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Vertical Gastric Sleeve Surgery

What is it?

Also known as a sleeve gastrectomy, the vertical gastric sleeve surgery is a weight loss surgery that surgically reduces the shape and size of the  stomach. The part of the stomach that stretches to accommodate larger portion sizes is removed so there is more restriction and individuals will feel fuller quicker after having the gastric sleeve surgery. The surgery is done laparoscopically taking approximately 45 minutes and usually involving a 1-2 night hospital stay.

How does it work?

Sleeve gastrectomy works in a restrictive way by reducing the size and elasticity of the stomach but it also work by limiting hunger signals to the brain. This occur because removing the portion of the stomach, known as the fundus, decreases the production of the appetite hormone, Ghrelin. With less Ghrelin, the brain gets less hunger signals and individuals are less likely to indulge or overeat. No other alteration to the digestive tract is made and no foreign objects are put in the body. Malabsorption is also not as much of a concern as it is with some other weight loss surgeries.

Who is it for?

Those who have a BMI of 40 or greater and are comfortable with a permanent alteration in their digestive anatomy are ideal candidates for the vertical sleeve gastrectomy.  Those with BMIs from 35 to 40 may also be good candidates if there are serious obesity-related health problems (“comorbidities”) such as diabetes or high blood pressure present.

Average Weight Loss

Individuals lose on average 50% of their excess weight within the first 6 months. Many will lose up to about 70% in 12-18 months.

Average Cost

The gastric sleeve surgery is usually around $14,900, but that may not include facility/hospital and other specialist fees, such as the anesthesiologist. However, insurances often cover gastric sleeve surgeries to some degree when obesity related medical conditions are present.