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Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy is a new type of weight-loss surgery available at Lowell General Hospital's Center for Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery in Chelmsford.

Sleeve Gastrectomy diagramDuring this procedure, the surgeon removes about 85 percent of the stomach so that it takes the shape of a tube or sleeve.

"This restricts food and calorie intake similar to gastric banding, but the digestive system processes the food the same way once it leaves the stomach, so there's no risk of nutrient malabsorption as there is with gastric bypass, which bypasses a portion of the small intestine," explains Lowell General's Chief of General Surgery Michael Jiser, MD, FACS, an expert in bariatric surgery. "And unlike gastric banding, there's no foreign object left in the body after the procedure."

"The procedure has been available in the U.S. for some time," he says. "But it only became available in Massachusetts in 2011 in terms of having insurance company approval."

Choosing which procedure to undergo is mostly a matter of personal preference, Dr. Jiser notes. "But certain patients who can't undergo gastric bypass now have another option besides banding," he says.

"The sleeve gastrectomy expands our offerings, giving patients another option that's a very effective tool for weight loss," he adds.

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