The sleeve gastrectomy removes up to 75% of the stomach, which limits the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. It is also thought to encourage weight loss by removal of ghrelin-secreting cells in the upper stomach that encourage eating. Although it does not rearrange the configuration of the small intestine, it has weight loss that is rapid and comparable to the gastric bypass.
Weight loss surgery is done laparoscopically, with small, thin instruments inserted via five or six small incisions in the abdomen.
This is the only weight loss surgery performed by Children’s Health.
Weight loss surgery is a highly effective way to achieve lasting weight loss significantly reducing other conditions like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, depression, and arthritis. It also greatly improves overall health and self-esteem. For adolescents, this surgery can help reverse the effects of obesity.
Laparoscopic surgery results in positive outcomes including:
Although rare, complications can occur. Your surgeon will review those with you and your family.
Weight loss surgery changes how the body handles food and beverages. In order to allow the stomach to heal, weight loss surgery patients will be placed on a special meal plan. A very specific diet must be followed for 6 weeks. This diet restricts the types of foods and how much to eat and drink. After the first 6 weeks, there will be other very specific dietary recommendations.
On the same day after surgery, you will be able to move around. You will be started on clear liquids the first day following surgery. It is important to follow the feeding instructions that your surgeon provides.
In addition to diet:
Candidates who meet the criteria for the surgery must sign an assent form and their legal guardian must sign a consent form. Weight loss surgery is not appropriate for all adolescents, including:
Most insurance companies will pay for weight loss surgery. You should check with your plan to see if this is a covered benefit. Insurance companies often have specific requirements that the surgical and scheduling team at Children’s Health will help you with.
Surgery is only successful when combined with healthy eating habits and lifestyle changes. This is a commitment patients need to make.
Most patients start losing weight within the first few weeks of surgery. It is important to note that exercise will improve the rate at which you lose weight.
Most complications of obesity improve within 12 to 18 months after surgery.