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Sleeve gastrectomy is a safe, effective bariatric surgery that can help obese people lose weight. Patients may undergo sleeve gastrectomy as a single surgery or the first stage before a gastric bypass.
At the University of Maryland's Center for Weight Management and Wellness, our surgeon has more than 15 years of experience in performing bariatric surgeries including sleeve gastrectomy. And our weight loss team is here to support you both before and after weight-loss surgery.
How a Sleeve Gastrectomy Works
Sleeve gastrectomy, also called gastric sleeve surgery, involves removing about 80 percent of the stomach, which limits the amount of food you can eat. During the procedure, the surgeon divides the stomach along its vertical length to create a long, slender pouch (or sleeve).
Gastric sleeve surgery helps with weight loss because:
- The stomach sleeve can only hold a small amount of food
- Removing most of the stomach causes changes in gut hormones so that they suppress your appetite, control blood sugar and help you feel fuller longer
Sometimes this procedure alone enables patients to lose sufficient weight. However, it may come before a gastric bypass, which actually shortens the route that food passes through the system, keeping some calories from being absorbed.
Patients who have a complex surgical history or who have other conditions that make them at high risk for bypass surgery may opt for this surgery.
Advantages of Sleeve Gastrectomy
The advantages of sleeve gastrectomy include:
- Average weight loss of more than 50 percent of excess body weight
- Preserved stomach function because the nerves of the stomach and the outlet valve are not changed
- Less risk of developing vitamin and mineral deficiencies because the food you eat follows the normal digestive path
Our surgeon uses only the laparoscopic approach for sleeve gastrectomy surgery because of the many advantages of laparoscopic surgery, which include:
- Less pain and reduced need for pain medication
- Less risk of wound infection
- Quicker recovery and return to daily activities
- Several small incisions rather than a large one
- Shorter hospital stays