Gastric Sleeve Surgery, also called Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, is a bariatric weight loss surgical procedure that reduces the size of a patient’s stomach to about 35% of its usual size by removing most of it and using “staples” to close the open edge. The stomach then takes the shape of a sleeve or tube, hence the procedure’s name.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery restricts a person’s food intake which decreases the amount of food consumed, leading to natural weight loss.
This procedure is normally performed via laparoscopic surgery. This minimally-invasive surgical technique is performed using small incisions (usually less than 2 cm or 1/2-inch) and a laparoscope – a thin, flexible tube-like surgical tool, with the aid of a miniature video camera that sends images to a monitor. The surgeon can view and work on the internal organs more easily this way. Costa Rica has surgical teams that are highly experienced in performing Gastric Sleeve Surgery.

Benefits of laparoscopic surgery:

  • Smaller incisions help reduce recovery time and cause less scarring.
  • Reduces bleeding, lowering the need for blood transfusions.
  • Usually is less painful after surgery, therefore requiring less pain medications.
  • Reduces risk of infections and the occurrence of post-surgical hernias.

How is gastric sleeve surgery done?

Most of a patient’s stomach is removed during laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery. The stomach is cut following its major curve with the open edges then joined (usually with surgical staples), forming a “sleeve” or “banana-shaped” tube. Gastric sleeve surgery is often performed as the first stage of the bariatric surgery Biliopancreatic Diversion with a Duodenal Switch (BPD-DS). However, recent research indicates that some patients who have gastric sleeve surgery can lose a lot of weight with this procedure alone and avoid the second surgery.

Benefits of gastric sleeve surgery

Reducing the stomach’s size using gastric sleeve surgery may decrease the production of ghrelin, a peptide hormone that increases appetite. Lower amounts of ghrelin may reduce the feeling of being hungry (therefore possibly decreasing the urge to eat), more than other purely restrictive bariatric surgeries, such as Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap Band) Surgery. Gastric Sleeve Surgery is not reversible. Weight-loss from this procedure is generally quicker than with Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap Band) Surgery, and outcomes are similar to Gastric Bypass Surgery.

Gastric sleeve surgery in Costa Rica

Gastric sleeve surgery is available in Costa Rica. If you are interested in gastric sleeve surgery in Costa Rica, please fill out the “Help me Find a Doctor” form. A participating medical specialist will contact you about your medical needs.