Nationally recognized University of Minnesota Health specialists are pioneering how people look at weight loss surgery, offering new hope for weight loss. Our surgery teams work together with our medical weight management experts, who specialize in non-surgical therapies such as medications, diet, exercise and psychological counseling.
In the vertical sleeve gastrectomy (“sleeve”) procedure, the surgeon removes a large volume of your stomach. The remaining portion takes the shape of a tube or sleeve. Because the sleeve holds a reduced amount of food, weight loss results – usually 50 to 60 pounds for a patient 100 pounds overweight. The popularity of this procedure is increasing, in large part because it maintains normal pathway anatomy, sustains healthy weight loss and minimizes long-term complications and nutritional deficiencies.
The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has designated the University of Minnesota Medical Center a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. We are also one of a very few select programs that have also achieved Adolescent Qualifications by the American College of Surgeons. In addition to offering an experienced, comprehensive approach to treating obesity as a disease, our surgeons participate in academic-based research and offer clinical trial opportunities that feature new approaches to weight loss.
Risks for abdominal surgery
Weight loss surgery is a major surgery with risks. These risks are the same as for any surgery on the abdomen (belly). Since weight loss surgery patients are obese, problems are more likely. About 10% (10 out of 100) patients develop a complication after surgery. Possible complications include:
- Breathing problems
- Bleeding at the incision sites
- Blockage in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
- Leaks at the site where the stomach or intestines are sewn together
- Blood clots in the legs causing leg pain
- Blood clots in the lungs that can cause chest pain or trouble breathing
Risks for the vertical sleeve gastrectomy
In addition to the general abdominal surgery risks, the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy also puts patients at risk of:
- Leaks at the staple line
- Narrowing of the stomach, esophagus or intestines (stricture)
- Injury to other organs