What is a sleeve gastrectomy?

Dr. Keith A. Kreitz, MD
Bariatric Medicine (Obesity Medicine) Specialist

A sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical weight loss procedure that reduces the volume of the stomach. The surgeon removes 80 to 85 percent of the stomach, leaving a skinny tubular banana-shaped stomach. When that happens, it reduces the volume of the stomach, and by reducing the volume a small amount of food will fill the stomach instead of a large amount. It stretches the stomach, and the nerves that go to the stomach send an impulse back to the brain saying the stomach's stretched, stop eating. That's how people know to feel full. Eating a big Thanksgiving meal takes a lot of food. After a sleeve gastrectomy, a small amount will make a person feel very full and satisfied, which is really important.

Dr. Paul R. Kemmeter, MD
Bariatric Medicine (Obesity Medicine) Specialist

Sleeve gastrectomy is a bariatric surgery. During a sleeve gastrectomy, the surgeon takes out the outer part of the stomach and removes 75% to 80% of it. The surgeon doesn't put anything inside people, he or she just makes a tube out of the stomach. It is called a sleeve because it looks like a sleeve of a shirt. After the procedure, people consume far less calories since the newly formed stomach pouch holds a smaller volume of food. It also affects gut hormones, which impacts factors like hunger, satiety and blood sugar control.

Dr. Melissa B. Bagloo, MD
Bariatric Medicine (Obesity Medicine) Specialist

The sleeve gastrectomy is a relatively new procedure for metabolic syndrome. A portion of the stomach is resected, changing the shape of the stomach into a long, skinny tube, almost resembling a banana. Two-thirds of the stomach is removed, but there is no alteration in the small bowel component. This operation mimics the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in terms of hormonal changes. It is a  very close second to the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for diabetes and co-morbidity improvement.

Sleeve gastrectomy weight loss surgery is a restrictive procedure that involves removing around 75 percent of the stomach so that it is a narrow tube, making you feel full faster.

A sleeve gastrectomy is weight loss surgery in which more than 2/3 of the stomach is removed. The stomach is divided using a staple, leaving the remaining stomach in a shape similar to a banana. The surgery helps you lose weight by reducing how much you can eat. The sleeve gastrectomy also impacts gut hormones to help you feel less hungry and fuller longer. This surgery does not change any of the intestines.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

With the gastric sleeve procedure, weight loss is achieved by making the stomach physically smaller, so one requires less food in order to feel satisfied. The surgeon separates the stomach, removing at least 85% of its original volume. The remaining stomach is shaped like a thin banana, which measures 2 to 5 ounces.

Studies have shown that patients lose 45% to 50% of excess weight after this procedure. The complication rate is 8%, with a mortality rate of 0.19%

Sleeve Gastrectomy is a new, minimally invasive procedure that is performed in under an hour and carries with it a reduced chance of leakage, infection, and bleeding, compared to other weight-loss surgeries. It restricts food intake by the removal of about 60% of the stomach, so that the stomach is reduced to the shape of a tube, or "sleeve."

Surgeons usually perform this procedure on patients who are either super-obese or who are high-risk, with the intention of performing a second surgery at a subsequent time. The second procedure is usually either a gastric bypass or duodenal switch.

This procedure, when part of a combination approach, greatly reduces the risks of bariatric surgery for certain patients, even though it entails two surgeries.

Patients undergoing this procedure usually lose 30-50% of their excess body weight over a 6-12 month period. The timing of the second procedure will depend on the amount of weight lost, and usually takes place 6-18 months after the first surgery.

When performed alone, the sleeve gastrectomy not only restricts gastric volume, but decreases the production of the hormone, ghrelin, which is produced by the left side of the stomach and signals satiety. This procedure reduces feelings of hunger and can result in weight loss that compare favorably in some patients to gastric bypass.

Patients having sleeve gastrectomy should eat smaller amounts of food and avoid large quantities of fat and sugar. They will need to eat sufficient protein, and take multivitamin supplements daily.

Continue Learning about Surgical Procedures

Tips to Help You Prepare for Surgery
Tips to Help You Prepare for Surgery
According to sports psychologist John Murray, PhD., the more success an athlete has achieved, the more likely it is that he or she will experience dep...
Read More
How do I prepare for spinal nerve decompression surgery?
Intermountain Registered DietitiansIntermountain Registered Dietitians
Take these steps to help your spinal nerve decompression surgery (a surgery to take pressure off com...
More Answers
What is scleral buckling?
Jeffrey S. Heier, MDJeffrey S. Heier, MD
When retinal tear and detachment occurs, if the retina (the innermost layer of the eye) has already ...
More Answers
What Factors Should I Consider When Having Multiple Plastic Surgeries?
What Factors Should I Consider When Having Multiple Plastic Surgeries?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.