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Sleeve Gastrectomy

Another option in bariatric surgery is the sleeve gastrectomy.  It is a fairly new minimally invasive technique where the surgeon creates a small, sleeve -shaped stomach about the size of a banana.  The stomach is about 15%-20% smaller than its original size.  With this option patients are expected to have 70% excess weight loss at 18 months.  The sleeve gastrectomy is not a reversible procedure.

There are several benefits to the sleeve gastrectomy.  It is effective for patients who are morbidly obese and an alternative for patients suffering from morbid obesity whose health risks are too complicated for earlier weight loss methods.  There is no foreign body present and no malabsorption as with the bypass.  This procedure, which takes about an hour involves at least an overnight stay, does not involve any rerouting or reconnecting of the intestine.

Am I A Candidate?

Although guidelines vary, bariatric surgery is generally considered when your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher and you have a life-threatening or disabling condition related to your weight.  You may also be required to fulfill the following criteria: to have been obese for at least 5 years; not abuse alcohol; not have untreated depression or another major psychiatric disorder; and be over 18 years old.

Depending on the type of surgery, most people lose about 30-80% of their excess weight (excess weight refers to weight beyond what is considered healthy for a person of your height, age, and gender).

Risk Factors

As effective as modern bariatric surgery is, there are risk factors:  some of the weight loss may be regained, some types of surgery may put you at risk for nutritional deficiencies; people who are obese have a higher risk of complications from surgery.
To minimize these risk factors, our comprehensive bariatric program requires you to commit to the following guidelines before surgery.  You must have a primary care physician who has been notified of your interest in surgery and is willing to work with you before and after surgery, and also:

  • Obtain medical & psychological clearance
  • Commit to long-term follow-up with our program
  • Commit to life-long adherence to nutrition guidelines
  • Attend an education seminar prior to surgery
  • Receive insurance authorization or make self-payment arrangements
  • Participate in pre-admission testing conducted at Maimonides Medical Center