Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy: Is It Right for You?

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As patients begin investigating surgical weight-loss options, one of the first questions is which procedure is best for you? To arrive at the answer, thorough research regarding the risks and benefits of each procedure must be done as well as working with your surgeon to evaluate your individual risks.

While a significant percentage of bariatric surgeries in the U.S. are gastric bypass procedures, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), a relative newcomer to bariatric surgery, is growing in popularity, and for good reason. Shorter in duration and less invasive than other procedures, LSG surgery can be a good option for many. Higher-risk patients, especially those who have a very high body mass index (BMI) or severe heart or lung disease may benefit from LSG as the first stage of their bariatric procedure. It is now also being used as a primary, stand-alone procedure by many surgeons such as Dr. Tsuda with great success.

The surgery involves making five or six small incisions in the abdomen. The procedure uses a video camera (laparoscope) and long instruments that are placed through the small incisions. During the sleeve gastrectomy, 75-85 percent of the stomach is removed leaving a narrow gastric tube or “sleeve” about the size and shape of a banana. No intestines are removed or bypassed during the sleeve gastrectomy. The procedure takes one to two hours to complete.

Sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive procedure. It greatly reduces the size of the stomach and limits the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. It does not cause decreased absorption of nutrients or bypass the intestines. After this surgery, patients feel full after eating very small amounts of food. Sleeve gastrectomy may also cause a decrease in appetite. In addition to reducing the size of the stomach, the procedure reduces the amount of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, produced by the stomach.

If you are considering weight-loss surgery, ask Dr. Tsuda if laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is right for you.

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