About Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

What is Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy?

This is a surgical procedure designed to help people lose weight. It is usually offered to those who are extremely overweight and are having trouble losing weight by changing their diet or exercising. By those who are extremely overweight we mean people whose BMI is above 40. When your BMI is this high it means you are more than 100 pounds above your recommended weight.

Vertial Sleeve If you are too heavy to undergo a gastric bypass procedure, vertical sleeve gastrectomy is advisable either on its own or to bring your weight down to a level where you can safely undergo more conventional weight loss procedures. Those who are at risk of getting heart disease or developing type 2 diabetes because of their weight should also think about vertical sleeve gastrectomy as a way of drastically reducing their weight.

Before Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure

Routine pre-surgery tests apply to those who are scheduled for this kind of surgery. These tests are basically to establish if you are healthy enough to undergo surgery. They include a complete physical check up, blood tests and ultrasound scans on the gall bladder. If you have pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, you need to consult your doctor before committing to the operation. Should you smoke, you will be required to stop a few weeks before going into theatre. You will also be required to discontinue usage of any medication that makes it difficult for your blood to clot.

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure

You will have to be administered with anaesthesia if you are to undergo a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, which applies to most other kinds of surgery. Being a laparoscopic surgery, the vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure is conducted via instruments inserted into the body through tiny half-inch incisions. A small camera is inserted into the area of operation along with the instruments to enable the doctors to see the inside of your abdomen via a monitor screen.

Once everything is in place the surgeon will proceed to cut away up to 85% of your stomach, leaving the sphincter muscles untouched. What will be left is a small tubular pouch with a much smaller capacity to store food. This will make you feel full after eating a small amount of food. The surgeon will then staple the stomach back together and make sure that it is properly sealed to prevent any leakage before removing the instruments. The entire procedure should take less than two hours and if you have an experienced surgeon, they could be done in an hour or so. Due to the increased risk of gallstones after vertical sleeve gastrectomy, most doctors will advise you to undergo surgery to remove your gall bladder before or together with your gastrectomy.

After Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure

You will need to remain in hospital for about two days after the surgery. For a while you will be on fluids alone before graduating to solid food.

It is a mistake to think that having the procedure alone will lead to successful weight loss. To maximise weight loss after the surgery you need to make a deliberate decision to reduce your portions. Your stomach, banana-sized as it will be after the procedure, retains the capacity to expand to accommodate the amount of food you eat. So obey the “I’m full” messages from your resized stomach to avert the risk of reversing possible gains. The weight loss from vertical sleeve gastrectomy is slower to achieve than other surgical procedures. So besides changing your diet, physical activity will help speed up the process. Having a sustainable exercise regime accompanied by a diet of smaller portions is what you need to make the vertical sleeve gastrectomy worthwhile.