Gastric Sleeve PDF Print E-mail
Gastric Sleeve Surgery

The gastric sleeve is a stomach reduction procedure and is becoming a popular option for weight-loss surgery. It is the midway point between gastric banding's purely restrictive procedure and the more radical gastric bypass surgery or duodenal switch surgery.  The procedure is the removal of a little more that half of the stomach so that it takes the shape of a tube or sleeve.  The gastric sleeve can be considered as a step towards gastric banding, in that it can later be converted if required.  However, for others, the sleeve may enable them to lose enough weight with a Sleeve Gastrectomy alone, so that the second stage of the operation is not required.  Like the bypass, the Sleeve Gastrectomy is irreversible. 


The stomach continues to function as normal, but is simply smaller, which reduces the appetite and makes it easier to cut down dramatically on calorie intake.  There are fewer restrictions on the types of food which patients can consume after surgery. This is seen by many patients as being one of the great advantages of the Sleeve Gastrectomy - the procedure reduces appetite and therefore helps patients to control their food volume intake. 

In addition, the portion of the stomach that is removed is the area responsible for secreting the hormone "Ghrelin", which is responsible for appetite and hunger. The near elimination of this hormone results in a significant reduction or loss of appetite.  Gastric sleeve surgery may also be appropriate for people who can't return for the follow-up visits required by gastric banding.

 Unlike gastric banding surgeries, no foreign objects are left in the body during the procedure. With gastric banding, the band may slip, erode or become infected. Unlike gastric bypass or duodenal switch, there is no bypass of the small intestines with the gastric sleeve, so all nutrients are absorbed and very little chance exists of absorption issues.

Candidates for Surgery

A BMI of 30 or higher in adults is considered obese. The Sleeve Gastrectomy is also recommended for patients whose medical condition would rule out other forms of surgery.  Our surgeon will discuss your own circumstances and advise on which procedure is right for you. The surgeon will also ask you to make certain life style changes and go on a special diet before the procedure.

The Procedure

The gastric sleeve procedure is usually laparoscopic and involves a vertical removal of up to 75% of the stomach area.  This is a non-reversible surgery and is performed under general anesthesia and takes about one to two hours. A two to three day stay in the hospital is usually required after surgery and full recovery from gastric sleeve surgery may take a few weeks.


You will need to become used to eating solid foods again. Normally this starts with two weeks on a liquid-only diet, two weeks of semi-solid, pureed foods and then solids. As far as weight loss goes, most people who have gastric sleeve surgery lose an average of 50 percent of their excess body weight over six months to one year. The sleeve is a tool to help the patient manage their food intake. 

Complications can include:- 

  • Leaking of the sleeve. The operation requires staples to be inserted into the stomach, and there is always a chance that the staples will tear apart, resulting in a leak. .
  • Blood clots and wound infection
  • Weight may be regained over time, because the stomach can stretch.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 24 January 2010 )