Gastric sleeve is a restrictive bariatric operation that induces weight loss by limiting your food intake and controlling hunger pangs. The gastric surgery that may also be called as sleeve gastrectomy or vertical sleeve gastrectomy calls for reducing the stomach volume to 20-30% of its original size.
Undoubtedly, gastric sleeve surgery is one of the greatest advancements in treating morbid obesity and weight-related problems. With the evolution of bariatric surgery came the development of minimally-invasive weight loss surgery techniques and improved surgical instruments.
Nowadays all bariatric procedures including gastric sleeve are widely performed through a laparoscopic technique, using which a bariatric surgeon makes numerous small incisions in the belly, instead of making a long surgical cut across the abdomen, to allow passage of the surgical instruments to operate.
Single Incision Sleeve Gastrectomy
With a single incision, gastric sleeve surgery, the surgeon can remove about 85% of your stomach by making just one small incision, often less than 1-inch, in the umbilicus, or belly button to maximize the patient’s comfort level and minimize surgical scarring and recovery time.
Single incision gastric sleeve surgery differs from conventional multi-slit laparoscopic surgery in the way that a surgeon performs the procedure. Not only this, the cosmetic results of one cut surgery are far superior to its laparoscopic counterpart because it involves one small incision in the bellybutton which is not visible afterwards.
This procedure usually takes 1-2 hours to be performed under general anesthesia. It is a non- reversible surgery. Time taken for recovery lasts for a couple of weeks. You may stay hospitalized for a few days after the procedure. A thorough check is done before you leave the hospital.
Doctors make sure that there is no leak in links that they have just medicated on. They will start with the diet which is required after the surgery and will also make sure that you are recovering in a healthy way. They will check whether your wounds from the surgery are recovering properly or not.
You will be on a liquid diet for starting weeks as the new stomach will be sensitive. Slowly you would shift to solid food, but this will happen gradually. Remember to visit your doctor for a regular follow up every week after leaving the hospital for the initial few months, so that you know you are recovering.
You may get back to work within 2-4 weeks but better plan yourself just to be on the safer side. Doctors will be prescribing medications because of the sore and swelling of the abdomen area. You can avoid the scars by appropriate clothing. It will take you time to get used to eating solid food post-surgery. This is because the initial weeks will be: 2 weeks of liquid diet followed by 2 weeks of semi-solid or pureed food and then to solid foods.
Who’s the Candidate?
Not all patients are candidates for single incision surgery technique. The minimally invasive single incision sleeve gastrectomy is the preferred method for those individuals who:
– Are obese with a BMI of 40 or lower.
– Have not had a prior abdominal surgery.
– Do have not accumulated excessive fat in their midsection.
– Care about the aesthetic appearance of their post-surgery body
– Requires only one tiny incision in the abdomen
– Barely visible scar
– Shorter recovery time
– Less post-surgery pain
– Potentially lower risk of infection
– Minimum patient discomfort
– Less invasive procedure
– Aesthetically more pleasing
– Induces dramatic weight loss like gastric bands or gastric bypass surgery
– While single incision gastric sleeve surgery offers a host of benefits, it is a challenging technique in many respects.
Technically, it is a complex procedure. For surgeons, it is very difficult to examine all the organs of the abdominal cavity with only one single point of access. Placing the incision in or near the navel increases the distance between the incision point and the organ to be operated.
This single-incision surgery is not actually performed using a single incision. As a matter of fact, a second cut is always needed to ensure that the liver is out of the way.