Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
This procedure involves surgery on the stomach only (it is only a restrictive procedure) and does not involve the intestine (which would make it malabsorptive). It basically consists of making a stomach that looks like a pouch into a long tube, or “sleeve”. The sleeve gastrectomy procedure removes approximately 2/3 of the stomach, which provides for quicker sense of fullness and decreased the appetite. The smaller stomach sleeve restricts food intake by allowing only a small amount of food to be consumed in a single sitting. A small sleeve (or narrow tube) is created with a surgical stapler along the inside curve of the stomach, from the pylorus of the stomach up to the esophagus.
After the creation of the sleeve is completed, the remainder of the stomach is removed. The valve at the outlet of the stomach remains, which provides for the normal process of stomach-emptying to continue, which allows for the feeling of fullness. Internal incisions are typically closed with absorbable sutures (stitches that do need to be manually removed) while external incisions are closed with sutures or steri-strips; based on surgeon preference. The hospital stay averages 24-48 hours. Most patients return to normal activity in one to two weeks and full surgical recovery usually occurs in two to three weeks. As with all surgical procedures there are risks. Potential complications are perforation of the stomach/intestine or leakage, causing peritonitis or abscess, bleeding, infection, gastric or bowel obstruction, ulcers, vomiting and/or nausea are a common occurrence, often certain foods or improper foods are the cause. Food choices and vitamin supplements are lifelong changes.
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