Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy involves the stomach being reduced to about 25% of its original size.
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is a weight loss or ‘bariatric’ procedure which can help patients who are significantly obese* (laparoscopic surgery is commonly known as ‘keyhole’ or ‘minimally invasive’ surgery).
The gastric sleeve has been performed in Australia for around 10 years and is performed laparoscopically (keyhole surgery), where patients typically stay in hospital for 2-3 nights after the procedure. When compared to other bariatric procedures such as the gastric bypass, the LSG has a lower complication risk. Also, there are generally no malabsorption or nutritional issues with the sleeve gastrectomy.
How does the gastric sleeve work?
The LSG works in multiple ways:
- The restrictive element – patients are only able to eat a small meal (typically around 1/2 a cup) before the stomach is full. As the stomach fills to accommodate the meal, nerves are activated which send signals to the brain to indicate the stomach is full, and to stop eating. It is important for patients to chew food slowly and take time between mouthfuls to allow time for these signals to be sent to the brain.
- The hormonal element – Patients do not experience as much hunger after the procedure. This is because the removed portion of stomach is responsible for producing ghrelin, a hormone that induces hunger.
The combination of these two mechanisms allows patients to lower their caloric intake, resulting in significant weight loss.