Sleeve Gastrectomy FAQs

What is sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve?

A sleeve gastrectomy is a bariatric surgery in which the surgeon divides the stomach into slender pouch or tube, and then the removes approximately 80% of the stomach, leaving the new stomach size of approximately 3-5 ounces (1/2 cup to 1 cup of food) and shaped like a thin banana or sleeve.

Who is an ideal candidate for a gastric sleeve?

People with a BMI over 40 or a BMI over 35 with other co-morbidities, people with complex surgical histories, those fearful of potential problems from a gastric bypass, people who wish to avoid potential nutritional deficits secondary to malabsorption issues that can be related to gastric bypass or those who might be interested in a Lap Band but want to avoid the foreign body concern of the band.

Will my stomach stretch back to its original size?

The stomach can never stretch back to original size. Patients who continue to overeat and lead sedentary lifestyles following surgery risk increasing their new stomach size and weight. The stomach will stretch but will not go back to it’s original size.

Is the gastric sleeve reversible?

Because a portion of the stomach is removed, a gastric sleeve is not reversible.

How quickly will I lose my excess weight with sleeve gastrectomy?

This is different for every individual. Every person responds differently to weight loss surgery. With the gastric sleeve procedure you can lose approximately 50-60% of excess body weight loss in approximately two years. This means if you are 100 pounds overweight, you would expect to lose approximately 50-60 pounds.

What will I feel with the gastric sleeve?

You will get full with food between 1/2 to1 cup of food. Water and liquids will go through fine. You will be surprised at how well you feel after sleeve surgery. A big change is how quickly you get full when eating food (early satiety).

Can I plan a pregnancy after a gastric sleeve?

Bariatric surgeons recommend waiting 18 months before trying to conceive after weight loss surgery. It is important to use a form of birth control during this period even if you don’t believe you can become pregnant. During this time the body is healing and may be losing weight at a fast rate.

How will the sleeve gastrectomy affect my eating?

A sleeve gastrectomy reduces the amount of food you can consume, however you can eat most things in moderation. A healthy diet is key, the surgery is a tool to help you lose weight, but it is important that you make lifestyle changes so you are eating a healthy diet.