During a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, a thin vertical sleeve of stomach is created using a stapling device, and the rest of the stomach is removed. The sleeve is approximately the size of a banana. The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy weight loss procedure limits the amount of food you can eat at any given time and helps you feel full sooner. Food consumed passes through the digestive tract in the usual order, allowing it to be fully processed in the body without altering the normal absorption of vitamins and minerals.
The majority of weight loss sleeve gastrectomies performed today use a laparoscopic technique, which is considered minimally invasive. Laparoscopic surgery usually results in a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and smaller scars. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy also has less pain involved than open surgical weight loss procedures.
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy can be the first step before gastric bypass or it can be a single weight loss procedure. If a sleeve gastrectomy is used as part of a two-step weight loss procedure, the first step is for the surgeon to create the small stomach "sleeve." After a period of time determined by the surgeon, another weight loss procedure would be performed in which the surgeon attaches a section of the small intestine directly to the stomach pouch. This allows food to bypass a portion of the small intestine, which results in absorbing fewer calories.
The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy weight loss procedure significantly decreases hunger by removing the part of the stomach that produces the main stimulating hormones. It can also minimize the chance of developing ulcers. The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy also requires fewer office visits than the Lap Band weight loss procedure because there is no need for band size adjustments.