Sleeve gastrectomy, or vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is one of the relatively newer types of weight loss surgery. However, it has been performed for several years. This surgery can also be referred to medically as gastric sleeve resection, gastric sleeve surgery, tube gastrectomy or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.
It was originally used as a "first-stage" procedure in patients with a very high BMI and/or with serious co-morbidities. The sleeve gastrectomy would be performed on the patient with the expectation that a second procedure (either the Roux en Y gastric bypass or the duodenal switch) would be performed after the patient has lost enough weight so that the second procedure could safely be performed. It was discovered that many patients did well with the sleeve gastrectomy alone and did not need the second procedure.
It is performed laparoscopically, meaning that the surgeon makes small incisions as opposed to one large incision. The advantages of this surgery are that there is less malabsorption of minerals and vitamins than the gastric bypass.