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Vertical sleeve gastrectomy, also known as laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, is a type of minimally invasive metabolic surgery that involves transforming the stomach into a long, narrow tube.The surgery reduces the stomach by 75%, limiting the amount of food it can hold.

It removes the portion of the stomach that produces the hunger hormone. This causes hormonal changes that aid in weight loss and alleviate symptoms connected with being overweight.

The surgery is performed laparoscopically, with small incisions in the body, which decreases the risks compared to open surgery. This surgical procedure also leads to less wound discomfort, fewer problems, a shorter hospital stay, and speedier recovery.

Why Have a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Vertical sleeve gastric surgery is classified as bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgeries are more effective than lifestyle, dietary, and pharmacological therapies in managing obesity and obesity-related illnesses, such as:

  • Cardiovascular diseases;

  • High blood pressure;

  • Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol);

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (induced by obstruction of the upper airways);

  • Type 2 diabetes.

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30, and it is frequently associated with co-occurring illnesses that reduce life expectancy. Bariatric surgeries are now the most effective way to lose weight quickly and, more importantly, to maintain weight loss.

To qualify for bariatric surgery, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • A BMI greater than 37.5 with no additional co-occurring conditions;

  • A BMI greater than 32.5 and one or more obesity-related diseases.

Your doctor will decide whether you are an appropriate candidate for bariatric surgery.

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy vs. Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y)

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is distinct from gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y), another type of weight loss surgery. Your doctor will prescribe the most appropriate type of surgery for you.

Gastric bypass surgery (Roux-en-Y) involves removing a portion of the stomach and creating a tiny pouch that connects to the small intestine.

There are no further modifications to the digestive system. This new stomach pouch connects to a segment of the small intestine, bypassing the remainder of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine.

Who Shouldn't Get a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy may not be appropriate for patients whose BMI is below the surgical standards or who are too unwell to undergo surgery. Another alternative could be to utilize a gastric balloon. Vertical sleeve gastrectomy may not be appropriate for patients whose BMI is below the surgical standards or who are too unwell to undergo surgery.

What Are the Potential Risks and Problems of a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy?

This treatment is usually regarded as safe and successful. However, as with any surgical operation, there are some general risks, including:

  • Infection;

  • Blood clots;

  • Excessive bleeding;

  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia.

Some specific yet infrequent concerns associated with vertical sleeve gastrectomy include:

  • Leaks from the cut border of the stomach;

  • Gastrointestinal blockage;

  • Hernias;

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD);

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia);

  • Malnutrition;

  • Vomiting.

To prevent complications associated with GI issues and weight gain, you should continue to undergo regular check-ups after the third year after surgery.

Weight loss from LSG stops after a few years, and your stomach may stretch and grow. For any bariatric surgery to be successful, you must undertake significant lifestyle changes, including improved eating and frequent exercise.

Before undergoing any form of weight-loss surgery, consult with your doctor. Before surgery, you will need to have a thorough physical evaluation to ensure that you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. You should also get dietary and mental health counseling to ensure that you are prepared for what to expect after surgery.  

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