Sleeve Gastrectomy

Introduction

Sleeve gastrectomy is a type of bariatric surgery that reduces the size of the stomach to about 15 percent of its actual size. This is achieved through the removal of a portion of the stomach along the greater curvature, which results in a sleeve-like banana-shaped structure. This ensures lesser consumption of food, made possible by an early feeling of fullness. Sleeve gastrectomy is a permanent surgery as it reduces the size of the stomach forever. It is an effective weight loss surgery that has gained popularity among adults as well as the elderly due to its huge success rate.


When is it performed?

Sleeve gastrectomy is not suitable for all obese patients. Only those who have an excessively high BMI (above 40) and are in the age group of 18 to 65 years are considered as fit candidates for this surgical procedure. Those suffering from serious weight-related co-morbidities such as sleep apnoea, diabetes, high blood pressure, and hyperlipidaemia are also eligible. Individuals who suffer from stomach or gastric ailments are not suitable for this surgery. Also, the surgery is conducted when the patient commits to making specific dietary and lifestyle changes that are mandatory after the operation.


How is it performed?

Sleeve gastrectomy is performed under the influence of general anaesthesia and takes about one to one-and-a-half hour. It is a minimally-invasive procedure conducted with a laparoscope, which is a small device with a camera and several small tools attached to it. It inserted into the stomach through incisions. It sends the images of the inside of the stomach to the monitor connected to the laparoscope. The surgeon then pumps a harmless gas into the stomach to expand the cavity so that the view is clear. After this, the surgeon removes a large portion of the stomach and staples the remaining portion, reducing it to the shape of a banana. The incisions are closed and the patient is sent to the recovery room.


Recovery

The recovery time differs, depending on the overall health of the patient. Typically, a patient is discharged after two or three days and is allowed to return to work after one or two weeks. However, until six weeks, heavy lifting is not allowed. Additionally, the patient must go to the doctor for a routine check-up at regular intervals and religiously follow the diet and lifestyle changes recommended by the surgeon.