Being obese is about a lot more than carrying some extra pounds. Obesity carries some very serious and even life-threatening health risks, including significantly increased risks of heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Plus, being very overweight can take an emotional and mental health toll as well. Studies show people who are obese are far more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, and they’re also more likely to avoid social situations, becoming isolated and lonely.
If you’re obese, you’ve probably had more than one well-meaning friend or relative tell you how “easy” it is to lose weight with “simple” dieting and exercise. But if you’ve struggled with losing weight in the past, you know there’s nothing “simple” or “easy” about it. In fact, trying to lose weight and failing can be extremely discouraging, and that can wind up compounding feelings of depression and hopelessness.
For many people who struggle with obesity, bariatric surgery can offer a way to lose weight and keep it off, which means they not only feel better about themselves and how they look, but they can also decrease their health risks and enjoy more active, involved and fulfilling lives. Of all the bariatric procedures performed in the U.S., gastric sleeve surgery (or vertical sleeve gastrectomy) is by far the most popular, accounting for well over half of all bariatric surgeries performed.
What is gastric sleeve surgery?
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a type of restrictive bariatric surgery, which means it physically reduces or restricts the amount of food and calories you can consume by making your stomach smaller. Because your stomach is dramatically reduced in size, it takes far less food to make you feel full. That means you’ll eat a lot fewer calories, so you can lose weight and keep it off. Like other types of bariatric surgery, gastric sleeve surgery is generally reserved for people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more or for people who have a BMI of 30 or more along with another obesity-related health issue, like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol or sleep apnea.
At Georgia SurgiCare, Dr. Ibikunle offers two approaches to gastric sleeve surgery and both are minimally invasive, which means there are no large incisions. Instead, both techniques use a very tiny camera to capture real-time video that’s sent back to a monitor. Dr. Ibikunle performs the surgery using the video to guide the instruments.
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) uses very small incisions and special instruments to remove about 85 percent of your stomach, leaving a sleeve-shaped section behind. In addition to making your stomach smaller, so you feel full faster, the part of the stomach that’s removed during an LSG procedure is also the part that secretes the hormones that make you feel hungry. That means you won’t have the constant cravings for food, and you’ll want to eat less overall. The LSG procedure takes about two hours to perform, and once it’s complete, you’ll stay in the hospital for a couple of days before going home.
Endoscopic sleeve gastrectomy
Endoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (ESG) uses no incisions. Instead, the tiny camera and other instruments are inserted through your mouth. During the ESG procedure, Dr. Ibikunle places several sutures in your stomach to partition it into two parts. The smaller sleeve-shaped portion becomes your “new” stomach. Since the procedure does not remove any stomach tissue, it’s reversible once you achieve your weight-loss goals. ESG is typically an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home the same day you have your surgery. The procedure takes about 90 minutes, and afterward, you’ll be in a recovery area for a little while before you’re discharged. Like LSG, ESG recovery takes about two weeks, after which you can return to work.
Whichever procedure you have, you can expect to return to work in about two weeks. Full recovery takes from four to six weeks, during which time you’ll need to avoid strenuous activities.
Find out more about vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery
Make this the year you do something healthy for yourself. Get rid of that excess weight once and for all and start leading a healthier, happier life. To learn more about gastric sleeve surgery and whether it’s a good choice for your goals, book an appointment online today.
- Columbia Surgery: Center For Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery
- UPMC: Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Qualifications, Complications, and More
- Medical News Today: What to eat and avoid on the gastric sleeve diet
- NCBI: Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty with 1-year follow-up: factors predictive of success
- Healthline: Gastric Sleeve Diet
About The Author:
Clinical Professor of Surgery, Augusta University and University of Georgia
Fellow, American College of Surgeons
Member, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Dr Chris is the CEO of Georgia SurgiCare and its subsidiaries, the premier Same Day Surgery center in Georgia. He is an Augusta University Professor of Surgery who specializes in all aspects of General and Bariatric Surgery, including acid reflux, weight loss, gallbladder, hernia repair and cancer care. He is a leader in his field and at the forefront of technology, committed to providing high-quality, personalized and compassionate care to patients every day. Furthermore,Dr Chris has received numerous prestigious awards and distinctions such as Best of Gwinnett, SBDC Business Development, and Innovation Award.