Gastric sleeve surgery was initially conceived as the first stage of a more involved procedure called the biliopancreatic diversion (BPD).
The BPD is rarely performed today due to the severe nutritional deficiencies that it produces. Doctors recognized that some patients had significant weight loss with only the first stage of this operation, so the “sleeve” is now performed as a stand-alone weight loss procedure. Although the procedure is relatively new, it has quickly become the most common weight loss procedure in the United States.
Gastric sleeve surgery involves the permanent removal of about 2/3 of the stomach. This turns the stomach into a long, narrow tube using a row of staples. While some patients may go home the same day of surgery, a 1-2 day hospital stay is common. Risks can include leaking or bleeding from the staple line (less than 1% in our practice), reflux, and nutritional problems in very rare instances. As with all bariatric surgery, vitamin supplementation is important.