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‘Sleeve’ Surgery


The “sleeve” weight loss surgical procedure offered at The Valley Hospital Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery provides patients with a safe and effective minimally invasive option for losing weight.

Performed laparoscopically through keyhole incisions, sleeve surgery (sleeve gastrectomy) involves creating a thin vertical sleeve of stomach about the size of a banana. The rest of the stomach is removed. Food passes through the digestive system in the usual order and is absorbed normally into the body. Because the new stomach is about one-third to one-quarter the size of the former one, the amount of food that can be eaten is limited and patients feel fuller faster and longer.

“Preliminary data over the past five years that we are collecting show that the sleeve procedure offers patients long-term benefits over the other two major options in weight loss surgery: gastric bypass and adjustable band surgery,” says Miguel Silva, M.D., a bariatric surgeon at the Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery, who has performed more than 500 sleeve surgeries. Valley’s Center is the Bergen County site for the highly successful program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Medical Center.

“In addition to losing weight and retaining the ability to digest food normally, a key benefit of sleeve surgery is that it doesn’t burn any bridges,” adds Dr. Silva. “If the patient doesn’t reach his or her weight loss goal, we can tighten up the stomach or convert to a gastric bypass procedure, a more complex procedure that involves bypassing a section of the small intestine.”

Sleeve surgery also reduces the incidence of post-surgical complications, such as implant malfunctions with the gastric band procedure or small intestine hernias and malabsorption problems that can occur after gastric bypass surgery.

Losing a significant amount of weight as a result of bariatric surgery can also eliminate or improve obesity-related health risks, including high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high triglycerides, and type 2 diabetes. However, every patient’s unique needs and medical condition must be evaluated before a method of weight loss surgery is chosen.

“Despite the successful outcomes patients experience with weight loss surgery, these procedures are just tools,” cautions Dr. Silva, an assistant professor of surgery at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “Patients must make significant lifestyle modifications to benefit from these procedures.”

The Valley Hospital’s Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery has been designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery. The Center provides comprehensive educational, surgical, nutritional, psychosocial, and support services. In addition to four board-certified bariatric surgeons, the staff includes an advanced practice nurse and a registered dietitian.

Patients who are interested in bariatric surgery are strongly encouraged to first attend one of the Center’s free educational seminars, given every two weeks at Valley’s Kraft Center at 15 Essex Road in Paramus.

Call 201-251-3480 for more information.

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