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Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy: The Basics

After deciding to make a drastic change and commit to a weight loss procedure, many choices lay ahead that can affect actual weight loss results, recovery time and long-term success. Beyond the traditional Gastric Bypass and Gastric Banding procedures that most people are familiar with, there is a third option known as a Sleeve Gastrectomy.


For patients who want more significant results than a Lap-Band can offer, but don’t want the risks associated with Gastric Bypass, a Sleeve Gastrectomy offers a middle-of-the-road approach. While the procedure itself is relatively new, a Sleeve Gastrectomy is essentially just the first half of a full bypass surgery. Doctors enter the abdomen laparoscopically and remove 75-80 percent of the stomach, turning it from a large football-shaped organ into a tube that resembles a flattened banana.

This reduction in stomach space severely limits the amount of food a patient can consume at one time in the weeks and months following surgery. After such a large portion of the stomach is removed, it takes only a tiny amount of food to fill the space and generate a satisfied feeling. However, because the intestines are not altered, unlike in a Gastric Bypass, there is much less risk of complication or vitamin deficiency. Additionally, the results of a Sleeve Gastrectomy are permanent, in contrast to a Gastric Banding procedure which can be adjusted or reversed at a later time.

For patients with a high concentration of fat around the waist and a BMI of more than 60, a Sleeve Gastrectomy may be performed as the first part of a two-stage bariatric surgery. In this approach, a Sleeve Gastrectomy is performed to allow the patient to lose their first 100 pounds or more over the course of 8-12 months. Once this initial weight has been lost, doctors can go back in to convert the “sleeve” stomach into a gastric bypass or duodenal switch, making way for even greater weight loss. Doing a Sleeve Gastrectomy first lessens the risk of complication in following procedures when doctors need full access to the abdomen.

Like other bariatric procedures, your doctor will talk to you about adhering to a strict diet before and after the surgery. Medications and vitamin supplements will ensure that your body makes the transition without being deprived of any essential nutrients. Weight loss with a Sleeve Gastrectomywill continue over the course of two to three years, and periodic checkups with your physician will make sure that you are on track for a long and healthy life.

If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment to see one of our surgeons, call our office at (516) 616-5500 or fill out our contact formto start a conversation now.

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What our patients are saying

“The staff and doctors at the New York Bariatric Group are amazing! They are always patient, helpful, and very understanding and pro-active with questions, problems, etc. After Lap Band surgery I feel fantastic. For the last 6 years I have not had to worry if my clothes would fit. I have been able to maintain my weight loss, and have so much more energy.”

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"Dr. Holover has a great personality, I love him, I consider him a good friend, and I recommend him to everyone. He and his staff are amazing. I thought my recovery would be worse, but it wasn’t. It was great. After a couple of days I was back on my feet and going, with three boys you don’t have time to be down. Now, my kids have to keep up with me!"

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"My results are incredible; I can go to any store and find clothes that fit, I don’t have to go to the big and tall store anymore. My family and friends say I look great, but more so are so happy about my health. Definitely go for it, it is well worth it."

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"My recovery was very easy, I started moving around pretty quick because the nurses had me up and about. Dr. Angstadt has a great bedside manner, a cheerful disposition and is very knowledgeable. He was genuinely concerned for me, he answered all of my questions and put me at ease. I couldn’t be happier, I think it is the best decision I ever made."

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"I was concerned about my health, my blood pressure, cholesterol, my mobility, my flexibility. A few friends told me about NYBG and I went to a seminar. I wanted to live a healthier life and live a long life. My recovery was great, after a week I was 100%. My doctor, Dr. Sekhar, has the best personality in the world."

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"I had a couple of friends who had bariatric surgery done by Dr. Garber a few years back and I decided to make the appointment. My favorite thing about the surgery is not being able to eat that much, eating whatever I want but in smaller portions. My results are amazing"

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*Individual results may vary.

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