Weight Loss Surgery - Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric Sleeve Surgery also known as Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, Vertical Gastroplasty or Sleeve Gastroplasty. It is a restrictive type of weight loss surgery that surgically reduces the size of the stomach to limit food intake and lessen the sensation of hunger. In studies to date, the gastric sleeve surgery has been shown to be a safe and effective alternative to the other common options of gastric bypass and gastric banding. The operation encompasses many of the benefits of these two procedures with few of the disadvantages.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

The procedure does not involve cutting, rerouting, or bypassing any portion of the small intestine like gastric bypass, nor does it require a medical implant or periodic adjustments as with gastric banding. It is usually performed as a keyhole surgery. It can be done by making a large incision in the abdomen (an open procedure) or by making several small incisions and using small instruments and a camera to guide the surgery (laparoscopic approach).

During surgery, the bariatric surgeon sections off approximately 60 to 80% of the stomach along the greater curvature. The cutaway part of the stomach is removed from the body, leaving a new stomach pouch that resembles a narrow tube, or "sleeve," that extends from the natural stomach opening to the natural stomach outlet (pyloric valve). The stomach reduction is permanent and the gastric sleeve procedure is not reversible.

Average Costs :

$16,000 - $20,000


The primary features of gastric sleeve surgery are reducing the size of the stomach up to 85%, to restrict food intake while also reducing the hormones that create the craving for food due to the removal of the excess stomach portion. This reduces the production of the Ghrelin hormone which in turn reduces the hunger sensation. The advantage include:

  • 30 to 60% extra weight loss within the first 12 months of the procedure
  • Less invasive than gastric bypass
  • No cutting or, disconnection or alteration of the intestines
  • No risk of "dumping syndrome" typically associated with gastric bypass
  • No need for implementation of foreign devices in to the body such as a gastric band
  • Less restrictive post-surgery diet


  • As it is a purely restrictive weight loss procedure, inadequate weight loss or weight regain is more likely than with a procedure involving intestinal bypass
  • With time, new smaller stomach pouch may stretch (also occurs with gastric bypass surgery)
  • Although the gastric sleeve helps control hunger and limit amount of food that can be eaten at any one time, weight loss will not occur without a healthy, low-calorie diet and regular exercise (same as with other purely restrictive procedures such as Lap-band and Realize Band)
  • If performed as the first part of a two-stage process, a second malabsorptive weight loss surgery such as the duodenal switch will need to be performed at a later time
  • The surgery is not reversible as a portion of the stomach is permanently removed
  • Leaks or bleeding may occur along the stomach stapling edge
  • Procedure may not be covered by some insurance companies
  • All surgery and anesthesia involves some level of risk including bleeding, blood clots, infection, pneumonia, or complications
  • Lack of published data for long-term weight loss results

The Diet Restrictions After Surgery

In The First 2 Weeks - Liquids and Full Liquids

It will be strictly limited to liquid nutrition only. Clear liquids like water, diluted juice without sugar, flat or non-carbonated sugar-free soda, tea with no sugar, and some Jell-O will be permitted for the 1st week, depending on the advice of your bariatric surgeon. Full liquids like milk, soups, thinned cream of wheat, puddings, protein shakes, or rice can be eaten over the next 2 weeks. Protein shakes will help to maintain an adequate amount nutrition in the body, and should be the first thing you start eating after gastric sleeve surgery.

It Is Worth Noting That : Avoid Coffee
Coffee contains acids that will irritate your stomach, so definitely avoid coffee during the first couple weeks following surgery.

2 - 4 Weeks Following – Soft Foods

In the next step you will advance to the soft foods. Things like mashed potatoes, pureed vegetables, pureed meat, soups, eggs, or fruits may be eaten over the next few weeks. Make sure you drink your liquids in between meals instead of with your meals.

4 - 8 Weeks Following – Solid Foods

Here you may begin eating solid foods. Limit the number of daily calories to a range of 600 – 800 calories per day. The smaller size of the stomach will reduce physical hunger, but it will not reduce emotional eating or cravings.

Some Tips

  • Chew Your Food Thoroughly
    Eat slowly, make sure to chew thoroughly and definitely stop eating as soon as you feel full. Developing a normal eating pattern and adjusting your eating behavior will help you lose 50% – 80% of the extra weight within the first 6 to 12 months. Behavior-modification techniques can help you adopt much healthier eating habits, and proper eating after gastric sleeve surgery can also help you keep the weight off in the long run.
  • Use Smaller Cutlery
    One good tip is to use a smaller plates, bowls, spoon and fork than you're used to, which helps to control your portion sizes.
  • Don't Overeat
    Over eating after gastric sleeve surgery can cause your stomach to stretch. Be mindful of the amount of food you eat, so you should restrict food portions and calories in order to avoid regaining the weight you've lost.