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What is a sleeve gastrectomy?
A sleeve gastrectomy is one type of weight loss surgery. Your stomach will be stapled and divided. About 80% of your stomach will be removed. The smaller stomach limits the amount of food you can eat during a meal. This leads to weight loss.
Unlike other bariatric surgeries, the sleeve gastrectomy does not involve rearranging the intestines. It also does not involve an implanted medical device like an adjustable gastric band.
Who could benefit from sleeve gastrectomy?
Some insurance companies may require a higher BMI to qualify for a sleeve gastrectomy. Other insurance companies still consider this an investigational procedure and do not cover it.
This procedure may be right for you if you take many medicines. Your body still absorbs medicines the same way it did before surgery.
Are there risks to sleeve gastrectomy surgery?
This surgery does carry risks. Possible complications include leakage (from where the stomach is cut and stapled), infection, bleeding, blood clots, narrowing of your pouch, anesthesia risks, hernia and ulcers. Death from this weight loss surgery is a risk but it is not common.
Please discuss potential risks with your surgeon.
What happens during recovery?
You will need to commit to a lifestyle of healthful eating and regular exercise for the rest of your life. This will help you avoid re-gaining weight and help you manage your health.
Source: The Bariatric Centers of Allina Hospitals & Clinics
Reviewed by: Frederick Johnson, MD, surgeon, Allina Medical Clinic – Bariatric Surgical Specialties; co-medical director, Unity Hospital Bariatric Center
First Published: 05/25/2005
Last Reviewed: 07/14/2010