The Sleeve Gastrectomy or vertical gastrectomy is not only a restrictive procedure decreasing the capacity of the stomach, but is also considered as a mixed procedure, because the portion of the stomach that produces the ghrelin hormone (also known as the hunger hormone) is removed,causing a significant decrease in appetite, thus promoting weight loss.
The sleeve gastrectomy involves removing 2/3 of the stomach. The remaining 1/3 is given the form of a sleeve, hence its name. The capacity of the stomach after the procedure will be of approximately 120 ml.
The main weight loss mechanism when performing a sleeve gastrectomy is early satiety by diminishing the gastric capacity. It does not alter the physiology of the stomach nor the normal digestive process. This surgery is relatively new in the field of bariatric surgery, however, its practice has been increasing worldwide, achieving losses of the excess weight of up to 80% during the first year.
The procedure is performed through laparoscopy under general anesthesia, it lasts about 1.5 hours, and requires overnight hospitalization.
The sleeve gastrectomy can be used as the first step of a gastric bypass for very obese or high surgical risk patients. It can also be used as a sole restrictive procedure. When used as the first step of a gastric bypass, a control of the patient´s weight loss is required for a period of 12 to 18 months. After this time, if the patient has experienced a level of weight loss that is still below the target levels, the gastric bypass may be performed with improved health conditions.