Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy—Laparoscopic
(Sleeve Gastrectomy—Laparoscopic; VSG—Laparoscopic)
by Sarah J. Kerr, BA
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is surgery to decrease the structure and size of your stomach. This restricts the amount of food you are able to consume.
Reasons for Procedure TOP
If lifestyle changes are made, the benefits of VSG include:
Possible Complications TOP
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Long-term complications include vomiting and developing gallstones.
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:
What to Expect TOP
Prior to Procedure
Each bariatric surgery program has specific requirements. Your program will likely include the following:
Leading up to your procedure:
General anesthesia will be given through an IV. It will block pain and keep you asleep through surgery.
Description of the Procedure TOP
Several small cuts will be made in your abdomen. Gas will be pumped in to inflate your abdomen, making it easier for the doctor to see. A laparoscope and surgical tools will be inserted through the incisions. A laparoscope is a thin, lighted tool with a tiny camera. It sends images of your abdominal cavity to a monitor. Your doctor will operate while viewing the monitor.
Surgical staples will be used to divide the stomach vertically. The new stomach will be the shape of a slim banana. The rest of the stomach will be removed. Your new stomach can hold 50-150 mL (milliliters) of food—about 10% of what a normal adult stomach can hold. Incisions will be closed with staples or stitches.
In some cases, the doctor may need to switch to open surgery.
Immediately After Procedure TOP
The breathing tube and catheter will be removed.
How Long Will It Take? TOP
About 2 hours
How Much Will It Hurt? TOP
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
Average Hospital Stay TOP
The usual length of stay is 2-3 days.
Post-procedure Care TOP
At the Hospital
You can expect the following:
In the hospital, you may be asked to:
Your bowels will work more slowly than usual. Chewing gum may help speed the process of your bowel function returning to normal.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection such as:
You will need to practice lifelong healthy eating and exercising habits. After your surgery:
For good nutrition:
Call Your Doctor TOP
Contact your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you develop complications such as:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T483434/Bariatric-surgery. Updated October 23, 2017. Accessed December 22, 2017.
Bariatric surgery. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated December 2016. Accessed December 22, 2017.
Bariatric surgery. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/bariatric-surgery. Accessed December 22, 2017.
Gastric sleeve or sleeve gastrectomy. UC San Diego Health website. Available at: https://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/surgery/bariatric/weight-loss-surgery/gastric-sleeve/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed December 22, 2017
Gastric sleeve surgery. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/bariatric/treatments/gastric-sleeve. Accessed December 22, 2017.
Sleeve gastrectomy. Virginia Mason Medical Center website. Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence website. Available at: https://www.virginiamason.org/sleeve-gastrectomy. Accessed December 22, 2017.
Weight management procedures. North Shore Medical Center website. Available at: https://nsmc.partners.org/weight_management/procedures. Accessed December 22, 2017.
3/23/2015 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed...: Short V, Herbert G, Perry R, et al. Chewing gum for postoperative recovery of gastrointestinal function. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;(2):CD006506.
Last reviewed December 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 3/23/2015
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