Gastric sleeve procedure
What Does the Gastric Sleeve Operation Involve?
The operation is carried out laparoscopically, which is also known as keyhole surgery. The surgeon makes five small incisions (cuts) in the abdomen (belly) to get to the stomach, rather than one large cut (an ‘open procedure’).
However, occasionally, the surgeon may decide to convert to an open procedure (the traditional way of carrying out this operation through a longer incision) if they think it would be safer.
The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic and is normally keyhole surgery.
Up to 75% of the stomach may be removed in a sleevectomy procedure. The smaller stomach naturally reduces patients’ appetite, so that they only want small portions of food and therefore eat less and lose weight.
In addition, the portion of the stomach that is removed is the area responsible for secreting the hormone “Ghrelin”, which is responsible for appetite and hunger – the near elimination of this “hunger hormone” results in a significant reduction or loss of appetite, especially when combined with the smaller stomach capacity.
The operation takes up to two hours. For some patients, the surgery can be technically difficult depending on body-build or previous surgery. In these circumstances the operation can take longer.