Gastric Sleeve Surgery for Weight Loss
Why should I consider Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy for weight loss?
Patients suffering from Severe or Morbid Obesity should consider surgery when diet and exercise regimens have been unsuccessful. It has been shown in multiple studies that patients with a BMI over 35 have difficulty successfully maintaining significant weight loss, with significant defined as losing 10% of ones total body weight.(30lb weight loss in a 300lb person) There is a prevailing theory called the “Set Point Theory” which is based on the premise that the brain has a “set point” as to the number of calories the body needs. In patients who are obese and begin to diet the caloric intake drops below this set point and the brain interprets that as starvation. The body then attempts to protect itself by increasing hunger making it difficult to maintain the diet necessary to lose weight. Surgery seems to “reset” that point at much fewer calories thereby controlling hunger and making it possible to maintain a diet long term.
What are the long term risks and benefits of weight loss surgery?
The benefits of weight loss surgery far outweigh the risks. Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine have compared patients with a BMI over 35 who have had surgery vs those who have not. The surgery group’s risk of early death decreased by 30-40%. Surgery has tremendous benefits in decreasing severity or even putting into remision diseases like Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Sleep Apnea, Arthritic Pain, GERD, and Urinary Incontinence. It has also been shown to decrease the risk of developing certain cancers such as Ovarian, Breast, Uterine and Colon Cancer. Additionally, in our practice, we have seen patients’ nutritional status improve after bariatric surgery.
What is a Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy?
A vertical sleeve gastrectomy or simply sleeve gastrectomy is a purely restrictive procedure that limits the amount of food a person can eat. Restrictive bariatric surgery, and specifically vertical sleeve gastrectomy, aims to reduce the overall size of the stomach. In this procedure, a portion of the stomach is functionally removed from the digestive system through a vertical line of staples. The remaining “banana shaped” stomach pouch is connected to the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). With most (approximately 85 percent) of the stomach removed, large amounts of food simply cannot be eaten as there is very little stomach left to collect it.
Is the sleeve gastrectomy an effective operation?
Gastric sleeve surgery is a relatively new procedure for weight loss surgery (first introduced in 2011), but has been shown to yield results that are similar to that of Gastric Bypass surgery.
What are the pros and cons of Sleeve Gastrectomy?
The sleeve is a simple operation to perform and was actually developed for patients thought to be too risky to undergo gastric bypass surgery. This operation yields similar results to the gastric bypass with less disruption of the GI tract. There also seems to be less disruption with medications as aspirin products are still allowed after this surgery. Additionally, it avoids the placement of a foreign body. Disadvantages might include the fact it is the only operation we perform that can not be reversed. Another issue is GERD (heartburn) seems to increase slightly in some patients, but this symptom tends to resolve with time (6-12 months) and does not occur with all patients.
What is the next step to be considered for Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy?
If you have tried dieting without success and are interested in an option with a proven record of success, come to a free seminar to learn more about surgical options for weight loss. At this seminar you will meet one of our surgeons as well as other members of our weight loss team. The medical, social and psychologic aspects of obesity will be discussed as will your surgical options. The intent is to give the patient sufficient knowledge to know if surgery is right for them, and if so, an understanding of the surgical options to pick which is right for you.