A sleeve gastrectomy is performed laparoscopically through small key hole incisions. The sleeve gastrectomy is a very basic concept of reducing the size of the body’s food bag, it does not change the passage of the food through the intestinal tract. The stomach becomes long and narrow rather than a sac that holds more volume. A normal size stomach holds approximately 1.5L and after a sleeve gastrectomy holds between 100-200ml – 70-80% of the stomach is surgically removed at the time of operation.
Sleeve gastrectomy has been performed for over 12 years around the world and has become a very common operation for weight loss. It is performed under anaesthetic using key hole incisions (laparoscopy). This procedure is permanent and irreversible. The part of the stomach that is removed produces the hunger hormone THC, resulting in a profound loss of appetite. This lessens with time but long term there is still less hunger than before surgery.
The aim of a sleeve gastrectomy is for the patient to eat three small meals a day and feel satisfied with this amount of food. We expect that for the rest of their lives sleeve gastrectomy patients will eat off a bread and butter plate, about a cup of food at each meal. The reduced size of meals allows reduced calorie intake resulting in weight loss. Our patients see dieticians at their pre operative and post operative appointments to ensure they are eating healthily and changing their habits to ensure long term success through healthy choices. We strongly encourage patients to make healthy long term changes, weight loss surgery is not a short term diet.
We expect all our patients are able to eat a small amount of all foods, with the exception of fatty foods as these foods are often intolerable. Our patients are aiming for 1500 Kcal per day or below through healthy choices. Our gastric sleeve patients average a loss of 70% of their excess body weight.
There is a 1-2% chance of a complication with sleeve gastrectomy. There is a risk of a bleed or a leak from the staple line. These complications can be minor and easily settle or a leak can be a very serious complication often requiring hospital admission for up to 8 weeks.