The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG), more prominently known as the Gastric Sleeve, is a weight loss procedure that reduces the size of the stomach. It reduces it to approximately 15 to 20 percent of its original size, removing the rest of the stomach permanently. First of all, someone who has a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more is encouraged to get a gastric sleeve above other procedures.
Is Gastric Sleeve Reversible?
This is not a reversible procedure since the larger portion of the stomach is removed completely, as opposed to other bariatric surgeries like lap band or gastric bypass. There may be a little dilation of the stomach later on, but it’s rare and isn’t significant. While the procedure can’t be reversed, it does have the benefit of being performed laparoscopically, which minimizes the recovery time.
Benefits of the Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- One benefit of gastric sleeve surgery is that it can be performed any BMI over 30+ and any age range.
- Another benefit of the procedure is that it is a single procedure not requiring revisions or adjusting of bands; once it is done, it is done. It also tends to be less expensive and for many patients has fewer complications than other procedures.
- Overcome obesity and severe risks to your physical health, including a high risk of stroke or heart disease.
- Another benefit is that while much of the stomach is permanently removed, 25 percent of the stomach left is larger than the pouches left by gastric bypass or lap band surgery. Even though you can eat more with this surgery, you still lose about the same amount of weight as with other weight loss procedures.
Gastric Sleeve Results
There have been several studies to show the rates and results of gastric sleeve surgery. The studies have been performed to show short-term and long-term success rates following surgery, looking at how much weight was lost and how long it was kept off.
Some statistics to keep in mind with short-term studies include patients losing up to 60 percent of their excess body weight in the first year, losing up to 70 percent of excess body weight in two years, and resolution of obesity-related conditions 1-2 years after surgery. It has shown to help with sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type II Diabetes.
Long-Term Weight Loss Expectations
One of the long-term results is from a Swiss study that showed that on average, patients lost more than 57 percent of their excess body weight after five years of having the gastric sleeve procedure. This is some of the research that led researchers to believe it can be a viable one-procedure weight-loss option.
This study showed most of the weight loss was in the first year after the surgery, with the rest of the weight coming off slowly or going into maintenance mode for the following four years. Long-term success rates also showed a continued reduction in comorbidity rates, including lower risk of heart disease and stroke, and improvement in type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
Risks of Sleeve Gastrectomy
There are many drawbacks, though patients often agree the biggest advantage is that the stomach size is reduced permanently. Unlike with a lap band or gastric bypass procedure, this cannot be reversed. The only other option is to encourage better weight loss by adding a duodenal switch after the gastric sleeve procedure is done. Other than that, complications must be addressed without reversing the surgery.