Gastric Sleeve Surgery


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. Antonio Esquerra and Dr. Rodolfo Wilhemy both long time friends and associates of the late weight loss surgeon Dr. Alberto Aceves perform this procedure laparoscopically and remove approximately 85% 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-operation. Over time, the restriction of calories and food intake results in significant weight loss.

Gastric sleeve surgery involves actually removing 85% of the stomach and it is therefore an irreversible procedure. In addition, the removal of a portion of the stomach actually eliminates most of the hormones which can stimulate hunger. However, unlike other stomach stapling procedures, all of the stomach functions are preserved. This means that there are far fewer restrictions on the foods that patients can consume, however, is considerably limited. As with all surgical weight loss programs, it’s imperative that gastric sleeve patients adhere to a strict postoperative diet. Once goal weigh 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 foir 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, regardless of high BMI.

As a general rule, the gastric sleeve is best suited for individuals who are either exremely overweight or those who are looking to have weight loss surgery with a BMI of 30+ but do not wish to have the malabsorption component. 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 withing 24 months. Some patients find such success with this procedure that a secondary 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.

The technique the surgical team uses determines in a large part the success a patient achieves. A too large or irregular sleeve will not yield adequate long term results.


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% 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 somach is divided, rather than removed.


Advantages of the Vertical Sleeve gastrectomy Weigh Loss Surgery

  • The stomachcontinues 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: Ghrelin.
  • Lo chance of dumping syndrome because the pylorus is preserved.
  • Minimizes the chance of an ulcer ocurring.
  • 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>55kg/m2)
  • Results are effective as a single stage procedure for low BMI patients (BMI 30-50kg/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 Weigh 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
  • Pneumonia
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Splenectomy
  • Gastric leak and fistula
  • Postoperative bleeding
  • Death


Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexico

Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexicali / Long-Term Weight Loss Results: On Average

On average, Dr. Esquerra  and Dr. Wilhelmy’s sleeve gastrectomy patients can expect to lose 96% of their excess body weight in a period of 12 months. Over a 2-year period, on average, patients lose 100% of their excess body weight. 

Results may vary depending on the techinque the surgical team uses. A uniform, tight sleeve will help you lose 100% of your excess body weight and keep it off long term. Of course, this must be accompanied by a change in eating habits.


Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexico

Gastric Sleeve Surgery is also known by these names:

  • Vertical Sleeve
  • VSG
  • Sleeve Procedure
  • Sleeve Surgery
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Vertical Gastrectomy