The vertical sleeve gastrectomy (also called sleeve gastrectomy) is a stapling procedure in which approximately 80 percent of the stomach is removed. This results in a tubular stomach, or “sleeve”, that will hold approximately 3 to 4 ounces of food or drink. The amount of stomach left behind is calibrated with a sizing tube, to ensure an evenly sized channel for food. Similar to other restrictive procedures, limiting the amount of food intake leads to an earlier feeling of fullness with meals.
Additionally, the portion of stomach that is removed contains many of the cells in the body that produce a hormone called ghrelin, which is associated with the sensation of hunger. It is not clear how much effect a decrease in ghrelin levels has on postoperative weight loss, but some patients do report feeling less hungry after this (and other) weight loss procedures.
- This procedure results in weight loss totals approaching, but not quite as much as, gastric bypass. Estimated excess body weight loss at one year after surgery is 55 to 70 percent.
- Patients are required to take life-long nutritional supplements to prevent any nutrient deficiencies.
- This procedure is not reversible. The removed portion of the stomach cannot reenter the body.