Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is a type of weight-loss/bariatric surgery. As the name suggests it can be performed through key-hole method (laparoscopy). In this technique 4 to 5 tiny cuts of half to one cm are made on the abdomen and the entire surgery is performed through that. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy can also be performed in the scar-less manner through a single cut through the belly button. In this procedure, the stomach is divided longitudinally and two-thirds of the stomach is removed. This results into a banana shaped stomach with a capacity of 60 to 100 cc.
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy was initially started as the first part of the duodenal switch operation. Later it was observed that the sleeve gastrectomy alone, without the duodenal switch led to good weight loss results. At times a second stage was not required. Over the last 20 years, it has gained immense popularity across the world as a preferred bariatric operation, both by bariatric surgeon as well as patients. some of its advantages are that it is a technically simpler surgery, easy to perform, short surgery time, no intestinal anastomosis, lesser nutritional deficiencies and so on. It is also the preferred procedure in countries like Japan and Korea that are endemic for cancer of the stomach. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy can also be easily converted to other surgeries like Roux en y gastric bypass, duodenal switch, SADI-S, DJB and Loop DJB etc.
In the long term the main issues observed with a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy are acid reflux and weight regain. However, obesity is a chronic progressive disease and as with any weight loss procedure, regular follow up with the bariatric team is the key to success after a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.
Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker is a Bariatric and Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeon.
Affiliations: Global Hospital, Parel; Apollo Hospitals, CBD Belapur, Tradeo and Chembur; Currae Hospital, Thane; Suchak hospital, Malad and Namaha Hospital, Kandivali