A sleeve gastrectomy is a type of weight loss surgery. In this procedure, surgeons remove part of the stomach, leaving only the outer crescent so that the stomach resembles a tube, or sleeve. A sleeve gastrectomy reduces the size of the stomach by about 75 percent, leaving it with a capacity of only three to five ounces. Patients are able to lose weight because the stomach holds less food, causing them to feel full sooner. Also, the part of the stomach that surgeons remove includes an area where a major appetite-regulating hormone is produced, enabling patients to experience a dramatic reduction of hunger after a sleeve gastrectomy.
The sleeve gastrectomy procedure is often performed laparoscopically, using small incisions and instruments to complete the procedure and enabling the patient to recover more quickly. A laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy takes about one hour and requires a hospital stay of one to two days.
As the newest of the weight loss surgeries, sleeve gastrectomy is considered a compromise between gastric bypass surgery and lap band surgery – patients tend to experience fewer complications than with a bypass, and lose weight more quickly than with a lap band procedure. Common complications of a sleeve gastrectomy include bleeding (2 percent), narrowing of the sleeve (2 percent), and leakage from the staple line (1 to 2 percent). After a sleeve gastrectomy, patients may not be able to absorb enough nutrients from their normal diet, and must supplement their diet with vitamins daily.
A sleeve gastrectomy at BWH
The Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) provides comprehensive weight loss surgery options for patients seeking to lose a significant amount of weight. Our program provides every patient with a plan crafted to meet their unique needs, and provides access to surgeons and skilled clinicians that help each patient with the dietary, medical and behavioral support they need to maximize good outcomes. The Center is a Level 1a Center of Excellence accredited bariatric center with the American College of Surgeons.
Learn more about the sleeve gastrectomy procedure
To learn more about sleeve gastrectomy and other weight loss surgery options at BWH, attend one of our frequent information sessions where you can meet a weight loss surgeon and learn more about the different procedures. To find an information session near you, contact our new patient coordinator at 617-732-8500, ext 1.
In addition to weight loss surgery, Brigham and Women's offers care and treatment for a wide range of medical specialties, including women's reproductive care, treatment for osteoporosis, neurology, cardiology and more. Patients with a specific medical need, such as care for high risk pregnancy, can use the Find a Doctor feature on the BWH website to find a physician in any of specialty areas.