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What is a "Sleeve Gastrectomy"?

The sleeve gastrectomy is an operation in which the left side of the stomach is surgically removed through minimally invasive surgery. This results in a new stomach which is roughly the size and shape of a banana. Since this operation does not involve any reconnecting of the intestines, it is a simpler operation than the gastric bypass or the duodenal switch. Unlike the Lap Band procedure, a now unpopular procedure, the sleeve gastrectomy does not require the implantation of an artificial device inside the abdomen. Patients come from around the world to receive gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico with Dr. Guillermo Alvarez.

Gastric Sleeve Graphic

Patients who should consider this procedure include:

  1. Those who are concerned about the potential long term side effects of an intestinal bypass such as intestinal obstruction, ulcers, anemia, osteoporosis, protein deficiency and vitamin deficiency.
  2. Those who are considering a Lap Band but are concerned about a foreign body inside the abdomen.
  3. Those who have medical problems that prevent them from having weight loss surgery such as anemia, crohn's disease, extensive prior surgery, and other complex medical conditions.
  4. People who need to take anti-inflammatory medications may also want to consider this. Usually, these medications need to be avoided after a gastric bypass because the risk of ulcers is higher.

It might also be a good option if patients have a problem with their lap band requiring revision, have already lost a lot of weight and don't want a full bypass. The weight loss is much higher than the Lap Band and does not require the maintenance of other procedures.


The 1st Month

After going under Gastric Sleeve Surgery

** Individual results may vary

After 6 months

Of having a Gastric Sleeve

** Individual results may vary


What advantages does it have?

  1. It does not require disconnecting or reconnecting the intestines (no dumping syndrome).
  2. There is no malabsorption of nutrients therefore avoiding anemia, osteoporosis, protein deficiency and vitamin deficiency.
  3. Only surgery that substantially removes the "hunger hormone" Ghrelin.
  4. It is a technically a much simpler operation than the gastric bypass or the duodenal switch.
  5. Dr. Alvarez and his team have an average operating time of 25 minutes for each procedure. 
  6. There is no foreign body inside of you.
  7. It does not need adjustments or fills (adjustable band patients must come back for fills).
  8. Dr. Alvarez's technique preserves the entrance to the stomach (lower esophageal sphincter) and also preserves the exit of the stomach (pylorus) which prevents dumping syndrome. 

Patients with Lap Band complications

If you are a patient with a previous Lap-Band procedure and you're experiencing problems such as reflux, esophagitis, band erosion, band slippage, or port site infection you may be a candidate for "revision" surgery. This means removing the Lap Band system and performing a VSG (Gastric Sleeve) procedure. Patients in this category are very concerned about regaining their already lost weight and they will greatly benefit with the gastric sleeve procedure. At this point the gastric sleeve will not only let them maintain their weight, but will let them continue losing more weight. Dr. Alvarez, a top Mexico gastric sleeve surgery specialist, provides this effective alternative for patients around the world seeking to continue the weight loss process without the Lap Band.

Revisions

The term "revision" is applied when one weight loss procedure is converted or transformed into another one. (For example; a Lap-Band system to a mini gastric bypass or to a gastric sleeve.)

Dr. Alvarez is one of the top surgeon's performing revisions to the gastric sleeve. Approximately 40% of Dr. Alvarez’s surgeries are revisions from a previous Lap Band to a gastric sleeve. 

Learn more about gastric sleeve surgery by exploring the pros and cons of gastric sleeve vs. gastric plication or gastric sleeve v. bypass surgery.