Sarah J. Kerr, BA
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is surgery to decrease the size of your stomach.
Body mass index
(BMI) is used to determine if a person is
or obese. A normal BMI is 18.5 to 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 developing
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:
Leading up to your procedure:
will be given through an IV. It will block pain and keep you asleep through surgery.
An IV line will be placed in your arm to give you fluid 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.
Several small cuts will be made in your abdomen. Gas will be pumped in to inflate your abdomen, making it easier for the doctor to see. A laparoscope and surgical tools will be inserted through the incisions. A laparoscope is a thin, lighted tool with a tiny camera. It sends images of your abdominal cavity to a monitor. Your doctor will operate while viewing the monitor.
Surgical staples will be used to 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. Incisions will be closed with staples or stitches.
In some cases, the doctor may need to switch to open surgery.
The breathing tube and catheter will be removed.
About 2 hours
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
The usual length of stay is 2-3 days.
In the hospital, you may be asked to:
Your bowels will work more slowly than usual. Chewing gum may help speed the process of your bowel function returning to normal.
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:
Be sure to follow your doctor’s
instructions. You will need to practice lifelong healthy eating and exercising habits. After your surgery:
For good nutrition:
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services 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 November 3, 2014. Accessed December 4, 2014.
Bariatric surgery for severe obesity. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at:
http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/gastric.htm. Updated June 2011. Accessed December 4, 2014.
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 4, 2014.
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at:
http://weightloss.clevelandclinic.org/Sleevegastrectomy.aspx. Accessed December 4, 2014.
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.
Weight loss surgery. North Shore Medical Center website. Available at:
http://nsmcweightloss.org/web/surgical_procedures.aspx. Accessed December 4, 2014.
3/23/2015 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Short V, Herbert G, et al. Chewing gum for postoperative recovery of gastrointestinal function. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Feb 20;2.
Last reviewed December 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
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