Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery is a procedure that involves the surgical removal of approximately 80 per cent of the stomach (by volume) resulting in a tube-shaped ‘sleeve’ that can hold significantly less food and drink (about 0.15 kilograms) before registering feelings of ‘fullness’

The procedure is performed using keyhole techniques (laparoscopic surgery) to minimise the impact on the body post-surgery. A gastric sleeve procedure is an irreversible one – meaning that once completed, you cannot have your stomach surgically ‘enhanced’ to return to its previous volume. However, over the course of one’s life the stomach can naturally expand to accommodate more contents, though this will be significantly less then what it was pre-surgery.

A sleeve gastrectomy is one of the bariatric gastric procedures that Dr Stephen Wilkinson performs in his Hobart clinic, however a thorough consultation about the pros and cons of the procedure is recommended prior to any final decision being made.

Dr Wilkinson also carries out gastric sleeve consultations in Launceston and Burnie, as well as Hobart.

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

The volume of stomach that remains after the surgery is calibrated to allow for adequate passage for food to pass into the stomach from the oesophagus. The objective of the surgery is to limit the amount of food that can be ingested in a given sitting before feelings of ‘fullness’ set in. In doing this, a patient is effectively ingesting less calories for the same sense of satiety. Coupled with dietary changes and lifestyle changes (light walking for example) the energy expended by the body will be greater than the amount it takes in. To accommodate this imbalance, the body will burn its fat stores to create this energy, and the patient will lose weight as a result.

Additionally, the section of the stomach that is surgically removed contains a hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin is thought to be ones of the causes of feelings of ‘hunger’ being felt, and thus removing the part of the stomach that contains it, limits these feelings considerably.

Whilst it is not completely clear how much ghrelin levels affect weight loss post-surgery, it is commonplace for patients to report feeling ‘less’ hungry after they have undergone a gatric sleeve procedure.

This surgery cannot be reversed, and is a decision to be undertaking with the consultative help of Dr Wilkinson. Patients who undergo this procedure often lose between 55-75% of their body mass within the 12-months immediately following the surgery.