The sleeve, sleeve gastrectomy or sleeve gastric is an irreversible surgical operation that allows you to greatly reduce the volume of your stomach. Doctor Jacques Himpens and Doctor Anne-Catherine Dandrifosse, specialized in the surgical treatment of severe or morbid obesity in Liège and Brussels, take stock of different aspects of this bariatric intervention.
What is a sleeve gastrectomy operation and how is it performed?
The sleeve is an irreversible bariatric surgery that allows you to seriously reduce the volume of your stomach. Through small incisions (laparoscopy), the surgical team resections a large part of the stomach to create a reservoir of a very small volume.
The candidates of this type of obesity surgery are generally admitted to the hospital the day before the intervention. The night after the surgery, the patient can already drink and walk a little. The next day, the patient is allowed to consume a liquid diet. The next day, the patient can go home. Naturally, the duration of the hospitalization can be longer or shorter, depending on the case.
Discover the principal of longitudinal gastrectomy in the video
What are the conditions to be able to have an operation for a sleeve?
To access this obesity surgery, the medical criteria as well as insurance reimbursement conditions coexist. In order to benefit from a partial reimbursement of sleeve gastrectomy by the Belgian state, the following requirements must be met:
- Be a minimum of 18 years old
- Have spent at least one year seriously trying to lose weight
- Have a BMI(body mass index, calculate here) superior or equal to 40 or superior or equal to 35 if you have comorbidity factors such as diabetes, arterial hypertension, sleep apnoea syndrome, etc.
- The patient’s surgeon must send a standard notification form to the medical adviser of the insurer
- A register counsel study containing of all the obesity surgeries whose modalities are established by the insurance committee must finally be held by the hospital in which the obese patient is admitted
Percentage of excess weight that you could lose after a sleeve gastric is completed
The scientific studies show that the loss of weight oscillates between 5 and 10 % of the body mass allowing the patient to improve their health. Lose 50 % of the excess weight after an obesity surgery is already a synonym of success. After a sleeve, the patient can expect a loss of 70% of excess weight. These averages may vary according to various factors specific to each individual: their genetics, their postoperative efforts, their personal history, their lifestyle, etc.
Complications related to this surgical intervention
The main risks directly related to this sleeve gastric operation are poor healing, haemorrhages, a stenosis, the presence of reflux, a pulmonary embolism or a respiratory infection. The risk of complication can be significantly reduced by a good evaluation and optimal preparation before the operation. In addition, general anaesthesia also presents a potential risk which is more exposure to a patient suffering from obesity.
Sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass: which intervention do you prefer and under what circumstances?
To coordinate an operative indication, the surgeon and the patient must agree. The sleeve and the gastric bypass are two interventions that are effective with the same objective: to help find a better dietary balance.
After a sleeve, there isn’t dumping gastric syndrome (discomfort related to the ingestion of sugar). A sleeve can increase the intensity of gastro-oesophageal reflux and in the case of a hiatal hernia or reflux, a gastric bypass will be more appropriate. Compared to a gastric bypass, the sleeve is less demanding when ingesting vitamin complements.
Some chronic diseases such as liver or stomach disease can, for technical reasons of surveillance, push the surgeon to make a sleeve rather than a bypass.
Do you want to get a medical consultation or additional information on sleeve surgery?
We invite you to contact Doctor Jacques Himpens or Doctor Anne-Catherine Dandrifosse in Liège or Brussels. Our collaborators are available to send you the necessary information as soon as possible.