Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Explained

Sleeve gastrectomy is becoming the most popular form of weight loss surgery in the UK, due to its high success rate and long-term results
Professor Rishi Singhal, Consultant Bariatric Surgeon, explains everything you need to know about the gastric sleeve.

What is the gastric sleeve?

Prof Rishi Singhal has performed over 2000 gastric sleeve surgeries, when it comes to understanding the procedure there is no one better to ask than him. 

“The gastric sleeve is a simple concept, around 80% of the stomach is removed through a keyhole incision which means you’ll be fuller, faster. After sleeve surgery, the food that you eat will still enter and exit the stomach in the same place as it did before, but you’ll have a much smaller stomach.”

As Rishi explains, it is a simple yet effective procedure. In terms of how it helps you lose weight, it actually works in two ways to achieve results. Mr Singhal says “The sleeve helps you lose weight in two ways; it reduces the capacity of your stomach and it also changes the balance of hormones and proteins in the stomach. The change in gut hormones, including changes to GLP1, alter and suppress appetite. For this reason, we expect sleeve patients to lose weight quickly.”

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    What happens during surgery?

    During gastric sleeve surgery, the patient will be looked after by a team of experts. One of the benefits of having private gastric sleeve surgery is that you get the best of the best.

    Gastric sleeve surgery takes between 30 – 60 minutes.  The surgeon will make around 5 small incisions to the stomach and carry out the surgery through these keyholes. 

    Around 80% of the stomach will be removed and the patient will be left with a smaller stomach. 

    Once the surgery is complete the patient will be brought around by the anaesthetist and go into a private hospital room to recover.


    The gastric sleeve is a laparoscopic (keyhole) procedure and is done through usually 4, sometimes 5 small horizontal incisions. This way, recovery time is significantly reduced and scarring is kept to a minimum.

    “Although many patients are well enough to go home the day after surgery we prefer to have patients stay for a second night so we can observe them and be as confident as possible that there is not a bleed or a staple line leak.” 

    After many years of experience being a consultant surgeon Rishi understands the importance of assessing a patient fully before sending them home saying. “It’s better to identify and treat complications before you go home rather than re-admit you at a later date.” 

    At Healthier Weight we identify the risk of patients prior to surgery and make sure that their gastric sleeve package includes the recommended hospital stay for them. 


    There are a number of benefits for patients post gastric sleeve surgery that goes beyond significant long-term weight loss. 

    Here are the benefits you can expect from your sleeve surgery. These are taken from respected scientific journals and the relevant publications are shown at the foot of this page.

    • Type 2 Diabetes

    “The sleeve is an excellent procedure for diabetics and 80% of patients can expect a complete resolution of their symptoms”

    • Raised Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

    “85-90% of patients who are taking medication to reduce their blood pressure can expect top stop medication altogether.”

    • Sleep Apnoea

    “Patients see improved sleep patterns and reduced fatigue. Over 85% of patients who use a CPAP machine will be able to stop.”

    • Infertility and PCOS

    “A very important consideration for some sleeve patients is that they want to lose weight to start or grow their family. Over 90% of sleeve patients improve their underlying hormonal well-being and restore fertility.”

    • Back Pain and Arthritis

    “An important consideration for many patients is that their weight is being to impact on their mobility and is causing joint pain. The sleeve can help this by reducing the load that joints are bearing. Studies show that patients report increased mobility after sleeve surgery.”

    • Mental Wellbeing

    “This is a very important benefit of the gastric sleeve. Often, patients have been dealing with mental health issues associated with their weight for many years. Studies show that sleeve patients report a reduction in anxiety and depressive symptoms. They also report a significant improvement in overall quality of life.”


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