Understandably, there are questions, sometimes lots, sometimes a few. But the one question asked repeatedly is "What are you having done?? Is it like a band?"
The gastric sleeve is not like the band, the following table shows the main differences:
|Comparison between Gastric Band and Gastric Sleeve|
Treatment is carried out under general anaesthesia in an operation that takes between 60 and 90 minutes. The procedure is performed via 5 small incisions in the abdomen. A stapling device is used to remove up to 80% of the volume of the stomach, leaving a slender tube that maintains the natural openings to and from the stomach.
The gastric sleeve works in three ways. Firstly, it is a restrictive procedure, meaning that it achieves weight loss by restricting the amount of food that can be eaten. It also works because it removes the part of the stomach that produces the hormone Ghrelin, which is the hormone that stimulates appetite and hunger. The elimination of Ghrelin results in a significant reduction or loss of appetite. In addition, rapid transit of food from the ‘new’ stomach into the small bowel releases incretins (hormones that work to increase insulin secretion) that inhibit calorie intake.
Because no surgery is performed on the intestines, the digestive system functions normally. Unlike patients who have had the gastric bypass, gastric sleeve patients do not suffer from severe vitamin deficiencies, food restrictions or malabsorption.
Gastric sleeve patients require little in the way of follow-up, unlike gastric band patients who require band adjustments. As there is no implanted device there is nothing to malfunction in the future. The gastric sleeve is ideal for people with busy lifestyles and for those who are less mobile.
As the stomach functions normally after a gastric sleeve most foods can be eaten, just in smaller amounts.
Note: The technical information from this post has been sourced from The National Obesity Surgery Centre website, who I am having my procedure performed through in the UK.