Gastric Sleeve surgery, or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, is a type of bariatric surgery in which the size of the stomach is reduced by about 75% to restrict food intake. After the procedure, the stomach is about a quarter of its previous size and can hold much less food. This technique is commonly used and has a high success rate for patients.

Gastric Sleeve surgery involves removing the lateral three-quarters of the stomach with a stapling device. The procedure is done using keyhole or laparoscopic surgery leaving the remaining stomach is more like a tube or ‘sleeve’ than a sac. It is estimated that the remaining stomach has about a 100 to 200ml capacity which works by making you feel full sooner, resulting in you eating less.

It’s important to understand the surgery you’ll be having and the best ways to take care of yourself afterwards. Here are some facts you should know about your procedure.

  • It’s different from Gastric Bypass. In laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve surgery, your surgeon will remove a portion of your stomach to form a new ‘sleeve’ that’s about the size of a banana.
  • Surgery is typically done laparoscopically. Laparoscopic surgeries require only small incisions and usually have fewer complications and shorter recovery times.
  • You’ll be on a liquid diet for a week. Followed by three weeks of pureed food and two weeks of soft food. After six weeks, you will switch back to solid foods.
  • You can expect to lose about 60% of your excess weight. If you follow your doctor’s and dietitian’s instructions and stick to your diet and exercise program, you will likely lose over half of your excess weight during the first 12 to 18 months.
  • You will most likely need to take some vitamins or other supplements permanently; your doctor will instruct you on which ones, as everyone’s nutritional needs are a little different.

Is it effective?

Most people who have Gastric Sleeve surgery have been found to achieve long-term weight loss, but it is contingent on keeping to a new lifestyle that includes movement and diet changes. Studies have shown that after a Gastric Sleeve resection procedure, patients show improvement in obesity related health issues such as Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnoea.

What are the risks?

As with all major surgical procedures, a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy procedure comes with the risk of post-operative complications such as infections, pneumonia and bleeding. As the procedure involves stapling part of the stomach, leakage is always possible. If leakage occurs, it may cause infection and other health problems. The more obese you are prior to surgery, the higher the risk of complications.

How long will recovery take?

Gastric Sleeve surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and takes 1-2 hours. We anticipate you will stay in the hospital for 2-3 days and then recover at home for about 2 weeks. Your recovery should be fast and smooth, provided that you follow the dietitian’s instructions. You should avoid any heavy lifting for four weeks to allow the wound to heal. You should be able to return to work after 2-4 weeks, depending on your type of work.

You will be on a fluid diet for one week post operatively, then you will slowly progress to pureed foods, soft foods, before returning to solid food at approximately six weeks.

Movement and regular exercise will assist in helping you return to work as soon as possible.

Contact Sunshine Coast Medical Weight Loss Centre today to schedule a consultation to see if this procedure is right for you.

Are you ready to find out more?

Call us today for a complimentary 30-minute consultation with our Bariatric Consultant, Nicola.

Nicola underwent weight loss surgery in 2016 and is passionate about answering all you need to know about reshaping your body and your life with bariatrics.

Or you can make a booking online or phone us to see Dr Ian Baxter, if you feel ready to get started on your weight loss journey.