Unlike the gastric bypass, the Sleeve is only a restrictive procedure – it does not prevent the absorption of calories. This surgery is almost always performed using a laparoscope. The stomach is decreased to approximately 60-120ml by one long staple line. The remainder of the stomach is removed completely. The small intestine remains the same, and food digests like it normally would. This allows for normal absorption of vitamins and minerals.
This is a newer procedure that looks very promising. The safety profile is very comparable to the gastric bypass – there is only a 1-2% risk of serious complication. The surgery helps with hunger control significantly and weight loss is comparable to the gastric bypass in most patients.
Dr. Weiner tries to reserve the sleeve gastrectomy for those patients with a BMI less than 50 unless there is a special reason.