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Gastric Sleeve Surgery

The gastric sleeve procedure — also called vertical sleeve gastrectomy or vertical gastric sleeve — is often an option for people who are not eligible to safely have other bariatric procedures.

What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Quick View of Gastric Sleeve Procedure
Description: Removes part of the stomach and creates a new, tube-shaped stomach or “sleeve.” This is sometimes referred to as a "weight loss sleeve." Surgery is irreversible.
Method: In most cases, your bariatric surgeon will perform this gastric sleeve operation laparoscopically, making several small 1/4- to 1/2-inch abdominal incisions.
How you lose weight: Reduces the size of the stomach and restricts the amount of food you can eat at one time, helping you feel full sooner.
Weight loss: Weight loss is slower than gastric bypass. Expect to lose 50 to 80 percent of excess body weight within 12 months after surgery.
Surgery time: About an hour.
Hospital stay: Two to three days.
Recovery time: Two to four weeks.

Gastric Sleeve: A First Step for Some People

Although the number of stand-alone weight loss sleeve procedures is increasing, many times this gastric sleeve operation is a first step in a two-part process.

For people who are either extremely obese or have health problems that make them ineligible for gastric bypass surgery, the vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure is an option to help them start losing weight.

After a few years, most people lose enough weight to complete the second step of the process — typically with the duodenal switch procedure — for further weight loss.

What to Expect During Gastric Sleeve Surgery

After you receive general anesthesia, your bariatric surgeon will:

  • Make several small incisions on your abdomen to insert the laparoscope — a tool with a light and a tiny camera that sends pictures to a nearby computer monitor.
  • Remove about three-quarters of your stomach along the outside curvature.
  • Create a new stomach in the shape of a thin tube or “sleeve.”
    • The sleeve spans the original distance from the esophagus to the small intestine.
    • The pyloric valve — the normal outlet that controls the release of food from the stomach to the small intestine — continues to function normally.

» Learn about the risks and complications of the vertical gastric sleeve procedure.

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