Gastric Sleeve Surgery is a new procedure that induces weight loss by restricting food intake. With this procedure, the surgeon removes approximately 60 percent of the stomach laparoscopically so that the stomach takes the shape of a tube or "sleeve." This procedure is usually performed on superobese or high risk patients.
This procedure generates weight loss soley through gastric restriction (reduced stomach volume). The stomach is restricted by dividing it vertically and removing more than 85% of it. This part of the procedure is not reversible. The stomach that remains is shaped like a banana and measures from 2-5 ounces (60-150cc) depending on the surgeon performing the procedure. The nerves to the stomach and the outlet valve (pylorus) remain intact with the idea of preserving the functions of the stomach while reducing the volume. By comparison, in a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the stomach is divided, not removed, and the pylorus is excluded. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass stomach can be reconnected (reversed) if necessary. Note that there is no intestinal bypass with this procedure, only stomach reduction.
This combined approach has tremendously decreased the risk of weight loss surgery for specific groups of patients, even when the risk of the two surgeries is added. Most patients can expect to lose 30 to 50% of their excess body weight over a 6 - 12 month period with the sleeve gastrectomy alone.