VSG Surgery

VSG Surgery - The Sleeve Center 1There are many different ways to lose weight and some more effective than others. For some people, simply making changes to their diet and level of activity is enough to achieve the weight loss they strive for, however, for many others, reaching their desired weight loss goal can seem like an impossible task. If you have been struggling with obesity and want to lose the excess weight, but dieting and exercise doesn’t work, VSG surgery for weight loss may be an option.

What is VSG?

VSG (vertical sleeve gastrectomy) is a bariatric weight loss surgery that changes the size of your stomach, which encourages you to effectively lose weight. During VSG surgery, approximately 85% of the stomach is removed, which transforms the stomach into a small “sleeve” or tube. The smaller stomach will help you to eat less and feel satisfied from eating smaller portions. There are a variety of similar surgeries, but VSG may also help to decrease cravings, which can also encourage weight loss. A part of the stomach that contains the hunger hormones (ghrelin) is removed during the surgery. A benefit of VSG surgery is that the digestive tract is not altered, so those who have this procedure do not typically experience dumping syndrome, and there is a lower risk for nutritional deficiencies.

Who Qualifies for VSG Surgery?

VSG Surgery - The Sleeve Center 2It is important to keep in mind that although the specific guidelines may vary from one physician to another,VSG surgeryis not usually recommended for casual dieters who only need to lose a few pounds. This procedure is used for those who have made previous, yet unsuccessful attempts to lose weight, are obese, at least 100 pounds overweight or have a BMI (body mass index) higher than 40. However, in some situations, those who have health risk factors, such as diabetes, may qualify for the surgery they have a BMI of 30.0 to 39.9 or are considered obese. BMI is not the only qualification for the surgery. Your physician will also order other tests to ensure your body is able to handle the surgery and to make sure the obesity is not caused by a medical condition that can be treated in ways other than surgery.

Benefits of VSG Surgery

VSG Surgery - The Sleeve Center 3Recent data has shown that those who undergo VSG surgery couldlose about 40-50% of the excess body weight during the first year after surgery, although these results vary for each patient. One of the best benefits of VSG is that it is a minimal invasive procedure that uses a laparoscopic technique, which results in less pain than an open surgical procedure and a smaller scar. Other benefits of VSG surgery include:

  • Unlike with some bariatric procedures, there is no foreign body to slip, break or erode
  • Reduced hunger
  • Reduced risk of malabsorption
  • Approximately 80% of type II diabetes cases are improved
  • Many patients experience improved or resolved hypertension
  • Durable weight loss
  • Improved self-esteem and confidence
  • As with any bariatric weight loss surgery, the majority of people found that following the procedure their overall general health improved, and they were able to spend more time participating in physical and recreational activities.

How is VSG Surgery Performed?

VSG Surgery - The Sleeve Center 4You will be under general anesthesia during your vertical sleeve gastrectomy, which means you will be asleep and will not feel any pain during the surgery. This type of surgery typically only requires small incisions that are used to insert a “snakelike” camera, which allows the surgeon to see inside your stomach and thin surgical tools. The surgical tools are used to remove a portion of the stomach. The stomach is then transformed into a vertical tube (sleeve) shape. Staples are used to join together the remaining portions of the stomach. VSG surgery typically takes between 60-90 minutes. VSG surgery is a minimally invasive surgery which promotes:

  • Less scarring
  • Faster healing
  • Less risk of surgical complications
  • Quicker return to normal activities

What Are the Results After VSG?

VSG Surgery - The Sleeve Center 5This procedure involves the removal of about 85% of your stomach, so your new stomach will hold approximately 2-5 ounces of food. Following the surgery, your surgeon will provide you with a recommended, special diet that will allow your stomach to heal. After a few weeks you will begin to eat a diet that consists of small amounts of healthy foods, and your doctor may recommend you take vitamin supplements to make sure you get the required nutrients.

Before, during and after your VSG surgery, it is extremely important to follow the advice and recommendations of your doctor. You will be required to have a variety of tests prior to the surgery to ensure you are healthy enough for the procedure. This type of surgery is not reversible, so it is important to talk openly and honestly with your doctor to ensure you are ready for the surgery. Like any type of surgery, there are risks associated with the procedure, however, this type of procedure is much safer when performed laparoscopically, and you will heal quicker than with a traditional open surgery.