Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is a bariatric surgical procedure that removes a large portion of the stomach – about 85 percent – and leaves a cylindrical, banana-shaped tube or “sleeve” that serves as the “new” stomach. The smaller size of the stomach means patients become full faster so they consume fewer calories. In addition, surgery removes the portion of the stomach that plays a major role in the production of so-called “hunger hormones,” so appetite is naturally suppressed. Unlike gastric bypass, the intestinal tract is not altered, and some studies have shown gastric sleeve surgery to be associated with better long-term weight loss compared to gastric banding procedures.
Laparoscopic gastric banding is usually performed as an outpatient procedure and takes about an hour to perform. The surgery uses a minimally-invasive laparoscopic approach, requiring smaller incision than traditional surgery so patients enjoy faster and more comfortable recovery after their procedure. Plus, smaller incisions result in less tissue damage, less blood loss and a decreased risk of complications. During the procedure, the bulk of the stomach is removed and the incisions are closed to create the new “sleeve”-shaped stomach.
Gastric sleeve surgery can be an ideal choice for patients suffering from anemia, cirrhosis and Crohn's disease who would not be eligible for gastric bypass or lap band surgery, and it also may be performed in very obese patients prior to a bypass surgery in order to help patients lose weight so their bypass surgery is less risky.
Laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery is extremely effective, with many patients losing an average of 60 percent of their body weight within the year after surgery. Because the surgery reduces appetite, weight reduction can be much easier than patients expect, making this type of bariatric surgery one of the most popular choices in the U.S. and abroad.