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.
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
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 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.