Sleeve Gastrectomy Explained: Discover the Benefits and Risks

Gastric sleeve surgery is typically performed using minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques. Surgeons make small incisions in the abdomen through which they insert tools and a camera into the body.
Sleeve Gastrectomy

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Sleeve gastrectomy is a popular weight loss surgery that has helped many people achieve significant weight loss. Understanding the procedure, its benefits, risks, and the recovery process is crucial for anyone considering this surgery. This blog post provides a comprehensive overview to help you make an informed decision.

What is Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy, also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a type of bariatric surgery designed to help with weight loss. During the procedure, a large portion of the stomach is removed, leaving a sleeve-shaped stomach about the size of a banana. This smaller stomach limits the amount of food you can eat and helps you feel full sooner.

This surgery is typically recommended for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or those with a BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. Sleeve gastrectomy is effective because it not only reduces stomach size but also impacts hormones that regulate hunger.

The Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure

The sleeve gastrectomy procedure usually takes about one to two hours and is performed under general anesthesia. It involves the following steps:

  • Preparation: The patient is given general anesthesia to ensure they are asleep and pain-free during the surgery.
  • Laparoscopic Surgery: The surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen and inserts a laparoscope, a thin tube with a camera, to guide the surgery.
  • Stomach Removal: About 75-80% of the stomach is removed, creating a sleeve-shaped stomach.
  • Closure: The remaining portion of the stomach is stapled and the incisions are closed.

This minimally invasive approach usually results in a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery compared to open surgery. Patients typically spend one to two days in the hospital before going home.

Benefits of Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy offers several benefits:

  • Significant Weight Loss: Most patients lose 50-60% of their excess weight within the first year.
  • Improved Health Conditions: Many obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea improve or even resolve after surgery.
  • Enhanced Quality of Life: Weight loss can lead to increased mobility, improved self-esteem, and greater overall well-being.
  • Reduced Hunger: The surgery removes the part of the stomach that produces the hunger hormone ghrelin, leading to reduced appetite

Risks and Complications

Sleeve gastrectomy carries potential risks and complications. These can include excessive bleeding during or after the surgery, infection at the incision sites or within the abdomen, and leaks from the stapled stomach edge, which may necessitate additional surgery. Furthermore, the reduced stomach size can lead to nutritional deficiencies, requiring lifelong supplements. It’s essential to discuss these risks with your surgeon and weigh them against the potential benefits.

Recovery Process

Recovery from sleeve gastrectomy involves several stages. Immediately after surgery, patients usually stay in the hospital for one to two days, with pain and nausea managed by medications. Dietary changes begin with a liquid diet, gradually progressing to pureed foods and then to solid foods over several weeks. Light activities can be resumed within a few days, but strenuous activities should be avoided for about six weeks. Regular follow-up appointments are crucial to monitor progress and address any issues.

Tips for a Smooth Recovery

To ensure a smooth recovery, follow dietary guidelines provided by your healthcare team, adhere to the post-surgery diet plan, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding drinking with meals. Take any prescribed vitamins and minerals to prevent deficiencies, and gradually increase your activity level as advised by your surgeon to aid recovery and prevent complications.1


Sleeve gastrectomy can be a life-changing procedure for those struggling with obesity. Understanding the procedure, benefits, risks, and recovery process is essential for making an informed decision. By following medical advice and taking care of yourself, you can achieve significant weight loss and improve your overall health.

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Dr. Tulip

Dr. Tulip is an advanced laparoscopic and Bariatric surgeon practicing in Bangalore at TODS- Dr. Tulips Obesity and Diabetes Surgery Centre

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Amera Begum
Amera Begum
Dr Tulip and Dr kavita are Amazing. I had sleeve gastric bariatic surgery 5days ago and i lost 4 kgs. I am extremely grateful that Dr Tulip has given me new life new start and Dr Tulip staff also extra carring like i feel im not hospitalized i feel im in cradle . Special thanks to sister Tanu shree ,kerala sister and Bengali brother and once again Dr Tulip and Dr kavita thank you🌹🙏🌹 lots of love you ❤❤❤Drs
Nalini Narayan
Nalini Narayan
Dr. Tulip and Dr. Kavita are amazing. I had a gastric bypass surgery last year and have lost more than 40 kgs. I am extremely grateful that Dr. Tulip has given me new lease of life .Her post operative care and follow ups are fantastic. Thank you Drs.
D.s Suma
D.s Suma
DR.Tulip madam and Kavitha madam were amazing I Had a gastric bypass surgery last month I reduced 10 kgs of weight much more to go I started my second life with this Iam very grateful to dr. Tulip
Sai kiran Reddy
Sai kiran Reddy
After trying for a baby for 7 long years, bariatric surgery helped me. I conceived a year ago and and am a proud mother after shedding 30 kilos
Sankarsh rakesh
Sankarsh rakesh
Huge tummy sagging I had. Confused to do lipo or tummy tuck. Finally did tummy tuck , have flat tummy I dreamed. . Thanks to Dr Tulip and team.
Mahadev Prasad S
Mahadev Prasad S
Lost 20kgs in 4 months for wedding , but also regained 4kgs within 2 months. What doctor told is right only. I should have done Stapler surgery
Anuradha Suryakanth
Anuradha Suryakanth
Gastric bypass, a very wonderful surgery that my uncle underwent. I could notvsee him suffer, his diabetes was uncontrolled, he could not sleep without a CPap machine , breathless after taking few steps. But 4 months since surgery, he has lost 32 kgs, insulin has stopped, only one diabetes medicine he is taking. He no longer uses CPAP machine. He has become positive once again. Thanks to Dr Tulip and team for all the guidance before, during and after surgery. My uncle is in safe hands
Aryan Vishnu
Aryan Vishnu
10 minutes and swalow balon done. I have no discomfort and tummy feeling full. Nevery knew it was really so smooth. Hope I lose 17kgs.