Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy—Open
(Sleeve Gastrectomy—Open; VSG—Open)
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is a surgery to decrease the size of the stomach.
Reasons for Procedure
If lifestyle changes are made, the benefits of VSG include:
Complications are rare. But no procedure is completely free of risk. Complications may include:
Long-term complications include vomiting and gallstones.
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Discuss risks with your doctor.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
You may have the following done:
Prior to the procedure:
General anesthesia will be given through an IV (needle) in your hand or arm. It will block pain and keep you asleep through the surgery.
Description of the Procedure
A nurse will place an IV line in your arm to give you fluids and medicines. The doctor will place a breathing tube through your mouth and into your throat. This will help you breathe during surgery. You will also have a catheter placed in your bladder to drain urine.
The doctor will make an 8-10 inch incision to open the abdomen. Surgical staples will divide the stomach vertically. The new stomach will be the shape of a slim banana. The rest of the stomach will be removed. Your new stomach can hold 50-150 milliliters (mL) of food, about 10% of what a normal adult stomach can hold.
Staples or stitches will be used to close the incision.
Immediately After Procedure
The breathing tube and catheter will be removed.
How Long Will It Take?
About two hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. You will be given pain medicine after surgery.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay is 4-6 days. If there are any problems, you will need to stay longer.
At the Hospital
While in the hospital, you may be asked to:
For a smooth recovery:
Return to normal activities in 2-3 weeks.
For good nutrition:
Call Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Weight Control Information Network
Canadian Obesity Network
Weight Loss Surgery
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Sleeve gastrectomy. Virginia Mason Medical Center. Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence website. Available at: https://www.virginiamason.org/SleeveGastrectomy. Updated October 2010. Accessed November 22, 2010.
Sleeve gastrectomy. Yale New Haven Health website. Available at: https://www.greenh.... Updated January 2010. Accessed November 22, 2010.
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Last reviewed November 2012 by Daus Mahnke, MD