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Gastric Sleeve

The gastric sleeve is also known as the vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). The procedure involves removing roughly 80% of the stomach leaving a banana-shaped pouch.

Having bariatric surgery is a one time event. But life after bariatric surgery doesn’t come easy. You’ll have to follow your doctors recommendations and commit to changing your lifestyle for the better.

It’s strongly recommended to go to all of your follow-up appointments and to reach out to your bariatric team if you need personal or medical advice.  




Characteristics of the gastric sleeve

  • Laparoscopic procedure typically with 5-6 incisions (varies across surgical centers)
  • Takes an average of 45 minutes to an hour to complete (varies across individuals)
  • Expected weight loss is around 60% of excess weight
  • You have to take vitamins every day for the rest of your life
  • You have to change your entire lifestyle to make your sleeve work for you

How long do I have to stay in the hospital?

Recovery depends on your surgery itself. How big are the incisions? Did you have laparoscopic or an open type of surgery? If you had laparoscopic surgery you’ll probably stay in the hospital for 1-3 days. Some clinics have outpatient centers where you’ll go home on the same day.

Is gastric sleeve surgery painful?

Surgery itself is done under full anesthetics. Pain is a subjective feeling that everyone experience differently. Gas pains tend to be painful. You’ll be advised to walk at least 3 times a day to minimize gas pains. It’s common to take pain medication after surgery.

Can I eat and drink everything after a gastric sleeve?

Generally you will slowly introduce new foods and textures through 5 stages during 5 weeks.

  • Stage 1: clear liquids
  • Stage 2: full liquids
  • Stage 3: soft-pureed foods
  • Stage 4: soft foods
  • Stage 5: slowly introducing ‘normal’ foods

Keep in mind that everyone will experience this differently. It may take longer to get to stage 5 depending on how you feel – and if any complications occur.

How much weight will I lose?

The average loss of excess weight is around 60% following a gastric sleeve. Keep in mind that weight outcomes after all weight loss surgery procedures are different for every individual. Variables like your lifestyle, eating habits and support have an impact on your weight loss journey after bariatric surgery.

Benefits of the gastric sleeve

  • Less invasive than malabsorptive procedures
  • Shorter operative time
  • Dumping syndrome is less likely
  • There’s no rerouting of the small intestine
  • May reduce your appetite because ghrelin production sites are removed. Not all patients experience a decrease in appetite
  • Usually the go-to procedure for bariatric patients with a BMI > 55

Disadvantages of the gastric sleeve

  • Removing the stomach can not be reversed
  • Involves more stapling than other procedures – which increases the risk of leakage
  • Increased risk of acid reflux 

    Always follow your doctors guidelines and recommendations.

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