Sarah J. Kerr, BA
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is a surgery to decrease the size of the stomach.
Body mass index
(BMI) determines if a person is
or obese. A normal BMI is 18.5-25. This surgery is an option for people with:
If lifestyle changes are made, the benefits of VSG include:
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Long-term complications include vomiting and
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications, such as:
You may have the following done:
Prior to the procedure:
will be given through an IV. It will block pain and keep you asleep through the surgery.
An IV will be placed in your arm to give you fluids and medications. A breathing tube will be placed through your mouth and into your throat. This will help you breathe during surgery. You will also have a catheter placed in your bladder to drain urine.
An 8-10 inch incision will be made to open the abdomen. Surgical staples will divide the stomach vertically. The new stomach will be the shape of a slim banana. The rest of the stomach will be removed. Your new stomach can hold 50-150 mL (milliliters) of food—about 10% of what a normal adult stomach can hold.
Staples or stitches will be used to close the incision.
The breathing tube and catheter will be removed.
About two hours
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
The usual length of stay is 4-6 days. If there are any problems, you will need to stay longer.
While in the hospital, you may be asked to:
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
For a smooth recovery:
Return to normal activities in 2-3 weeks.
For good nutrition:
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Weight Control Information Network
Canadian Obesity Network
Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 2, 2013. Accessed December 8, 2013.
Gastric sleeve. University of California, San Diego Health System website. Available at:
http://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/surgery/bariatric/weight-loss-surgery/gastric-sleeve/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed December 8, 2013.
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at:
http://weightloss.clevelandclinic.org/Sleevegastrectomy.aspx. Accessed December 8, 2013.
Sleeve gastrectomy. Virginia Mason Medical Center. Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence website. Available at:
https://www.virginiamason.org/SleeveGastrectomy. Updated October 2010. Accessed December 8, 2013.
Sleeve gastrectomy. Yale New Haven Health website. Available at:
https://www.greenhosp.org/upload/docs/FactSheets/English/bariatrics_sleeve.pdf. Updated May 2011. Accessed December 8, 2013.
Weight loss surgery. North Shore Medical Center website. Available at:
http://nsmcweightloss.org/web/surgical_procedures.aspx. Accessed December 8, 2013.
Last reviewed December 2013 by Daus Mahnke, MD; Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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