“Are they going to put a sleeve around your stomach?”

This post is not for the medically squeamish. I’m about to talk about guts. Specifically, what my stomach is about to look like in a few months and how it’s going to get that way.

You all kind of have an idea about what the human stomach looks like. At the top of your stomach, you have the esophageal sphincter, where the food is filtered into a large ridged pouch. After the food is mashed around by acid and enzymes, it moves on through the pyloric sphincter to the small intestine. Simple enough.

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) or “sleeve surgery” maintains that same premise of food digestion. There’s no rerouting of intestines like gastric bypass. Instead, the surgery will reduce the pouch to about 15% of its current size. This is achieved by using a tool that looks kind of like a pair of scissors. It will cut the excess tissue off and simultaneously stitch the stomach into something that resembles a banana. The excess stomach will be removed and discarded. (Full disclosure: I’m a total weirdo and have watched an embarrassing number of these surgeries on YouTube.)

In addition to restricting the amount of food I’ll be able to digest at a time, removing part of my stomach will help to reduce the hunger hormone, ghrelin.

I like to think of my current stomach as a tote bag. Sure, I can fit a TON of stuff in there, but it’s not all necessary. I mean, who needs two pairs of sunglasses, a book, three lipsticks, car keys, house keys, office keys, receipts from the trip to the grocery store and a giant wallet? Instead, after sleeve surgery, I’ll be rocking a sleek little clutch. Only the essentials for me!

Do you have any questions about sleeve surgery? Leave them in the comments!

4 thoughts on ““Are they going to put a sleeve around your stomach?”

    • Meg C. says:

      So there’s a two week liquid diet before the operation. And by liquid, I mean protein shakes, clear broth, etc. No booze for this chick. After surgery and recovery, I’ll be able to have a drink on special occasions. Because there’s not much food to help absorb the alcohol, I’ll be a lightweight. (Hopefully in more ways than one!) Alcohol = empty calories and when you’re trying to lose weight, empty calories are off limits!


    • Meg C. says:

      Sure! There are positives and negatives to all choices. I’ll go deeper into gastric banding in a post, since I’ve been down that road. As for Roux-en-y / gastric bypass, it actually does just that… bypasses the majority of your stomach tissue so that the food you eat is digested in the small intestine. It can help with acid reflux / type II diabetes and you may be able to lose a larger amount of weight. The downside is that because there is little stomach tissue, you do not absorb nutrients in the same way. That means making sure you take a regimen of vitamins sub-lingually (under your tongue). There can also be side effects like dumping syndrome if you eat things you shouldn’t.


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