According to the American Society of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, the most commonly performed bariatric surgery for the past decade has been the vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), more commonly known as the gastric sleeve.
While sleeve gastrectomy has gained popularity due to its effectiveness in promoting significant weight loss and treating obesity-related conditions, it is important to acknowledge that reversal of gastric sleeve surgery is not possible.
Today we are going to explain what is involved in gastric sleeve surgery, the drawbacks of having no option to undergo a gastric sleeve reversal, and a new alternative available today that offers significant weight loss potential without surgery.
An Overview Of VSG (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy)
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy, also known as gastric sleeve surgery, is a surgical weight loss procedure that involves the removal of a large portion of the stomach to create a smaller, sleeve-shaped stomach pouch. While the specific steps may vary depending on the surgical technique and the surgeon’s preferences, here is a general outline of the steps involved in gastric sleeve surgery:
- Before the surgery, patients usually undergo a thorough evaluation, including a physical examination, a medical history review, and possibly some tests and screenings. This evaluation helps determine eligibility for the surgery and ensures that the patient is prepared for the procedure;
- On the day of the surgery, patients are given general anesthesia to ensure that they are asleep and pain-free during the procedure;
- The surgeon will make several small incisions in the abdomen. These incisions serve as entry points for the surgical instruments and a camera called a laparoscope, which provides a visual guide for the surgeon;
- Using surgical instruments, the surgeon will carefully dissect and remove approximately 75–80% of the stomach, leaving behind a smaller stomach pouch along the greater curvature of the stomach;
- Surgical staplers are used to create a secure closure along the cut edges of the stomach, ensuring that the stomach remains sealed and separate;
- The small incisions are closed with sutures, surgical glue, or adhesive strips. These incisions are typically small and may not require stitches to be removed later;
- After the surgery, patients are taken to the recovery area, where they are monitored closely. Pain management, intravenous fluids, and instructions regarding diet and activity will be provided. Most patients have to stay in the hospital for one to two days before they are discharged home for their four- to six-week recovery period.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery Makes Permanent Changes
Sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical procedure that offers effective weight loss results for many individuals struggling with obesity. However, it is crucial that patients are fully informed, mentally prepared, and consider the disadvantages associated with the inability to undergo a reversal of gastric sleeve surgery.
Some of the disadvantages of gastric sleeve surgery include:
- Surgery Makes Permanent Alterations To The Stomach
- One of the primary drawbacks of sleeve gastrectomy is its permanent nature. Once the majority of the stomach is surgically removed, there is no going back. This means that patients must be fully committed to the lifestyle changes required for long-term weight management.
The inability to reverse the surgery may create anxiety or regret for some patients who later experience complications or wish to explore other weight loss options.
- Potential For Nutritional Deficiencies
- With the majority of the stomach removed, patients consume smaller meals, which can reduce the intake of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Dietary adjustments and lifelong nutritional supplementation become crucial to prevent deficiencies. Common deficiencies associated with sleeve gastrectomy include iron, vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, and folate. Regular monitoring and follow-up with a doctor are necessary to ensure patients are getting what they need to mitigate these deficiencies.
- Potential Complications
- Like any surgical procedure, a sleeve gastrectomy carries inherent risks and potential complications. Some complications may include bleeding, infection, leakage from the stapled area, blood clots, or narrowing of the stomach opening.
A common complication associated with gastric sleeve surgery is GERD or acid reflux. Some patients must remain on medication to control their symptoms, but other patients may not find relief for their chronic symptoms through medication alone and require additional surgery. The most common treatment to relieve these daily symptoms is to undergo a conversion from gastric sleeve to gastric bypass surgery.
- Reversal Of Gastric Sleeve Surgery Is Not Possible
- As mentioned earlier, there are no options for gastric sleeve reversal. While it is possible to convert a sleeve gastrectomy to another weight loss surgery, such as a gastric bypass, it is a complex and invasive procedure with its own set of risks.
It is essential for individuals considering sleeve gastrectomy to carefully weigh the potential consequences of irreversibility before proceeding.
Is There A Better Way To Lose Weight Than Non-Reversible Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Yes! Weight loss procedures have significantly evolved in recent years, and non-surgical options are gaining attention as alternatives to traditional surgical interventions. One such procedure is Suture Sculpt endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG), which recently gained FDA approval and offers comparable weight loss potential to sleeve gastrectomy surgery while providing additional benefits.
What Are the Benefits of ESG Compared to VSG?
Non-surgical ESG is a safe and effective alternative to gastric sleeve surgery that offers benefits including:
- Comparable Weight Loss Potential
- Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty utilizes an endoscope, a flexible tube with a camera, and specialized instruments, to reshape the stomach without the need for surgical incisions. The procedure involves suturing and reducing the stomach size, resulting in a sleeve-like shape. Multiple studies have shown that ESG can lead to substantial weight loss, with the average excess weight loss ranging from 50% to 65%. This weight loss potential is comparable to that of sleeve gastrectomy surgery.
- Minimally Invasive and Non-Surgical
- One of the key advantages of ESG is that it is a non-surgical procedure. It is performed entirely through the mouth, without any incisions in the abdomen. This approach eliminates the risks associated with surgery, such as post-operative pain, wound infections, and extended recovery time. ESG is performed as an outpatient procedure, allowing patients to return home the same day and resume their normal activities within a few days.
- Reduced Complications and Risks
- Compared to surgical procedures like sleeve gastrectomy, ESG carries a significantly lower risk of complications. (ESG<3% vs. 12% gastric sleeve) As it is a non-surgical technique, the potential for post-operative infections, bleeding, or leakage is greatly reduced or nonexistent.
The absence of surgical incisions also lowers the risk of hernias and other abdominal wall complications. ESG offers a safer alternative for patients who may not be suitable candidates for surgery due to underlying health conditions or higher surgical risks.
- Faster Recovery and No Scarring
- With ESG, there are no incisions and only minimal disruption to the body, resulting in faster recovery times compared to surgery. Patients typically experience less pain and discomfort, and they can resume their regular activities sooner. Moreover, since the procedure is entirely endoscopic, there are no visible scars or marks on the body, contributing to improved cosmetic outcomes and patient satisfaction.
- Reversible and Adjustable
- Another advantage of ESG is that while the sutures are sturdy enough for long-term durability, the procedure can be reversed. Unlike VSG surgery, which makes permanent changes to the stomach and does not offer the option for gastric sleeve reversal, the sutures used during ESG can be removed if necessary.
This flexibility provides patients with the option to explore alternative treatments in the future or adjust the procedure if needed. The reversibility aspect is particularly appealing to individuals who may experience adverse side effects and would like a less permanent solution or who have concerns about the irreversibility of surgery.
Suture Sculpt ESG Is The Smart Choice For Weight Loss Assistance
Non-surgical Suture Sculpt endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) is a recently FDA-approved alternative to traditional sleeve gastrectomy surgery for weight loss. It offers almost identical weight loss potential while providing numerous benefits, such as being minimally invasive, safe, and associated with faster recovery times. The reversible nature of Suture Sculpt ESG and the absence of visible scarring further enhance its appeal.
It is important to note that regardless of the procedure used to help with a patient’s initial weight loss, they will need to adopt healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and diligent lifestyle changes to sustain their results.
Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center Will Help You Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals
If you are looking for help with weight loss and are considering bariatric surgery, did you know that you will have no options for gastric sleeve reversal?
Contact Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center to learn more about the non-surgical, safe, effective, and reversible Suture Sculpt ESG procedure. Our patient testimonials of weight loss experiences after having Suture Sculpt endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty speak volumes. We invite you to pursue these testimonials and then set up a consultation with our amazing team of professionals to find out how Suture Sculpt ESG can help you achieve sustainable weight loss.