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Learn About Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve Gastrectomy is a laparoscopic procedure that reduces the size of the stomach. A normal stomach can hold over a liter of contents. Removing most of the stomach reduces the amount of food the stomach can hold. The size of the stomach after surgery is about one tenth the normal size.

No rerouting of the intestinal tract takes place during a sleeve gastrectomy and no intestine is bypassed. Food passes through the intestinal tract in its normal order. This operation is not adjustable or reversible.

The new smaller stomach holds about a half-cup of food, rather than the roughly six cups that a normal stomach holds. It fills with food quickly, which means you won't be able to eat as much, and will feel full faster, yet it also allows you to absorb nutrients from food normally.

During the procedure, our surgeons employ laparoscopic techniques, making a small incision and using long-shafted instruments to exam the patient's abdomen. The stomach is freed from its attachments and divided with a stapling device. The stapling device seals the stomach and divides tissue. The new smaller stomach is shaped like a banana. The new smaller stomach limits and controls the amount of food you eat.

Results: Gastric sleeve patients typically lose 55% of their excess weight

Health Benefits
Studies found that gastric sleeve:

  • Resolved type 2 diabetes in 55 percent of patients.
  • Resolved high blood pressure in 49 percent of patients.
  • Improved or resolved high cholesterol in 81 percent of patients.

Quality of Life
One meta-analysis stated that for bariatric surgery patients who experienced significant weight loss:

  • Overall quality of life improved greatly.
  • They experienced improved physical functioning and appearance.
  • They experienced improved social and economic opportunities.

Your healthcare team will advise you when to return to work and when you are able to resume normal activities.

Potential Concerns of Gastric Sleeve

  • Gastric sleeve can help you feel satisfied sooner and with less food, but it won't eliminate the desire to eat. You will need to follow your specific diet and exercise guidelines provided by your bariatric surgeon to achieve success.
  • Gastric Sleeve requires follow-up care. Keep in mind that even after reaching and maintaining your success weight, you may still need to see your bariatric surgeon for further follow up.

Gastric Sleeve may not be right for you if:

  1. You have an inflammatory disease or condition of the gastrointestinal tract, such as ulcers, severe esophagitis or Crohn's disease.
  2. You have a problem that could cause bleeding in the esophagus or stomach, such as esophageal or gastric varices (a dilated vein).
  3. You have portal hypertension, cirrhosis, or pancreatitis.
  4. The anatomy of your esophagus, stomach, or intestine is not normal (congenital or acquired). For instance, you might have a narrowed opening.
  5. You have had prior gastric surgery.
  6. You are not healthy enough for a major surgery.

WakeMed’s dedicated bariatric surgeons perform minimally invasive weight loss surgeries at WakeMed Cary Hospital, an accredited MBSAQIP Comprehensive Center.  WakeMed Cary Hospital is also designated a Cigna Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery and a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery.