Gastric Sleeve (Sleeve Gastrectomy)


Gastric Sleeve surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. The maximum time it takes to perform is 1 to 2 hours.  5 small incisions are made in the abdomen. The stomach is incised and divided and a tube-shaped stomach left behind. The ideal capacity of the stomach achieved is 15mL. Opened edges are tied up with staples. This procedure usually requires an overnight stay in the hospital. People who undergo this procedure can usually resume their normal activities within 2-3 weeks.

After the surgery, the abdomen of the patient usually remains tender and swollen. To alleviate pain, analgesics are prescribed. Liquid diets are suggested for two weeks and then semi-solid diets for the following two weeks. After this, a solid food diet can be resumed. An anticipated weight loss of around 50 to 70% within 6 months to one year can be expected, following this procedure.

Risks & Complications

Risks associated with gastric sleeves include problems related to poor nutrition, arising due to the failure of proper absorption of minerals and vitamins as a result of removal of a large portion of the stomach. It is therefore suggested that people who experience this should work with their doctors to prevent such risks.

Other risks common to all such weight loss-related procedures include infection at the site of an incision, or generalized body infection. If it should spread, fever, and leakage of food from the stomach into the peritoneal cavity leading to peritonitis (an inflammatory condition of the peritoneum) can occur. A risk of pulmonary embolism is also seen. In this condition, a blood clot or thrombos forms in the lungs. Owing to the deficiency of nutrition, anemia is also common in those patients. Osteoporosis risk also increases because of inadequate nutrients delivered to the bones. Increased risk of gallstones formation has also been seen after gastric sleeve surgery.

Complications associated with this particular procedure include internal bleeding, perforation of the stomach, nearby organs damage, infections such as pneumonia, peritonitis, infection at the site of the incisions, and certain heart, lungs, kidney and psychosocial problems.

Q. Is the Gastric Sleeve procedure safe in comparison to other weight loss surgeries?

A. Gastric sleeve is a relatively safe weight-loss procedure as it is less invasive than some other procedures.

Q. What type of diet will I consume post-operatively?

A. You will need a liquid diet for 2 weeks, then need to replace it with a semi solid one for next 2 weeks, after which time you can resume your normal diet.

Q. When can I go back to my work or daily routine following surgery?

A. With this procedure, recovery time is usually shorter. A rest of a week is usually recommended on the basis of your condition. You can however return to your work if it is not strenuous. Heavy lifting should be limited for 4-6 weeks.

Q. Is there a possibility of any adverse outcome on my current medical condition after this surgery?

A. Many ailments improve following gastric sleeve surgery, particularly diabetes, sleep apnea and hypertension. Please talk to your surgeon about any particular concerns you may have.