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Gastric Sleeve or Sleeve Gastrectomy

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The vertical sleeve gastrectomy, also known as the sleeve gastrectomy or gastric sleeve, restricts the amount of food you eat by surgically reducing the size of the stomach. The minimally invasive procedure removes a portion of the stomach, making the stomach roughly the size and shape of a banana.

Patients who have a sleeve gastrectomy feel full after eating much less. In addition, the surgery removes the portion of the stomach that produces a hormone that can make you feel hungry, so you won't want to eat as much, which helps you lose weight.

This procedure can be an excellent alternative to gastric bypass or gastric banding. It is a simpler operation than the gastric bypass procedure because it doesn’t involve rerouting or reconnecting the intestines.

Also, unlike the gastric banding procedure, the sleeve gastrectomy doesn’t require implanting a banding device around a portion of the stomach.

How We Can Help You

At the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, our care team will help you determine whether gastric sleeve surgery is appropriate for you and exactly how it will be performed. In some cases, it is performed as a single weight-loss procedure, often for patients who prefer not to have a gastric band implanted or who have medical conditions, such as anemia, that prevent other surgical options.

In other instances, sleeve gastrectomy is performed as part of a two-step process in extremely obese patients (generally, those with a BMI over 60). It is done first in order to allow the patient to lose enough weight so that gastric banding surgery can then be performed with a much lower health risk to the patient.

Advantages of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric Sleeve Surgery, Sleeve Gastrectomy, Sleeve Surgery Illustration
  • Fewer food intolerances with gastric sleeve than with gastric banding.
  • Weight loss generally is faster with the sleeve than with gastric banding.
  • There is no implantable band device, so slippage and erosion are not a risk.
  • The surgical risk is lower than with gastric bypass procedures, but the weight loss is similar. In addition, our team can perform the sleeve gastrectomy using minimally invasive techniques that help speed recovery time.
  • No device that needs adjustment is inserted, so the follow-up regimen is not as intense as it is with gastric banding.

Disadvantages of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

  • Sleeve gastrectomy is not adjustable or reversible.
  • Complication risks are slightly higher than with the band.


  • Standard risks associated with surgery
  • Leakage at the suture site
  • Blood clots

Recovery Timeline After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

  • Hospital stay averages 48 hours.
  • Most patients return to normal activity within two weeks.
  • Full surgical recovery usually occurs within three weeks.

Our care team at the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute is committed to making sure all your questions are answered and to help determine the best weight loss surgery for you. We are dedicated to helping you successfully achieve and maintain your weight-loss goals.

BMI Calculator

Ideal body weight for your height should result in a BMI between 19 and 24.9. If your BMI is above 30, you may be a good candidate for surgery. Understand your BMI.

Appointments & Referrals

BMI Clinic Location

La Jolla

Weight Loss Experts

A Center of Excellence

We are a fully Accredited Bariatric Center in the American College of Surgeons Bariatric Surgery Center Network (ACS BSCN).

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