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Vertical Sleeve Gastroectomy

Effective Weight Loss Surgery

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery, also called “the sleeve,” involves stapling the stomach, so it’s smaller. The surgeon removes the rest of the stomach from the body. With a smaller stomach, you feel full faster and eat fewer calories. You can lose 50–70% of extra body weight, meeting your target weight within eight to 12 months.

The sleeve is now the most common weight loss surgery in the U.S. It’s performed laparoscopically, meaning fewer, smaller incisions. Those who get the procedure stay in the hospital overnight, and most can go home the next day.

A few of the most common risks of gastric sleeve surgery include:

  • Leaks: About 0.2% of patients experience leaking along the staple line. Leaks can mean that food in your stomach is able to get outside the stomach. It can cause infection, requiring more procedures and time to heal.
  • More heartburn or reflux: About 30% of patients experience new or worse heartburn or reflux. These symptoms happen because a smaller stomach has higher pressure, which can push stomach acids into the esophagus (the tube between the mouth and stomach). Usually, people manage symptoms with medication or diet changes. In rare cases, surgery may help.

Results & outcomes

Every individual and outcome is different, however, the majority of patients who have undergone this procedure have lost a majority of their excess body weight and many never require the second stage of the duodenal switch procedure. Similar success has been seen in patients undergoing the procedure with lower BMIs as well.

Bariatric surgeons began performing the VSG as a standalone procedure in the US in 2001. The last 3 years has seen a rapid rise in the number of VSG procedures performed at bariatric centers across the country. Recently, a number of bariatric surgery centers have published their experience with the VSG surgery. Weight loss seen in VSG patients both short and long term is very encouraging.

Patients undergoing the vertical sleeve gastrectomy have been noted to experience more weight loss and a faster rate of weight loss compared to patients who underwent the LAP-BAND® procedure. Of course, weight loss varies based on the individual – to see which option is best for you, we suggest speaking with one of our specialists.

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