As a visitor to the Gastric Sleeve Center website, you may be wondering why we emphasize the gastric sleeve or sleeve gastrectomy over other procedures.
Over the course of my career in bariatric surgery, I have performed thousands of bariatric and general surgery procedures. I have seen and done it all. When the gastric sleeve was first performed, it was used as the first part of a two-stage procedure - the second of which would be a duodenal switch. As a believer in the gastric sleeve as an effective solution, I was part of the push to make it a viable standalone procedure. Eventually, with research based evidence to back it up, the gastric sleeve entered the mainstream and just a few years ago, major insurance companies began covering the surgery as one of the three major bariatric procedures.
In this blog post I would like to detail just some of the reasons why we focus on the gastric sleeve.
There are several fundamental advantages of the sleeve:
• First and foremost, when compared to gastric banding, the most obvious difference is that the gastric sleeve does not require the implantation of a medical device in the abdomen. The fact that it does not reroute the intestine as with a bypass is also advantageous.
• Further, the gastric sleeve is very straightforward and requires only the removal of approximately 75% of the existing stomach. While the procedure itself still requires a great deal of experience, fewer moving parts often means a lesser chance of complications.
• Other procedures do not address one of the major concerns of most bariatric patients: “Will I still feel hungry?” In other cases, the answer is yes. However, the gastric sleeve is very particular in that it removes the fundus, which is the main producer of the hunger hormone Ghrelin. So not only does the procedure restrict the amount of food that a patient can eat, but it also makes them feel less hungry.
• Finally, the gastric sleeve offers a much simpler and easier follow-up structure than the gastric band. Patients do not have to come back to our office as often as banding patients who need regular adjustments over the first two years after surgery.
The gastric sleeve is a versatile and growing part of bariatrics and we have seen exceptional results over the course of our work. It is, of course, important to remember that complications can happen, just like with any other surgery, however emplying a surgeon experienced in the procedure has been proven to reduce the incidence of those complications.