Gastric sleeve surgery is also known by other names such as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, sleeve gastrectomy, greater curvature gastrectomy, parietal gastrectomy, gastric reduction and vertical gastroplasty.

In gastric sleeve surgery approximately 85% of the stomach is removed leaving a cylindrical or banana shaped stomach with a capacity ranging from about 60 to 150 ml or about one quarter the size of normal stomach, depending on the technique used to perform the surgery.

Unlike other forms of weight loss surgery, the outlet valve and the nerves to the stomach remain intact and, while the stomach is drastically reduced in size and its function is preserved. Again, unlike other forms of surgery such as the Roux en Y gastric bypass or gastric band, the sleeve gastrectomy is not reversible.

Because the new stomach continues to function normally, there are fewer restrictions on the foods which patients can consume after surgery, however amount of food eaten will be considerably reduced. This is considered as being one of the great advantages of the sleeve gastrectomy, as is the fact that the removal of the majority of the stomach also results in the elimination of hormones produced within the stomach which stimulate hunger.

One of the biggest advantages of the sleeve gastrectomy lies in the fact that it does not involve intestinal bypass such as intestinal obstruction, anemia, osteoporosis, vitamin deficiency and protein deficiency. It also makes it a suitable form of surgery for patients who are already suffering from anemia, Crohn’s disease and a variety of other conditions that would place them at high risk for surgery involving intestinal bypass.

In addition, due to the fact that this procedure can be performed by laparoscopic technique in patients who are extremely overweight, this accounts for the rising popularity of the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.