VSG /Gastric Sleeve Surgery, also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a new procedure that restricts food intake in order to facilitate weight loss. At MBC in Mexico, weight loss surgeons Dr. Gilberto Ungson and Dr. Rodolfo Wilhelmy, both long time friends and associates of the late weight loss surgeon Dr. Alberto Aceves perform this procedure laparoscopically, and removes approximately 85 percent of the stomach, leaving behind a small tube or “sleeve.” Because the size of the stomach is dramatically reduced during this procedure, Mexico gastric sleeve surgery patients cannot consume the same amount of food that they could pre-operatively. Over time, the restriction of calories and food intake, results in significant weight loss.
Gastric sleeve surgery involves actually removing 85 percent of the stomach, and it is therefore an irreversible procedure. In addition, the removal of a portion of the stomach actually eliminates some of the hormones which can stimulate hunger. However, unlike other stomach stapling procedure, all of the stomach’s functions are preserved. This means that there are far fewer restrictions on the foods that patients can consume after the procedure. The amount of food that patients can consume, however, is considerably limited. As with all surgical weight loss programs, it is imperative that gastric sleeve patients adhere to a strict postoperative diet. Once goal weight is achieved, usually 1–2 years after surgery, most patients can consume about 1000–1200 calories per day.
One advantage of the gastric sleeve surgery ( VSG) over other bariatric weight loss procedures is that it does not involve any bypass of the intestinal tract, and complications such as intestinal obstruction, anemia, osteoporosis, vitamin deficiency and protein deficiency are avoided. 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, this procedure is one of the few forms of weight loss surgery that can be performed laparoscopically for patients who have a BMI of 30+.
As a general rule the gastric sleeve is best suited to individuals who are either extremely overweight or who are looking to have weight loss surgery with a BMI of 30+. In the case of the former the vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) would normally form the first of a two-part plan of weight loss, with further bariatric weight loss surgery being performed once the patient’s weight has fallen sufficiently to allow for other forms of weight loss surgery to come into play. In the case of the latter, it is designed as a standalone surgery.
Expected Weight Loss
Gastric sleeve surgery (VSG) has been proven to significantly decrease the risk of weight loss surgery for patients who are undergoing a two-part treatment plan. Most patients can expect to lose 60–90 percent of their excess body weight within 24 months. Some patients find such success with this procedure that a second surgery is not required. The timing of the second procedure will vary according to the degree of weight loss, typically 6–18 months after completion of the first surgery.
How Does Gastric Sleeve / Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy/ VSG Work?
This procedure generates weight loss solely through gastric restriction (reduced stomach volume). The stomach is restricted by dividing it vertically and removing more than 85 percent of it. This part of the procedure is not reversible. The stomach that remains is shaped like a banana and measures from 2–5 ounces (60–150cc) 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 reducing the volume. This differs from Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in which the stomach is divided, rather than removed.
Advantages of the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Weight Loss Surgery
- The stomach continues to function normally so most food items can be consumed, albeit in small amounts.
- Eliminates the portion of the stomach that produces the hormones that stimulates hunger.
- No dumping syndrome because the pylorus is preserved.
- Minimizes the chance of an ulcer occurring.
- By avoiding the intestinal bypass, the chance of intestinal obstruction (blockage), anemia, osteoporosis, protein deficiency and vitamin deficiency are almost eliminated.
- Very effective as a first stage procedure for high BMI patients (BMI>55 kg/m2).
- Results are effective as a single stage procedure for low BMI patients (BMI 30–45 kg/m2).
- Appealing option for people with existing anemia, Crohn’s disease and numerous other conditions that make them too high-risk for intestinal bypass procedures.
- Can be done laparoscopically in patients weighing over 500 pounds.
Disadvantages of the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery
- Potential for inadequate weight loss or weight regain. While this is true for all procedures, it is theoretically more possible with procedures that do not have an intestinal bypass.
- Higher BMI patients will most likely need to have a second stage procedure later to help lose the rest of the weight.
- Soft calories such as ice cream, milk shakes, etc., can be absorbed and may slow weight loss.
- This procedure does involve stomach stapling and therefore leaks and other complications related to stapling may occur.
- Not reversible, however, the procedure can be converted to almost any other weight loss procedure.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery Mexico / Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy / VSG: Risks and Complications
As with any surgery, there can be complications. Some complications of sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) include:
- Deep vein thrombophlebitis
- Non-fatal pulmonary embolus
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Gastric leak and fistula
- Postoperative bleeding
- Small bowel obstruction
Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexico
Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexicali / Long-Term Weight Loss Results: On Average
On average, Dr. Ungson’s and Dr. Wilhelmy’s sleeve gastrectomy patients can expect to lose 96 percent of their excess body weight in a period of 12 months. Over a 2-year period, on average, patients lose 100 percent of their excess body weight.
As an experienced bariatric surgeon, Dr. Alberto Aceves has helped thousands of gastric sleeve (VSG), gastric bypass (RNY), Mexico duodenal switch (DS) and Lap Band,Revision Surgery, patients achieve their weight loss goals. If you are interested in learning more about the weight loss procedures offered, browse our weight loss surgery before and after gallery and contact our practice today to schedule a consultation.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexico
Gastric sleeve surgery is also know by these names:
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy