This week we are taking a closer look at one of the main three weight loss surgery procedures, the gastric sleeve.
What is a gastric sleeve?
The gastric sleeve or sleeve gastrectomy, is a procedure, which reduces the volume of the stomach. Keyhole surgery is used to remove 90% of the stomach, changing it from a ‘normal’ sized one, to a narrow tube (or sleeve) approximately 1cm in diameter.
By removing, the part of the stomach that contains cells that release the appetite controlling hormone, ghrelin, the surgery makes patients less hungry. Also, the changed sized of the stomach is much less than a ‘normal’ stomach, so portion sizes need to be much smaller.
Who can have a gastric sleeve
There are no hard and fast criteria to determine if this. In general terms, if a patient has no illnesses related to their obesity they would probably need to have a BMI of around 40kg/m² to be recommended for treatment. For patients with obesity related illnesses this level would drop to nearer 35kg/m². Click here to work out your BMI
A gastric sleeve might be more suitable for the following:
- Someone on high levels of medication
- Someone who has co-morbidities, e.g. diabetes, hypertension
- In need of significant weight loss
- Someone who is prone to snacking heavily
- Someone with irregular meal patterns.
Before the surgery
Prior to having the gastric sleeve surgery your bariatric surgeon will give you advice on a pre-op diet to prepare your body for surgery.
On the day of surgery, you will be given a general anaesthetic that puts you to sleep so you won’t feel any pain during the operation.
Following your gastric sleeve surgery, you will probably stay in hospital for two or three days.
After the surgery, patients need to work closely with a bariatric dietitian. They are encouraged to follow a recommended diet, and to slowly build up to their new ‘normal’ portions and, eventually, to less easily digested foods such as meat and fish.
The timeframe for these stages can vary from person to person but it is very important to follow them as closely as possible for the best results.
Good aftercare is needed, to ensure patients remain healthy. Patients need to take a multi-vitamin and mineral tablet every day. As with the gastric bypass, annual blood monitoring is needed to avoid malnutrition.
Gastric sleeve surgery patients on average lose around 60 percent of excess body weight in two years*.
*Results can vary from person to person