The Gastric Sleeve Surgery is fast gaining popularity as a painless procedure that involves removing a sizeable chunk of the stomach. But how does it compare with a Gastric Bypass Surgery?
What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Gastric Sleeve surgery or sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical weight-loss procedure in which the stomach is reduced to about 15% of its original size, by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach along the greater curvature. The result is a sleeve or tube like structure. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach, although there could be some expansion of the stomach later on in life. The procedure is generally performed laparoscopically and is irreversible. Sleeve gastrectomy was originally performed as a modification to another bariatric procedure, the duodenal switch. But now it is performed as a separate procedure.
How is it performed?
- The patient receives general anesthesia before this surgery, so the operation is pain free.
- The surgery is usually done using a tiny camera that is placed in the patient's belly. This type of surgery is called laparoscopy. The camera is called a laparoscope.
- The surgeon makes 2 to 5 small cuts (incisions) in the patient's belly.
- The scope and instruments are inserted through these cuts.
- The camera is connected to a video monitor in the operating room. This allows the surgeon to view inside the patient's belly while doing the operation.
- A harmless gas is pumped into the belly to expand it. This gives the surgeon room to work.
- Your surgeon removes most of the stomach.
- The remaining portions of your stomach are joined together using surgical staples. This creates a long vertical tube or banana-shaped stomach.
- The surgery does not involve cutting or changing the sphincter muscles that allow food to enter or leave the stomach.
- The scope and other tools are removed. The cuts are stitched closed.
- The surgery takes 60 to 90 minutes.
Is it a better alternative than Gastric Bypass surgery?
Today sleeve gastrectomy is the fastest-growing weight loss surgery option. In many cases, but not all, sleeve gastrectomy is as effective as gastric bypass surgery, including weight-independent benefits on glucose homeostasis. The precise mechanism that produces these benefits is not known.
What are the complications associated?
Sleeve gastrectomy may cause complications; some of them are listed below:
a) Sleeve leaking
b) Blood clots
c) Wound infections
e) Aversion to food and nausea
f) Damage to the vagus nerve which will cause constant nausea
g) Delay in movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine
i) Esophageal (food pipe) spasm/pain
j) Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
k) Weight loss surgery may increase your risk for gallstones. The surgeon may recommend having a cholecystectomy. This is surgery to remove the gallbladder. It may be done before the weight-loss surgery or at the same time.
Can it be performed in Children and Adolescents?
Sleeve gastrectomy is gaining popularity in children and adolescents. Sleeve gastrectomy causes large weight loss in children and adolescents aged 5 to 21 years. Growth progresses unaffected after the surgery in children younger than 14 years of age.