital stay
- Return to work within 7-10 days, returning to more strenuous work will take longer.
- Liquid diet post-surgery, and progressed incrementally to solid diet over 4 weeks
- Surgery is performed laparoscopically using tiny skin incisions.
- No foreign body placed inside you, as in the Gastric Band.
- Follow-up visits are less frequent than for the Gastric-Band.
- Minimal mal-absorption of nutrients, compared to the Gastric Bypass.
- Excellent weight loss.
Have questions about this procedure? Ask us now:
We accept all major insurances if you have appropriate benefits, offer financing, and can email you our specials, for those who choose to self-pay.