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What is a vertical sleeve gastrectomy?

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Quick Answer

A vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a surgery meant to help with weight loss, in which the majority of the stomach is removed, explains MedlinePlus. Surgical staples connect the remaining portion, and the procedure results in a stomach about the size and shape of a banana.

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Full Answer

A vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a type of surgery known as a laproscopy, meaning it uses a small camera and several small incisions rather than direct observation through a large incision, states MedlinePlus. The surgeon uses special tools inserted through 2 to 5 incisions. Vertical sleeve gatrectomy generally takes between 60 and 90 minutes for an experienced surgeon to perform. Typically, a patient returns home two days after this surgery. Once home, a patient requires a pureed diet and pain medications until the surgical wounds heal.

A vertical sleeve gastrectomy generally has less dramatic results than a gastric bypass, both in terms of total weight lost and the rate of weight loss, says MedlinePlus. Vertical sleeve gastrectomy generally produces weight loss for between two and three years. In order to get the greatest benefit from this procedure, meals should be kept small, or the stomach may stretch back to a larger size. Aside from the normal risks of surgery and anaesthesia, this procedure may increase the risk of gallstone formation.

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