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A sleeve gastrectomy (also known as a gastric sleeve procedure) is a restrictive procedure to remove about 70% to 85% of your stomach so that it takes the shape of a tube or sleeve.

A sleeve gastrectomy differs from other bariatric procedures as food enters the new stomach pouch/tube and then follows a normal route versus bypassing the digestive tract. As a result there are no absorption issues with a sleeve gastrectomy. The aim of sleeve gastrectomy is that you feel full sooner and therefore eat less. 

What happens during and after a sleeve gastrectomy?

  • This operation is performed laparoscopically under general anaesthetic and usually takes between 2-4 hours
  • Your surgeon will make several small incisions (cuts) in your abdomen (stomach)
  • They then insert a viewing tube with a small camera (laparoscope) and other tiny instruments into these small incisions to remove part of your stomach
  • The tube-shaped stomach that is left is sealed closed with staples
  • It is important to note: unlike some other procedures, sleeve gastrectomy is not reversible
  • You will be taken to a recovery area following your operation
  • Our healthcare team will monitor your blood pressure and heart rate
  • You will be given pain relief medication
  • You may have small drains (tubes) in your wounds to drain away any excess fluid
  • You may also have a catheter that drains urine from your bladder
  • These will all be removed before your go home
  • Once you are on a ward you will be encouraged to get up and move about slowly
  • You will be on a liquid only diet for the remainder of your hospital stay
  • Your stomach may feel bruised and sore
  • Be sure and let us know if you are in any discomfort
  • Your stay in hospital will depend on your own situation
  • Discuss your discharge plan with your consultant.

Going home after sleeve gastrectomy surgery

  • You will not be able to drive so please arrange for someone to take you home on your day of discharge
  • It is important that you follow all the dietary recommendations we give you
  • You will need to remain on a liquid diet for several weeks progressing to soft, moist foods
  • It may be 4-6 weeks before you can begin to add solid food
  • Once you are eating solid foods it will be important to maintain a healthy diet to aid in continued weight loss
  • Be sure and contact a member of our healthcare team if you have any questions
  • Most patients return to normal activities within 2-4 weeks following sleeve gastrectomy
  • Be sure and discuss any return to work and exercise with your consultant.

As with any procedure there may be complications including:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis – DVT)
  • Developing a hernia in the scar

Specific complications of sleeve gastrectomy may include:

  • Damage to internal organs
  • Staple line bleeding
  • Staple line leak or perforation of the stomach or bowel
  • Nutritional deficiencies.

Sleeve gastrectomy consultants at Shrewsbury Hospital

Shrewsbury Hospital

Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282 500
Switchboard 01743 282500
Bookings 01743 282 505
Enquiries 01743 282 500
Radiology 01743 282 504

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