Weight Loss Surgery

Gastric Sleeve

Everything you need to know about gastric sleeve weight loss surgery, from experts in bariatric surgery.

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Over 20 years experience in bariatric surgery
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Lifelong psychological and nutritional support
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Over 2700 Sleeve procedures completed
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Gastric Sleeve Overview

The procedure is carried out via key-hole incisions in the abdomen. It involves laparoscopic surgery to remove 80% of the stomach, creating a smaller stomach. This aids weight loss by reducing stomach capacity and altering gut hormones like ghrelin and GLP-1, leading to appetite suppression. The rate of weight loss is not directly tied to the remaining stomach size, as changes in gut hormones play a significant role.

Nationwide specialist clinics and facilities

Lowest published complication rates in the UK

Largest team of surgeons / nurses / clinicians

UK’s most comprehensive aftercare package

What are the health benefits of gastric sleeve surgery?

90%

of type II diabetics are cured

85-90%

of patients with hypertension reduce or stop medication

80%

will have improvement in cholesterol levels

60-70%

average (mean) excess weight loss

90%

of patients with Polycystic ovary syndrome have restored fertility

85%

of patients who use a continuous positive airway pressure machine will be able to stop

80%

of patients with Liver Disease will have complete resolution

The gastric sleeve is the world’s fastest-growing weight loss surgery. It delivers remarkable weight loss and health improvements, positively impacting patients’ quality of life.

Physical Wellbeing:

Addressing Back Pain and Arthritis – The sleeve reduces joint impact, offering increased mobility, particularly beneficial for patients experiencing weight-related joint pain.

Mental Wellbeing:

Prioritizing Mental Health – Pre-operative assessments focus on mental health, with studies indicating reduced anxiety and depressive symptoms post-surgery. Our program, developed by psychologist Dr Claire Parkes, aims to ensure long-term mental wellbeing.

Health Benefits:

Beyond the mentioned benefits, such as addressing Asthma and liver disease, the gastric sleeve offers additional health improvements. For specific health queries not listed, please reach out for a personalised discussion.

 

Feel free to call us for further details or if you have specific health concerns you’d like to discuss.

What is the gastric sleeve?

The gastric sleeve (laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy) is the world’s fastest-growing weight loss procedure, surpassing gastric band and bypass surgeries in NHS popularity. This simple concept involves laparoscopic access, cutting and removing about 80% of the stomach.

Post-surgery, food follows the same path, but with a significantly smaller stomach. The sleeve facilitates weight loss by reducing stomach capacity and altering gut hormones (ghrelin and GLP-1), suppressing appetite.

Notably, excess body weight loss is rapid, and it’s crucial to understand that weight loss isn’t directly tied to the remaining stomach size; gut hormone changes drive effective weight loss in both ‘tight’ and ‘loose’ sleeves.

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The importance of great aftercare is often underestimated when it comes to gastric sleeve. Most patients enjoy excellent weight loss in the first year or two but some weight regain is quite common after a few years. This can be reduced by adopting the correct dietary and exercise habits in the first couple of years after surgery.

Gastric Sleeve Procedure

We access the abdomen laparoscopically (keyhole surgery), cut the stomach along its length, and remove about 80%

Dedicated Support

Our range of nutritionists, Health Coaches and support team are here to help every step of the way                  

Weight Loss Tools

Videos and live classes on diet, fitness, retraining behaviours, body composition scales and activity tracker.  

How the gastric sleeve works in detail

The gastric sleeve’s effectiveness lies in a combination of factors – a smaller stomach and hormonal changes. Specifically, the reduction in ghrelin, a hormone affecting appetite, contributes to the success of sleeve surgery. Around 90% of patients find success due to these changes, often experiencing an immediate shift in their taste for food.

Like all weight loss surgeries, long-term success depends on adopting the right diet and habits post-surgery. Ongoing aftercare and support are vital for sustaining benefits over time, making them as crucial for sleeve patients as for those undergoing other weight loss procedures.

Clinics offering the Gastric Sleeve

Am I eligible for the gastric sleeve?

There are many factors to consider for eligibility but we generally offer the sleeve gastrectomy procedure to those with a minimum body mass index (BMI) of 35.

The eligibility criteria that apply in private healthcare are a little different than those that apply in the NHS.

The reason is that the NHS eligibility criteria that are set by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) have to balance the public health benefit with what the state can afford.

In the private sector, we are not faced with the same price restraints as patients are paying for their procedures. This means that we can make decisions based purely on the available scientific data. For that reason, we will generally consider patients with lower BMI than would be the case for the NHS.

The NICE guidelines state that patients will be eligible for bariatric surgery if they have a BMI above 40 or above 35 with at least one major co-morbidity. In addition, patients will need to follow and ‘pass’ a 6 – 12 month weight loss programme before they will be considered eligible for surgery. There will then usually be a waiting list.

The reality is that very few NHS Trusts apply these criteria and you may have read in the press that Trusts are applying their own, much tighter, selection criteria. This is because they do not have the resources needed to apply the NICE guidelines.

Some Trusts are limiting surgery to patients with a BMI over 50, to diabetics and/or to patients who don’t smoke.

At Healthier Weight, we generally consider sleeve surgery for patients with a BMI of 35 and above. You will need to have tried and failed with diet plans as a way to manage your weight and your weight will need to be harming your everyday life.

If you are of Asian ethnicity and/or you are a Type 2 diabetic we would consider surgery at a lower BMI. We will explain the eligibility criteria in more detail at your face-to-face consultation.

How long is Gastric sleeve surgery

Typically lasting 45 to 60 minutes, gastric sleeve surgery involves making 4 to 5 small horizontal incisions (about 5mm long) in the stomach for instrument passage. After a brief hospital stay of around 2 nights, you’ll be discharged and advised to rest for at least 7 days to aid recovery. Improved comfort is expected around 2 weeks post-surgery.

How much weight will I lose with the gastric sleeve?

Gastric sleeve is a powerful choice for rapid weight loss, with studies indicating an average excess weight loss of 60-70%* over 2 years. Our patient success stories also showcase what spectacular results you can achieve with a gastric sleeve.

To sustain long-term benefits, adopting a healthy diet and regular exercise is crucial. Additional benefits include a reduced risk of weight-related medical conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Michelle’s Transformation

Lost 10 Stone

“I wish that everybody who needed it got the opportunity to have it”                 

Charles’s Transformation

Lost 9.5 Stone

“I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for the amazing surgeons and support staff.”

Martin’s Transformation

Lost 10.5 Stone

“I have so much more freedom to do more things and seize any opportunity when they come.”

What are the risks of gastric sleeve surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery, like any bariatric procedure, carries operative and long-term risks. In skilled hands, it’s notably safe, with a low early complication rate (3-5%) and a minimal mortality rate (0.1-0.5%). This is attributed to its technical simplicity, avoiding bowel cutting or joining, differentiating it from procedures like the gastric bypass.


Gastric sleeve risks include:

  • Haemorrhage (bleeding)
  • Leaks from staple lines leading to infection
  • Adverse reactions to anaesthesia and/or medication
  • Blood clots (Deep vein thrombosis in the legs / Pulmonary embolus on the lungs)
  • Longer term, potential nutritional deficiency
  • Marginal ulcer
  • Narrowing of the stomach
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux

Read more about the common complications of gastric sleeve surgery

Gastric sleeve cost and finance

The fixed price of your gastric sleeve will vary depending on several factors including your location, your surgeon and any special treatment requirements that are identified at your consultation. For example, do we need to schedule a night in the high-dependency unit for you (this would only apply to patients with significant weight-related health issues).

We offer 2 finance packages to pay for your gastric sleeve procedure. Click below to compare monthly payments.

Our inspiring before-and-after images capture the incredible weight loss journey of our patient’s Gastric Sleeve procedure. These images reflect the impressive transformations achieved through our procedure, highlighting the positive impact on their lives.

Gastric sleeve before and after photos

Healthier Weight Starter Kit

Gastric sleeve common FAQs

As with all surgical operations, there are associated risks and a gastric sleeve is a more invasive procedure than a gastric band which is why it is important to choose a specialist bariatric surgeon with considerable gastric sleeve experience. In the hands of a highly experienced Healthier Weight surgeon, the gastric sleeve is still a safe and effective procedure. Read more about our sleeve centres and surgeons here.

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. 

On average we expect weight loss results for gastric sleeve patients to be approx 60-70% of their excess weight during the first two years, although most of the weight is lost during the first year. Some people will inevitably do better than this, and some not so well.

Most sleeve patients will stay in a hospital for 1 night before going home. You should start to feel much more comfortable around 2 weeks after surgery, but it typically takes around 6 to 8 weeks for your stomach to heal completely. Read more about the recovery time.

Your diet will change following the weeks out of surgery, however, after week 5 you can eat most foods, provided they don’t cause you discomfort. However, because you will be consuming less food in general, it is important that you include foods that are rich in protein, but low in fat and sugar. We encourage you to eat vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean meat and fish. You will be provided with detailed nutritional information following your gastric sleeve operation.

Image of consultant bariatric surgeon, Mr Rishi Singhal

All content on this page is reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team led by Prof Rishi Singhal.

References

*Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2011 Nov-Dec;7(6):749-59. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2011.07.017. Epub 2011 Aug 10. Third International Summit: Current status of sleeve gastrectomy

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