Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is a popular weight loss surgery in the United States — and with some patient traveling to Mexico for the gastric sleeve, the procedure has become very attainable.
The sleeve gastrectomy, also known as the gastric sleeve surgery, is relatively new compared to other weight loss surgery procedures. Once performed as the first stage of a more complicated operation, gastric sleeve surgery as a stand-alone procedure was considered investigational in the United States as recently as 2009, according to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. As of 2012, gastric sleeves have been recognized as effective weight loss surgery procedures, but additional studies are needed to document their long-term results.
The sleeve gastrectomy is comparatively less complex than other bariatric surgery like the gastric bypass or duodenal switch. The sleeve surgery removes the majority of the patient’s stomach resulting in a tube-like structure about a quarter of its original size. Nothing is done to the intestines so there isn’t a malabsorption component.
Gastric Sleeve Results
On average gastric sleeve patients lose 60% of their excess weight (Stegemann, Obesity Action Coalition, 2012) in 12-months. In addition to weight loss, the surgery has been shown to reduce the patient’s risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. Both intermediate and long-term data on the gastric sleeve are limited.
However research published in the American Medical Association’s journal JAMA Surgery examined the long-term effects of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. And the researchers concluded that after five years nearly half of patients experienced significant weight gain and a decrease in remission rates of diabetes.
Dr. Andrei Keidar, of Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, Israel, and his colleagues, examined data from 443 patients who underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy from the same surgical team, between 2006 and 2013.
Researchers found that while excess weight loss was at 77 percent after a year, it decreased to 56 percent after five years. Diabetes remission was promising at 51 percent after a year, but only 20 percent after five years.
Bottom Line on Sleeve Gastrectomy
Other studies suggest that the sleeve gastrectomy is a superior weight loss tool to surgeries like the adjustable gastric band.
And despite the findings, Dr. Keidar says bariatric surgery is still the best currently available weapon against morbid obesity.
This research should be taken into consideration when a person is deciding “which is the best bariatric surgery for me?”
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