What Is a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy?

You’ve tried to lose weight, only to watch the numbers on the scale head right back up, leaving you terribly frustrated. If diet and exercise are falling short, we offer several surgical options that help you shed the weight and regain your health.

At Weight Loss Institute of Arizona, our team of surgeons understands that not everyone can simply cut calories and exercise more to get to within healthier weight limits. If you’ve really given weight loss your best efforts to no avail, here’s a look at how a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) may be the solution you’re looking for.

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy at a glance

A VSG is a procedure in which we use laparoscopic techniques to remove 80-85% of your stomach, creating a “sleeve” where your stomach once was. By shrinking the capacity of your stomach this drastically, we accomplish three main objectives:

And during your VSG, we remove the portion of your stomach that produces the hormone that controls your appetite levels.

But unlike other bariatric surgeries, we don’t reroute your digestive tract or change the way you digest food. In fact, a VSG preserves your pyloric valve, which regulates the emptying of your stomach and sends the all-full signal to your brain. 

And since we’re not significantly changing your digestive system, other than shrinking your stomach, your risk of nutritional problems or ulcers is greatly reduced.

What you should know about a VSG

The first thing to understand about a VSG is that it’s a permanent change to your stomach. Once we complete the surgery, which typically takes about an hour, you face a lifetime of eating differently.

Immediately after your surgery, you begin with pureed foods and shakes, gradually introducing solid foods. And even when we give you the green light to eat solid foods, you still need to:

But this new way of eating pays off very quickly, as most patients lose 60% of their extra weight in 12-18 months.

We should also mention that a VSG is still surgery and every surgery comes with risks. While we use the most advanced surgical techniques available, including laparoscopy, we still make small incisions that can become infected. Rest assured, we’re with you every step of the way after your surgery to monitor any potential problems.

While extremely effective, a VSG isn’t for everyone, and we spend a considerable amount of time reviewing your unique circumstances and health needs before we proceed. Should we find that you’re an ideal candidate, the good news is that a VSG may be your ticket to better health as you take charge of your weight.

To explore whether a vertical sleeve gastrectomy is right for you, please contact us at one of our locations in Tempe, Glendale, Mesa, Tucson, or Phoenix, Arizona.

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