The role of proximal versus distal stomach resection in the weight loss seen after vertical sleeve gastrectomy

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2016 Nov 1;311(5):R979-R987. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00125.2016. Epub 2016 Aug 31.


The mechanisms involved in the weight loss seen after vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) are not clear. The rat stomach has two morphologically and functionally distinct proximal and distal parts. The rat model for VSG involves complete removal of the proximal part and 80% removal of the distal part along the greater curvature. The purpose of this study was to understand the potential independent contributions of removal of these distinct gastric sections to VSG outcomes. We prepared four surgical groups of male Long-Evans rats: VSG, sham surgery (control), selective proximal section removal (PR), and selective distal section removal (DR). Gastric emptying rate (GER) was highest after VSG compared with all other groups. However, PR, in turn, had significantly greater GER compared with both DR and sham groups. The surgery-induced weight loss followed the same pattern with VSG causing the greatest weight loss and PR having greater weight loss compared with DR and sham groups. The results were robust for rats fed regular chow or a high-fat diet. Body mass analysis revealed that the weight loss was due to the loss of fat mass, and there was no change in lean mass after the surgeries. In conclusion, removal of the proximal stomach contributes to most, but not all, of the physiological impact of VSG.

Keywords: gastric emptying rate; sleeve gastrectomy; weight loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gastrectomy*
  • Gastric Emptying
  • Male
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Stomach / physiopathology*
  • Stomach / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss / physiology*