Gastric Sleeve Incisions

Image of consultant bariatric surgeon, Mr Rishi Singhal

Medically reviewed by Prof Rishi Singhal MBBS, MRCS, FRCS, MD

Wound Care   |   Scaring   

The open gastric sleeve incision is the oldest and most traditional method of performing the surgery. It involves making a large incision in the abdomen to access and remove a portion of the stomach. While it may be more invasive and require a longer recovery time, open surgery is still used in certain cases where laparoscopic procedures are not feasible.

Laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery, on the other hand, involves making several small incisions in the abdomen through which a laparoscope and surgical instruments are inserted. This minimally invasive technique allows for faster recovery times, less scarring, and reduced risk of complications compared to open surgery. The single incision laparoscopic surgery approach takes this even further by utilising just one small incision usually hidden within the belly button for an even more cosmetically appealing result. Overall, each type of gastric sleeve incision has its advantages and considerations, but bariatric surgeons and patients typically prefer laparoscopic procedures due to their minimally invasive nature. 

Wound care 

Proper wound care is crucial to ensure that your wounds heal properly and minimise the risk of infection. It’s important to avoid touching your wounds as much as possible until they have fully healed, as this can introduce new bacteria and delay the healing process.

For surgical wounds specifically, it is important to follow the instructions provided by your surgeon for proper care. During surgery, incisions are made through which instruments are inserted, and these incisions are then closed using stitches, staples, or glue. The healing process varies from person to person, but typically within a day or two the skin edges will start to seal. While some discomfort around the wound sites is normal during the healing process, it is important to monitor for any signs of infection such as increased redness, swelling, or pain. By following proper wound care techniques set by your bariatric surgeon and keeping a close eye on your surgical wounds, you can ensure a smooth and successful healing process 2-4 weeks after surgery.

smoking can significantly impair the healing process. Nicotine in cigarettes slows down the body’s ability to heal by decreasing oxygen levels delivered to wounds, which are essential for proper healing. This can result in slower healing times, increased scar tissue, and poor overall outcomes for wounds.


Scars from gastric sleeve surgery may not completely disappear, but they often fade over time to become less noticeable. Factors such as age, BMI, and proper wound care post-surgery can affect the appearance of scars.

Image of consultant bariatric surgeon, Mr Rishi Singhal

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

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