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Here’s Why “The Sleeve” is the Preferred Weight Loss Surgery Procedure

Tim Boyer's picture
Weight loss surgery

According to a recent news report, rapidly rising numbers of obese patients are choosing a bariatric surgery weight loss procedure referred to as “the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy” as their go-to weight loss surgical procedure. Here’s an update on why this type of surgery is preferred by these patients.


In a previous article early this year, readers were alerted to a relatively new type of bariatric surgery called “Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.” The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy surgical procedure is a unique sleeve and staple procedure in which the surgeon using staples, creates a sleeve-shaped stomach―about the size of a banana―with the excised portion of the stomach removed.

This type of surgery is categorized as a “Restrictive” type because the newly shaped stomach can now hold only about a cup of food, which imposes a physical limit to the amount of food a person can eat at one time. Although food is physically restricted, digestion and absorption remains normal―unlike a gastric bypass that removes a significant portion of the small intestine out of the digestion process.

Today, new reports are coming in that patients are finding this the more preferable surgery to have for weight loss. Why is that? Well according to NBC affiliate station WOOD channel 8 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, surgeons are finding that about half of the weight loss that results is due to a reduced stomach volume, while the remaining half is a result of a decrease in the hunger hormone ghrelin and an increase in metabolism―desirable benefits for controlling weight long after surgery.

One of the most well-known celebrities admitting to having had the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure is The View co-host Rosie O'Donnell who reportedly lost 50 pounds due to the surgery. However, Ms. O’Donnell also warned the public that there are some consequences after having the surgery.

So what are the other benefits of sleeve gastrectomy that make it so popular?

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• Patients typically lose from 30 to 80 percent of their weight
• The procedure is less invasive than other types of bariatric surgery
• Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure will be improved
• Digestion and absorption remain normal
• Although follow-up care will continue, no postoperative adjustments need to be made
• Fewer problems with vitamin deficiencies

However, this does not mean that the surgery is risk-free. In fact, common risks associated with Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy include the possibility of:

• Separation of tissue that was stapled or stitched together
• Leaks from staples
• Ulcers
• Gastric leakage
• Risks inherent with any surgery

Health experts also warn potential weight loss surgery patients that this surgery is not a weight loss cure-all; but rather, a tool to be used in conjunction with lifestyle changes that include eating healthy balanced meals and added exercise.

For a comparison between bariatric surgery procedures, here is a finding by U.S News & World Report about a lesser-used surgical method for weight loss that actually results in more weight loss than the more commonly used procedure.

Reference: NBC affiliate station WOOD Channel 8― “The new go-to weight loss option