Weight Loss Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
During the gastric sleeve procedure, the surgeon removes approximately 75 to 80 percent of the stomach laparoscopically so that the stomach takes the shape of a "sleeve", which helps induce weight loss by restricting food intake.
“The gastric sleeve began as a staged procedure where a high-risk patient would undergo this less-risky surgery to help lose the weight they need before undergoing a gastric bypass or gastric band procedure,” said Kowalski. “Interestingly, patients kept losing weight with the gastric sleeve, making it a primary procedure and an alternative to gastric bypass and gastric banding.”
The gastric sleeve surgery is done by taking down the short gastric vessels on the greater curvature of the stomach approximately five to seven centimeters to the right-side of the valve leaving the stomach. The vessels are then divided to form a completely free stomach for resection. Once the pouch has been sized, a linear stapler is used to divide the remainder of the stomach.
During the final stages of the gastric sleeve, an endoscope is used to inspect the inside of the stomach and water is used to test it for any leaks. Since the greater curvature of the stomach is removed from the body, the gastric sleeve surgery is non-reversible.
Following the procedure, Hoehn said patients are the happiest about getting back to a life they’ve always dreamed of living. “Oftentimes, patients are held down by health problems related to being overweight,” he said. “Not only can the results of this procedure help change their future, but it also impacts their everyday lifestyle.
Patient Brian Hayhow lost 145 pounds after undergoing the gastric sleeve procedure and can attest to the benefits. “It’s amazing how my life became so much better so quickly after the surgery. I have not met one single patient from a weight-loss surgery who regretted their decision or wished they would have done something different,” Hayhow said. “Not only have I seen the benefits to my health, but my social situations and family life have also improved.”
As an accredited Bariatric Center of Excellence, SMMC has proven its program has produced outcomes better than the national average. Hoehn is the founding member of the Bariatric Center of Kansas City. He also serves as Medical Director of the Bariatric Surgery Program at SMMC.
Before undergoing a procedure, a patient receives nutritional counselling with registered dieticians and a thorough psychological evaluation with a clinical psychologist who specializes in care of weight-loss surgery patients. A physical examination is required before surgery, and a registered nurse specializing in bariatric surgery will see the patient before and after surgery for support. After undergoing bariatric surgery, patients have access to a continuous support group.