Sleeve Gastrectomy

This page will provide you with information about having a sleeve gastrectomy. For further details, please speak to your consultant.

What is a gastric sleeve procedure?

Gastric sleeve surgery – or a sleeve gastrectomy – is a weight loss procedure for those with a BMI of over 35. It is considered to be less significant than a full gastric bypass procedure, but is more effective than gastric banding. Unlike gastric banding, a sleeve gastrectomy is also permanent.

It is often undertaken by those who are unable to have gastric bypass surgery as they are not fit for that level of operation. Often, a sleeve gastrectomy will be done and then after enough weight has been lost a gastric bypass operation will be performed.

How is it different?

A gastric band procedure is only temporary and does not permanently reduce the size of the stomach. A sleeve gastrectomy, however, is permanent and results in a physical reduction in the size of the patient’s stomach. Due to this, the body produces less of the hunger hormone leading to a decrease in hunger levels. This sometimes means they lose weight more quickly with a sleeve gastrectomy than with gastric banding.

A gastric bypass operation also permanently reduces the size of the stomach, but as it alters the digestive system it also changes the way food is absorbed by the body. A sleeve gastrectomy does not change the function of the stomach in this way.

After gastric bypass surgery patients are required to restrict the amount of certain types of food that they eat; a gastric sleeve procedure is less restrictive in this respect.

What will happen during the operation?

Up to 75% of the stomach is permanently removed in this surgery either via an incision made in the abdomen during open surgery, or as part of a keyhole operation.

The stomach is divided and shaped into a narrow tube – similar to a sleeve. This means the volume of the stomach is permanently reduced.

The procedure takes 1-2 hours and is performed under general anaesthetic. The majority of patients have to stay in hospital for 1-3 days.

Risks and complications

Any risks or complications will be discussed in advance of your treatment with your expert consultant.


Full recovery can be slow, with patients expected to return to work after two or three weeks. If a patient’s work involves manual labour then this could be longer.

Patients should undertake light exercise after the surgery to help with recovery and also weight loss. Walking is one form of exercise that can help with this. Overall exercise can help reduce the risk of blood clots in addition to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

Patients will also be expected to begin a diet that is healthy (with a restriction on certain foods) and to ensure they are ingesting all the essential vitamins and nutrients the body needs.




EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Sleeve Gastrectomy Consultants