Sleeve Gastrectomy (Stomach Reduction Surgery)
Sleeve gastrectomy, commonly used in the treatment of obesity, aims to reduce the size of the stomach, facilitating weight loss and reducing the risks associated with obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
What Is Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve Surgery)?
Sleeve gastrectomy, also known as gastric sleeve surgery, is a surgical procedure used for obesity treatment. The primary objective of this procedure is to reduce the size of the patient’s stomach, thereby decreasing their eating capacity and making weight loss easier.
Initially, diet and exercise options are considered for obesity management. However, these methods may not always be successful, especially for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher. This is where obesity surgery comes into play to address the problem through surgical means.
During a sleeve gastrectomy, a portion of the stomach is removed, and this is an irreversible procedure. However, the removal of a part of the stomach leads to a decrease in hunger hormone levels, causing patients to feel less hungry. This, in turn, supports weight loss.
How Is Sleeve Gastrectomy Performed?
Sleeve gastrectomy is typically performed using minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery if the patient’s condition is suitable. In laparoscopic surgery, small incisions (approximately 0.5 cm to 1 cm in size) are made in the abdominal area. Medical instruments and a camera are inserted through these incisions to access the stomach.
The camera transmits images to a screen, allowing surgeons to perform the surgery based on these visuals. Afterward, the incisions are closed to complete the procedure.
The steps involved in sleeve gastrectomy are as follows:
- Patients are initially placed under general anesthesia, and small incisions are made in the abdominal area to access the stomach.
- A calibration tube is inserted into the stomach, and approximately 80% of the stomach is removed and taken outside the body.
- No interventions are made at the entry and exit points of the stomach. The removed section is carefully stitched, paying close attention to avoid leaks and leaks.
- The calibration tube is removed, and leak checks are conducted. When it is confirmed that there are no leaks, the procedure is completed.
Patients are typically monitored for 2-3 days after the surgery. Pain in the abdominal area that begins after this period and high fever are the most significant indicators of stomach leakage. These symptoms are closely monitored, and leak checks are performed. Once everything is confirmed to be in order, patients are discharged.
Who Is Eligible for Sleeve Gastrectomy?
Sleeve gastrectomy, also known as gastric sleeve or weight loss surgery, is not suitable for the general population. It is exclusively performed on individuals who are obese.
To determine eligibility for these procedures, the patient’s BMI is assessed. Those with a BMI of 35 or higher are considered suitable candidates for surgery. However, the final decision is made by the expert surgeon.
Individuals with a BMI between 30 and 35 are generally not considered candidates for this surgery. However, in cases where there are conditions such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension, sleeve gastrectomy may be considered as a treatment option. Again, the decision is ultimately up to the surgeon.
What Are the Risks of Sleeve Gastrectomy?
Sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical procedure, and like any surgery, it carries certain risks, although the likelihood of these risks occurring is relatively low. It is essential to consider these risks seriously. The risks associated with sleeve gastrectomy include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Internal bleeding
- Redness and bruising in the operated area
- Damage to organs such as the lungs, liver, and intestines
- Side effects related to anesthesia
- Blockage in the stomach or intestines
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood sugar drops
- Acid reflux
- Stomach leakage
These risks should be closely monitored. If they occur, most can be managed with simple treatments. However, in the case of stomach leakage and similar risks, surgical intervention may be required.
It is important to remember that even if a significant portion of the stomach is removed during sleeve gastrectomy, the stomach is an expandable organ. Therefore, strict adherence to diet and exercise is crucial after the procedure.