How is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Performed?

Gastric sleeve surgery, colloquially known as stomach reduction and sleeve gastrectomy in the medical literature, is the most applied bariatric surgery procedure not only in our country but also in the world. 

Gastric sleeve surgery is performed with laparoscopic surgery, which is a closed surgical technique. Opening large incisions of 10-15 cm, as is the case with open surgery procedures, is out of question in gastric sleeve surgery. After opening a few 0.5 cm holes, the camera and other instruments to be used during the surgery are inserted through the incisions and the abdomen is reached.

The surgeon performs the application by watching the image from the camera on the high-resolution monitor. Bleeding at the suture line should be meticulously controlled after approximately 80% of the stomach is removed with a stapler. Whether there is any leakage in the suture line is checked by inflating the stomach using special dyes. After the controls, the sleeve that was sent at the beginning of the surgery is removed, the drainage system is placed, and the procedure is completed.

Curiosities About Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery is an obesity surgery procedure that is completed in an average of 1.5 hours. Due to the protection of the entrance and exit sections of the stomach and the continuity of the digestive system, the risk is low, and possible side effects are low after all stomach surgery. 

Gastric sleeve surgery is the most frequently applied bariatric surgery procedure because of its proven effectiveness and low risk. Gastric bypass surgery, which is another type of stomach reduction surgery, is a procedure preferred in special cases. In patients with pre-eminent type-2 diabetes and missing insulin taking, the gastric bypass method may be the first choice, especially in patients with a very high body mass index. In addition, the gastric bypass procedure can be applied as a second surgery method for patients who have had gastric sleeve surgery but regained the weight they lost after the surgery.

Gastric sleeve surgery can be applied to patients:

  • Who are morbidly obese with a body mass index of 40 and above;
  • Who have problems such as hypertension, type-2 diabetes, and sleep apnea caused by obesity, although their body mass index is between 35 and 40; and
  • Who have a body mass index between 30 and 35, but have obesity-related new type-2 diabetes and metabolism disorders, upon the approval of the doctor.

What are the Risks of Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Although it is rare, there is a risk of developing life-threatening complications in stomach reduction surgery. Although complications such as bleeding or leakage occur very rarely after gastric sleeve surgery, the point to be considered is that these complications should be understood as soon as possible and necessary interventions should be made as they can threaten the life of the patient.

Gastric sleeve surgeries are major surgical procedures. Accordingly, as is the case with all major surgical procedures, gastric sleeve surgery also carries various risks. 

The risk of gastric sleeve surgery increases as the patient’s age and weight increase. Before gastric sleeve surgery, patients are informed in detail about the possible risks of the surgery. 

For morbidly obese people who undergo gastric reduction surgery, the risks associated with other health problems, especially the risk of developing fatty liver, diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney diseases, are eliminated. For this reason, gastric reduction surgery is a surgery that reduces the risk of other health problems and has a low risk.

Nutrition After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

  • Protein should be the most important nutrient in the nutrition program of patients after gastric sleeve surgery. For this, about 60 grams of protein should be taken every day.
  • Certainly, patients should not skip meals. At least 3 main meals and 2 snacks should be consumed per day. Thus, the patient’s stomach is not overfilled. This helps the metabolism work faster.
  • After gastric sleeve surgery, at least half an hour should be allocated for main meals. Meals should be eaten by sitting at the table, definitely not in front of the television or computer.
  • Meals should be prepared in small bites and in small portions. It can be helpful to use small plates, forks, and spoons to prevent overeating. Food should be eaten very slowly and chewed thoroughly.
  • If there are vitamins and minerals recommended by the doctor, they should be taken regularly after surgery. No other medication or nutritional supplement should be taken without the approval of the doctor.
  • Exercise should be done regularly after sleeve gastrectomy surgery. However, sports should not be started without the approval of the doctor. It is important to start exercising gradually 3 months after the surgery and to follow an exercise program approved by the doctor. It should be noted that the ideal type of exercise in the early period is walking.