As in Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG), the weight loss surgery I had last Tuesday.
The Sleeve, as it is commonly called, is the new top trend in bariatric surgery. Ir’s being done hundreds of times every day across North America. Folks like me are getting a new lease on life.
First, let me explain it in comparison to what you may have heard. Almost everyone knows the gastric bypass, which has been around since the 80s. This is the one where your stomach is reduced to about 2 tbps in size, and most of your digestive system is re-routed. You can lose hundreds of pounds, but there are many avenues for complications.
In the early 2000s, the Lap Band came on the scene. This us literally a silicone band put around your stomach to restrict its size. Injections can be added or removed to change the size of the band to regulate rate of weight loss. This method has fallen out of favor due to the constant maintenance of the band, and that this method has the highest failure rate (or rate of re-gained weight).
Which brings us to the sleeve. The surgeon uses stapling to give you a new atomach, about 75% smaller than the old one. If all goes well, you are on the table for less than 1 hour and go home the next day. That’s how it went for me. The risks include leaks on the staple lines and complications from the gas that must be put in your abdominal area.
That’s the description of the options. Next post I’ll go through the prep work.