The vertical sleeve gastrectomy has been used in conjunction with other malabsorptive procedures in the past with much success. Recently an attempt to use this procedure as a “standalone” technique has been gaining favor with bariatric surgeons. Several studies have shown that this procedure can be performed with less perioperative mortality than a gastric bypass procedure. The weight loss from a vertical sleeve gastrectomy is felt to be more significant than with an adjustable band initially but somewhat less dramatic than with a gastric bypass. Please remember that this is considered an irreversible procedure as approximately 60 percent of the stomach is removed. This procedure is not considered the best option for someone with significant reflux symptoms as it may initiate or worsen these symptoms postoperatively.
The vertical sleeve gastrectomy results in similar nutritional deficiencies as the adjustable gastric band devices.
Many patients ask which person is the best candidate for the this procedure and most surgeons will reply that the patient who does not want an implantable device but is not a good candidate for the gastric bypass may find the vertical sleeve gastrectomy the right choice.
Knowledge of the benefits and restrictions of the procedure in question is the best tool for considering which procedure may be right for you. Most surgeons will help a patient decide the best choice but the ultimate decision is still decided by the patient.