What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

28 February 2020
bariatric surgeon performing gastric sleeve surgery

In this article we discuss gastric sleeve surgery. We’ll explain what it is, who it’s suitable for, walk through the process from preparation to recovery and look at the results patients can achieve.

Gastric sleeve surgery or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is an irreversible procedure which involves the removal of part of your stomach and stapling the cut edges to form a new narrow stomach or “sleeve.” The new stomach will usually be about 1/10th the size of your original stomach.

You will feel full far quicker than before and you won’t be able to eat as much, which helps you lose weight. The surgery also removes the part of your stomach that makes a hormone that boosts your appetite.

Who should consider gastric sleeve surgery – and when?

Gastric Sleeve Surgery may be a suitable option for people struggling with obesity or patients with health issues which are caused or exacerbated by obesity. The procedure will generally not be recommended until patients have exhausted non-invasive approaches. Those approaches involve reducing food intake, changing day-to-day activities and exercise. Medicines are also available which can assist with weight loss. Weight loss surgery can assist with a range of conditions, including Type 2 Diabetes, Asthma, Hypertension and heart health.

Before your surgery

The PWLS team will assess your medical history and guide you through the criteria for gastric sleeve to ensure this type of weight reduction surgery is right for you. We’ll also provide comprehensive, clear advice regarding changes you’ll need to make to medicines and your diet in the lead-up to surgery.

The procedure

Gastric sleeve surgery is performed under general anaesthetic using keyhole surgery. A stapling device is used to create a small sleeve in your stomach, then removes the rest of the stomach. You usually spend one to two nights in the hospital after the gastric sleeve operation.

After your surgery

Gastric sleeve recovery time generally takes a few weeks. You’ll  initially start with liquid foods, then progress over the next weeks to pureed and ultimately solid foods. Meals will be significantly smaller and you may have to stop drinking while eating.

You’ll also need significant lifestyle changes to help lose weight and keep it off. Our qualified dietitian will advise on changes to your eating habits and keeping healthy while losing weight. They’ll provide expert advice on the vitamins and other supplements you will need to take from now on. You’ll also need to increase and maintain physical activity. Overall, provided post-surgery changes are maintained, you can still look forward to good quality eating while losing up to 70% of your excess weight.

What are the risks?

The Gastric sleeve operation is generally a safe procedure. There is a small risk of bleeding or leakage(<1%) and 10 to 20% chance of reflux. Over time, the new sleeve may expand, which may cause you to regain some of the weight loss. PWLS will provide full advice on these risks and how to manage it and anything else that is of concern to you.

More information

Read more about the differences between bariatric surgeries or for further information on gastric sleeve in Perth, go to our gastric sleeve surgery page or click here to book an initial consultation.

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