Bariatric surgery is a procedure on the stomach and/or intestines that helps patients with severe obesity to lose weight. The three most common bariatric surgery procedures are adjustable band gastroplasty, sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-y gastric bypass. At the Bethesda Center for Surgical Weight Reduction, Dr. Miguel Lopez-Viego specializes in the laparascopic sleeve gastrectomy procedure.
Sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical weight-loss procedure in which the left side of the stomach is removed reducing it to about 35% of its original size. The open edges are then attached together to form a sleeve or tube with a banana shape. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach. The procedure is performed laparoscopically and is not reversible. Weight loss is generated solely through gastric restriction (reduced stomach volume). The stomach that remains is shaped like a very slim banana and measures from 1-5 ounces (30-150cc), depending on the surgeon performing the procedure. The nerves to the stomach and the outlet valve (pylorus) remain intact with the idea of preserving the functions of the stomach while drastically reducing the volume. There is no intestinal bypass with this procedure, only stomach reduction. The lack of an intestinal bypass avoids potentially costly, long-term complications such as marginal ulcers, vitamin deficiencies and intestinal obstructions.