The vertical gastrectomy or sleeve gastrectomy is a type of restrictive weight loss surgery. The procedure generates weight loss by restricting the amount of food that can be consumed before feeling full. This procedure, like all other weight loss surgery, should be considered a tool and not a magic bullet. The individual who undergoes this procedure must make changes in food intake and lifestyle in order for the procedure to have a successful long-term outcome. Because the stomach has the ability to stretch to accommodate food, the stomach can expand from the small capacity the surgery initially allows.
The majority of weight loss sleeve gastrectomies performed today use a laparoscopic technique. This allows the surgeon to work using long instruments placed in the body via incisions a few centimeters long. In some cases, the surgery will be performed “open,” with the traditional larger incision, or a surgery that begins lapaoscopically may be converted to the open procedure when the surgeon determines it is necessary.
The stomach is restricted by stapling and dividing it vertically, removing up to 85%. The remaining stomach is obviously smaller and tubular in shape. With a smaller stomach, patients eat less. It is also felt that the hormones that control the appetite are created in a portion of the stomach that is removed, and by taking out that portion of the stomach, the patient’s appetite is reduced.