The gastric sleeve is currently the most popular weight loss procedure around the world.
The operation involves removing 80-90% of your stomach, resulting in a new stomach volume of approximately half a cup (100-150ml).
A smaller stomach means that you can only eat a small amount of food and it is therefore considered a “restrictive” operation.
The portion of stomach removed produces(a hormone that makes you feel hungry). This leads to a drop of these levels in your body and a loss in your appetite.
As a consequence of a reduction in ghrelin levels and a smaller stomach, you don’t feel hungry, and when you do eat, you can only eat small volumes. This ultimately leads to weight loss. On average, you will lose between 60-70% of your.
Some of the specific complications of laparoscopic gastric sleeve include:
- Staple-line leak (1-2%) – this may occur within the first two weeks after surgery. The stomach contents can leak into the abdomen due to failure of the staple line to heal. Further surgery/procedures may be necessary as well as a prolonged hospital stay.
- / (1-2%) – a narrowing may occur half way down the sleeve. This can occur several months after the operation. This may require stretching up with a balloon, or placement of a stent (tube) within the sleeve, and removal 4 weeks later. Occasionally, revisional surgery may be required.
- Acid reflux – you may get symptoms of heartburn. Most times, this can be treated with medications. Revisional surgery is sometimes necessary.
- Nutritional deficiencies – even though you will need to take multivitamin supplements, you can become low in certain vitamins or minerals. Additional supplementation may be necessary. You will require lifelong follow-up and blood tests to monitor for potential deficiencies.
- Port site pain – particularly on the right side of the abdomen (associated with removal of stomach). This may last for several weeks after surgery.