Vertical gastrectomy stomach surgery is not perhaps as well-known as other forms of weight loss surgery but is performed by a number of surgeons in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium.
The vertical gastrectomy procedure is also sometimes referred to as a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, a greater curvature gastrectomy, a parietal gastrectomy, gastric reduction or a vertical gastroplasty.
The vertical gastrectomy is a restricted form of bariatric surgery which removes the majority of the stomach and creates weight loss by restricting the amount of food which can be eaten.
In the case of vertical gastrectomy stomach surgery there is no intestinal bypass and so many of the problems typically associated with gastric bypass surgery, such as anemia, osteoporosis, protein deficiency and vitamin deficiency, are largely eliminated.
Some critics argue however that the absence of an intestinal bypass in this form of surgery leads to a comparatively low weight loss and may even lead to weight regain.
In excessively obese patients, and particularly where the patient’s BMI is in excess of 55 or 60, it is difficult to perform other types of weight loss surgery, such as a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or a duodenal switch, laparoscopically.
In addition, while the duodenal switch can be particularly effective for patients with a high BMI it can also be quite risky to attempt to this laparoscopically. Also, while the Roux-en-Y does not present the same level of risk, weight loss seen in high BMI patients is not always satisfactory.
The vertical gastrectomy can however often be performed laparoscopically for severely obese patients, for example weighing in excess of 500 pounds, with these patients losing 100 pounds and often as much as 200 pounds as a result. While this will still leave many patients classed as morbidly obese, it nevertheless lowers their BMI considerably and patients can then be offered the option of further surgery, such as a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, a duodenal switch or even laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery, to allow them to reach their final desired weight.
Vertical gastrectomy stomach surgery can also be performed on relatively low BMI patients but, while it can produce reasonable results, it is not perhaps as effective as other forms of bariatric surgery.
Nevertheless, it is certainly an option for many patients including those who may be concerned about the potential long-term side effects of intestinal bypass or who suffer from other medical problems which may rule out intestinal bypass surgery. It may also be an option for patients who feel that lap band surgery would be appropriate, but who are concerned about the implantation of a ‘foreign body’ by way of the gastric band and its associated adjustment port.
As with many forms of bariatric surgery there are both advantages and disadvantages to vertical gastrectomy stomach surgery and each patient would have to consider these carefully in consultation with their doctor before making a decision.