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:
- 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.
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Two decades of unhealthy eating had made Alison obese, diabetic and unhappy. She came to Nuffield Health desperate for a solution that might finally work. This is her story.