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Gastric sleeve procedure, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, involves surgical removal of part of a stomach. This procedure is a permanent one and intends to result in drastic weight loss in individuals suffering from morbid obesity.

During the gastric sleeve procedure, the left side of the stomach is cut and the size is reduced to just 25 percent of its original size. The resulting stomach looks like a banana-like “sleeve.”

The resulting vertical gastric sleeve limits the intake of food due to reduced production of gastric enzymes and digestive juices. You may feel full after eating small amounts of food. This is also known as a “restrictive procedure” as it restricts the amount of food that you can consume at a time. This procedure is performed laparoscopically and is irreversible in nature.

Is it safe to have sleeve gastrectomy?

Gastric sleeve procedure is recommended to individuals whose body mass index (BMI) is 40 or greater than 40. It is a completely safe procedure and is minimally invasive in nature.

When performed correctly, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy improves a number of obesity-related medical conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, hypertension, cardiac disorders, obstructive sleep apnea, dermatitis due to skin folds, urinary incontinence, and metabolic syndrome.

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Before the Treatment

  • Before scheduling a gastric sleeve surgery, your healthcare provider will ask you to undergo a complete physical examination, ultrasound of gallbladder, and a few blood tests.
  • You should inform your healthcare provider about your past and present health condition and the use of specific medications. You should inform your sleeve gastrectomy surgeon if you take insulin for diabetes.
  • You should take nutritional counselling before the procedure and get ready emotionally for the gastric sleeve procedure. This is because you have to follow a proper diet after gastric sleeve surgery to achieve targeted weight loss.
  • You should change your lifestyle completely and maintain a regular exercise or physical activity before gastric sleeve surgery. If the diet is not followed as advised, then a proper and expected weight loss may not be achieved.
  • You should quit smoking several weeks before the scheduled date of the procedure.
  • On the day of gastric sleeve surgery, you should follow the instructions given by your sleeve gastrectomy surgeon, especially when it comes to drinking and eating on the day of the procedure. If you are taking any medications as advised by the surgeon, then you should take it only with a small sip of water.

How it is Performed

The total duration of surgery is about 60 to 90 minutes. Your sleeve gastrectomy surgeon will give you general anaesthesia before the procedure. The surgery is performed with the help of a laparoscope.

The surgeon will insert the laparoscope into your belly after making two to five small incisions. The inside of your belly can be visualized with the help of a camera attached to the laparoscope. After that, your stomach will be cut vertically  

Around 75 percent of the stomach is removed and the remaining part of the stomach is joined with surgical staples. The retained portion of the stomach now looks like a banana-like sleeve. The cut part of the stomach is removed, and the incisions in the abdomen are stitched and closed.  The gastric sleeve cost is typically higher as compared to other surgical methods of weight loss.


The patient is typically discharged within two days of the procedure. The patient should follow the following instructions to recover quickly after gastric sleeve surgery:

  • Take soft diet after discharge
  • Take clear liquids on the day of the procedure
  • Consume small meals to avoid stretching of the stomach
  • Eat small quantities of food
  • Include vitamins and minerals in the diet

You will start noticing gradual weight loss once you start to maintain a healthy diet and regular physical activity. You should not increase your quantity of meals after achieving targeted weight loss, as it may stretch your stomach. You should maintain the same activity levels for at least two to three years.

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Q. Should I have to maintain diet even after vertical gastrectomy?

A. Yes, you should have to maintain diet and physical activity by the instructions of your nutritionist and healthcare provider to achieve weight loss.

Q. How many days will it take to lose weight?

A. It totally depends on the diet you follow and the physical activity you maintain. You will lose weight gradually. You may take 2 to 3 years depending on the weight-loss required.

Q. How long should I stay in the hospital after vertical gastrectomy?

A. You may need to stay 1 or 2 nights in the hospital after vertical gastrectomy.

Q. When can I go back to work?

A. You can go to work 2-3 weeks depending on the type of work you do. If your work includes lifting heavy objects, then you should wait for some more time.

Q. Will I get scars on the abdomen after the surgery?

A. You will have very fine scars on the abdomen.

Q. Can anyone undergogastric sleeve procedure?

A. Gastric sleeve surgery is not recommended for patients with the following conditions:

  • Lung disorders
  • Limited mobility
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Psychological instability


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Sleeve Gastrectomy