Vertical sleeve gastrectomy or VSG refers to a specific type of weight loss surgery. It involves the removal of a significant portion of one’s stomach leaving the new stomach banana size. This surgery helps limit the amount of food you’re able to eat. The reduced stomach means that you get fuller faster and so manage to control your food intake.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. It’s also done laparoscopically where a small camera is inserted through your belly button and the operating instruments through small insertions on your stomach. It’s less invasive and therefore translates to a quicker recovery time.
A video monitor is connected to the camera, and from it, the surgeon can observe what he/ she is doing with the instruments. There is also the gas that is pumped into your belly to help expand it. This allows the surgeon to have more room for performing the surgery.
Once most of the stomach has been removed, staples are used to join the remaining part of the stomach.
During the surgery, the sphincter muscles are neither changed nor cut thus allowing food to enter or exit the stomach.
The procedure takes 60 to 90 minutes.
Reasons For The Procedure
If you are obese and have not succeeded in losing the weight through exercise vertical sleeve gastrectomy might be good for you. Your doctor might recommend that you first lose the weight to a certain level before undergoing surgery.
The procedure is not a quick fix to overweight issues, but it can significantly help in managing one’s eating and consequently lead to weight loss. Following the surgery, you must commit to eating healthy, consuming smaller portions and working out. Failure to do this can lead to complications and difficulty in losing weight.
This procedure is recommended under the following circumstances:
- If your BMI that is 40 or higher.
- If you have a BMI of 35 or greater and also suffer from a medical condition that could be improved by losing weight. Some of the medical conditions include type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and heart disease.
The procedure is irreversible, but other types of weight loss surgery can be performed later on if desired results are not realized.
Risks associated with vertical sleeve gastrectomy include:
- Gastritis, which is inflammation of one’s stomach lining, stomach ulcers, and even heartburn.
- The intestines, stomach, and other internal organs could also be injured during the laparoscopic procedure.
- There is a risk of leaking occurring in the line where stapling is done after surgery. This would mean food content in the stomach would leak into the cavity and other organs a situation that could turn fatal.
- Because your ability to eat is significantly limited, then you are likely to suffer from poor nutrition although this rarely happens if the prescribed diet is followed.
- Blockage can occur in your bowel as a result of scarring in the belly.
- Increased risk of gallstones. In some cases, the surgeon chooses to remove the gallbladder through a procedure called cholecystectomy to prevent gallstones.
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy just like every medical procedure demands that you get advice from a qualified doctor before deciding to get it done.