Dr. Glenn Ihde is committed to offering the newest and most advanced techniques in the field of bariatric surgery. Among these is the gastric sleeve, also known as a sleeve gastrectomy. This relatively new technique can offer the same benefits as gastric banding, without the introduction of a foreign body into the system, and is one of many options available at our Arlington, Dallas, and Fort Worth-area obesity surgery practice.
The gastric sleeve procedure involves the removal of a large portion of the stomach, leaving only a thin, sleeve-shaped segment. Because the stomach is reduced in size, the patient can only eat a small amount of food at a time, much as with LAP-BAND® System surgery. This type of obesity surgery is known as a restrictive procedure, because it relies on the patient’s inability to hold a large amount of food in the stomach to decrease weight. Gastric bypass, in contrast, is known as a malabsorptive procedure because, in addition to the reduction of the stomach, a portion of the small intestine is bypassed, thereby reducing the body’s ability to absorb calories that are eaten.
At our practice in Arlington, Dallas, and the Fort Worth area, this and other types of obesity surgery are performed laparoscopically, significantly reducing the amount of risk, discomfort, and recovery time associated with the procedure.
Because the gastric sleeve procedure does not involve the exclusion of any portion of the intestine, the nutritional deficiencies that can occur with gastric bypass are less likely to be a problem for sleeve gastrectomy patients. Dumping syndrome is also improbable, so most types of foods can still be enjoyed, but in much smaller amounts. Also, because the portion of the stomach that is primarily responsible for stimulating hunger is removed, the patient’s appetite will be less intense.
Sleeve gastrectomy is an alternative obesity surgery option for patients who may not be good candidates for gastric bypass due to existing conditions or those that are concerned about the long-term effects of rerouting the digestive system. It also may be an option for patients who would be candidates for gastric banding but are uncomfortable with the idea of having such a device placed around the stomach.
In some cases, sleeve gastrectomy may also be performed as a preliminary procedure for patients who have a very high body mass index (BMI) and are at high risk of developing complications from gastric bypass surgery. The gastric sleeve allows patients to begin losing weight, bringing their BMIs down to a level at which the gastric bypass procedure can be performed without the increased risks associated with extreme obesity.
The most prevalent risk of gastric sleeve surgery is the possibility of inadequate weight loss. Although it is possible for a patient to continue to overeat after any type of obesity surgery, despite the discomforts that discourage it, most bariatric surgeons agree that purely restrictive procedures offer less obstacles to continued overeating, because the stomach can be stretched and everything the patient eats continues to be absorbed by the body.
It is also important to note that, because a portion of the stomach is physically removed from the body, a sleeve gastrectomy is absolutely irreversible.
At Minimally Invasive Bariatrics, we focus on thoroughly educating our patients, offering a wide range of surgical options, and providing comprehensive follow-up care. We believe that these are the factors that can make the difference between a successful procedure and one that does not produce the desired result