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Gastric sleeve


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About sleeve aftercare

At Healthier Weight we specialise in weight loss surgery, including the gastric sleeve (sleeve gastrectomy). On this page, we provide all you need to understand the procedure, your eligibility for it and what it takes to be successful. You can go into more detail at any point by using the links provided.

If you have a question you would like to discuss in person, please call us. All of the team here are trained in gastric sleeve and will be happy to discuss things.

Please don’t underestimate the importance of long-term aftercare after your sleeve. Your immediate priority will be to lose weight but it's important to have regular reviews after surgery to make sure you maximise your weight loss, that you maintain it and, most importantly, you achieve all of the health and lifestyle benefits you are seeking. We include regular blood tests and clinic reviews for 2 years within our package. Few other providers include these blood tests, yet they are essential to your nutritional well-being.

This page should provide everything you need to develop a good understanding of the sleeve. We can answer any other questions you may have on the telephone or at your free consultation with our surgeon. We’ll be happy to provide a personalised quotation, including details of the payment plans available to you. Request your personalised quotation here or call 0800 313 4618.

What is a gastric sleeve?

Gastric sleeve diagram

The gastric sleeve is the fastest growing procedure in the UK and around the world.

The sleeve is a key hole (laparoscopic) procedure that usually takes between 60 and 75 minutes to complete. It involves cutting along the length of the stomach and removing about 80% of it to leave a thin, banana shaped stomach. The larger part of the stomach (the ‘80%’) is removed altogether.

One of the attractions of the sleeve is that the food you eat enters and leaves the stomach in the same places as it did prior to surgery, unlike with the gastric bypass.

View our 49-second video about the gastric sleeve

Go deeper: How we do sleeves 

How a gastric sleeve works

The gastric sleeve works to produce weight loss in two ways. Firstly by restriction as a large portion of the stomach is removed during surgery leaving a 'stomach sleeve' about 20% of the original volume. This means you can only eat a very small amount of food before feeling full.

Secondly by an impact on hormones. Levels of the appetite stimulant ghrelin fall after gastric sleeve surgery, which may explain why patients experience such a marked loss of appetite. Sleeve patients also experience major changes in taste and food preferences, usually away from fatty, sugary foods and this change also contributes to weight loss*.

For more information, you may wish to visit the Gastric Sleeve FAQ's

Go deeper: How the sleeve works

Is gastric sleeve surgery right for you?

If you have been struggling with your weight for a long time, you have tried and failed using diets and your body mass index (BMI) is above 35, then the sleeve may be a good option for you. Decisions about the best procedure will always vary according to individual patient circumstances and ultimately the choice will be yours. Many patients end up having to decide between the gastric band and the gastric sleeve procedures. We will explain both in detail before and during your consultation.  

We have also recently started offering the new Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG) procedure. This is a non-surgical alternative to the gastric band and the surgical gastric sleeve. It’s a new, younger procedure that those looking for a lower risk procedure might consider. Of course, the newness of the ESG means results are less predictable than for the band or surgical sleeve. You can read more about it here.

Go deeper: Gastric sleeve eligibility


How much does it cost?

The cost of sleeve surgery varies enormously depending on who does it, the hospital it is done in and the breadth of the aftercare and support package provided. For this reason we provide personalised quotations in writing so you know what you getting. The Care Quality Commission expect providers to explain prices clearly in this way. We also include information on the payment plans available. You can request your personalised quotation here or call 0800 313 4618.

Also, please use this link to see how your gastric sleeve procedure could fund itself through savings on food and meals. Read how you too may be able to make cost savings after your surgery. 

More on sleeve cost

Trade secrets

Our trade secrets sections are designed to give you the inside track on the procedures and tell you the things that other providers might be reluctant to.

The sleeve is a great procedure and most patients see fast weight loss, faster than for any other procedure. The sleeve is younger than the bypass or band so we don’t have as much idea about the long term outcomes. We suspect that weight may be regained, to some degree, after the first 3 or 4 years post surgery. It means that learning new eating habits while the sleeve is new is just as important as with the other procedures. With these new habits you have a better chance of maintaining your new weight.

The sleeve is probably the riskiest weight loss surgery procedure. We say this because the staple line where the stomach is cut can leak. This can be a problem as it can take a long time to heal. Before going ahead you must make sure you fully understand the risk of a leak and its implications. More so than for the other procedures we think the provider, surgeon and hospital you choose are critical to increasing your chances of a good outcome and to reducing the risk of a complication. 

We pride ourselves on our gastric sleeve expertise. If you have any questions that are not answered on this page you’ll find them at our ‘sleeve centre’. Visit our sleeve centre here.

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Read about sleeve aftercare

Gastric sleeve aftercare package and surgical warranty

Aftercare nurse

Patients sometimes forget that long term aftercare and support are just as critical for your sleeve success as they are for gastric band. Your journey is still just beginning the day you are discharged from hospital after surgery. 

While your surgeon and hospital are important ingredients, the key to long term success comes from the support you receive in the years ahead.

Healthier Weight is unique in the commitment we show to long term support and this is reflected in our sleeve package. A good example of this is that we include private blood tests for 2 years after your surgery as standard. This enables us to monitor your well-being and ensures we stay in contact. Unfortunately, many sleeve patients are lost to follow up and this can lead to weight regain and nutritional deficiency in later years. We are the only provider to include these important patient safety features within our package.

At Healthier Weight our package is designed with this long-term support in mind. In this way, we help you achieve the long term weight loss and health outcomes that are motivating you to go ahead in the first place. 

Read more about aftercare

Finance plans
Spread the cost of your procedure over 4 years with our Affordable Finance Options

Gastric sleeve success stories

Hali lost 11 stone with a gastric sleeve

I remember the doctor telling me that my cholesterol is so high, it’s the same as like a 70 year old woman and at the time I was only 30. I remember walking out and it hit me. I thought ‘I am literally one chocolate bar away from a heart attack!’ I think that day at the doctors was a wake up call for me, that it’s time to do something for my health.

The one thing I always say to people who tell me their considering surgery is ‘If you’re not ready to change your lifestyle as well, then I’d reconsider.’ People really need to understand that they do need to change their habits. I also definitely advise that you go through a good surgery provider rather than just booking in and having it done anywhere. It’s important that you go with a provider that cares just as much about support and aftercare as the initial surgery. Healthier Weight, for me was amazing because I had that support and guidance.

Read Hali's story

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Weight loss results and procedure outcomes comparable with the best centres of excellence around the world*

Weight loss with a gastric sleeve

Typically, we expect gastric sleeve patients to lose 60-70% of their excess weight over a 2-year period, and the majority of this weight is lost in the first year. Weight loss results for each sleeve patient are different and your results will depend on how well you adapt your lifestyle and eating habits. A gastric sleeve is extremely effective if you follow our guidelines, but it is important to remember that it is not a “cure” for your weight problems, rather a powerful tool to help you manage your weight*.

An example of expected weight loss:

  • A 5ft 6in person weighing 17st (240lbs / 109kgs) has an ideal weight of about 11st (154lbs / 70kgs)
  • They are carrying excess weight therefore of 240lbs minus 154lbs = 86lbs.
  • 70% of 86lbs is around 60lbs
  • So this person could expect to lose (on average) up to 60lbs (27kgs) which is between 4 and 4½ stones in weight*

You will find more information on how to maximise your weight loss on our gastric sleeve FAQ page.

Excess or loose skin following weight loss

Due to the considerable amount of weight that gastric sleeve patients typically lose, it's possible that you will experience some excess, loose or saggy skin. This most commonly occurs in the abdominal apron, or trunk area. The amount of excess skin you'll be left with following a gastric sleeve operation varies and will depend upon your age and weight before the procedure. Generally, the heavier and older you are, the more likely you are to have excess skin. Younger patients tend not to have as much lax skin due to greater natural skin elasticity.
Finance plans
Spread the cost of your procedure over 4 years with our Affordable Finance Options

Benefits and risks of the gastric sleeve

Health benefits

In addition to weight loss*, gastric sleeve patients can experience a wide range of health benefits following their surgery, some of which are listed below:

  • Type II diabetes: 80% of patients will have complete resolution of their diabetes
  • Hypertension: 85-90% of patients reduce or stop their anti-hypertensive (blood pressure) medication
  • Dyslipidaemia: 90-95% of patients show major improvement or complete resolution of abnormal cholesterol
  • Sleep apnoea: 80% of patients discontinue CPAP†. Improved sleeping patterns, snoring and daytime fatigue    
  • Stress incontinence: The majority of patients experience marked improvement or complete resolution of symptoms    
  • Infertility and PCOS*: 95% of patients experience correction of underlying hormonal problems and restored fertility    
  • Asthma: Patients with asthma see marked improvement in symptoms and a reduction in medication     
  • Liver disease (NASH)¶: 85-90% of patients will have complete resolution of the disease   
  • Back pain and arthritis: Patients experience marked reduction in joint and back pain and increased mobility   
  • Mental well-being: Reduced depressive symptoms and anxiety, improved social interaction and overall quality of life    

† Continuous Positive Airways Pressure     * Polycystic ovarian syndrome     ¶ Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis


As with any surgery, there are operative and long-term complications and risks associated with gastric sleeve obesity surgery but in experienced hands, the procedure is very safe and the risks associated with the surgery are relatively small. The concept of operation itself is technically simple as it does not involve any cutting or joining of the bowel, unlike some other weight loss procedures such as the gastric bypass, and this is reflected in its low complication rate of 4.5%* and in the low mortality rate of 0.24%* - 0.5% (1 in 4000+). 

For more information on how these two operations compare, please visit gastric sleeve v gastric bypass.

The main risks specific to gastric sleeve are:

  • Leakage from staple lines 
  • Bleeding from staple lines
  • Stricture (narrowing of the stomach)
  • Infection of the port sites
  • Seroma and haematoma
  • Longer term there is risk of reflex and nutritional deficiency

For more information about complications of sleeve surgery, you will find considerable detail in our sleeve centre which you can access here 

See our FAQs for more information on sleeve complications or read more in details about the risks 

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*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for each individual. As such, Healthier Weight cannot guarantee specific weight loss goals.