At WeightWise, one of the four components of our weight loss program is providing state-of-the-art minimally invasive surgery, with the least post-operative pain and the fastest patient recovery. We prioritize staying up-to-date with the most current advances in obesity treatment and research. As part of this commitment, we like to share some information from the Metabolic Applied Research Strategy (MARS) course that took place in San Francisco last month.  At MARS, new findings were presented about one of the newer and less invasive bariatric procedures, the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (the Sleeve). The Sleeve induces weight loss by limiting food intake. Around 70 to 80 percent of the stomach is removed laparoscopically for this procedure, creating a tube which is about the size and shape of a hot dog. The part of the stomach that is removed is one of the main areas that produce grehlin, a hunger-stimulating hormone.

According to the research presented, study findings in animals are indicating that the Sleeve has metabolic effects. Randy Seely, PhD, summarized the results of several studies, which showed that following the Sleeve procedure, rats consumed smaller, more frequent meals.  Of course, this behavior was on their own accord and not because of any patient instructions or compliance with a recommended post-op diet, as is the case with people.  Interestingly, after the procedure, rats also selected lower fat foods in comparison with the control groups. Another study looked at glucose metabolism in people and rats, showing that the effects of the Sleeve on the time course of the rise and fall of serum glucose and insulin after eating are equivalent to the gastric bypass procedure. In rats and humans, GLP-1 secretion is also the same after the Sleeve and gastric bypass. At the conclusion of the presentation, Dr. Seely shared data that supported the hypothesis that the Sleeve resolves diabetes as successfully as gastric bypass when patients are matched for the duration and severity of diabetes.

The results of various sleeve studies are encouraging for patients who want a more ‘straight forward’ operation than the gastric bypass or who may be hesitant about implantation of a device, as with the Lap-Band.