The gastric sleeve operation in detail

Before surgery

We will ask you to follow a pre-operative diet before your procedure. This will usually be for 1 week but could be longer depending on your BMI.

After booking your procedure you will be invited to the hospital for a nurse pre-assessment appointment and at that appointment we’ll take pre-op bloods. You will also receive a call from the Healthier Weight clinical team to make sure you are fully prepared for your surgery. During this period you will also be receiving written information from us. This is designed to help you prepare for life after your surgery and to encourage you to plan for the new diet and eating habits that will help you be successful. It is important you make time to read and understand these.

The day of surgery

On the day of your surgery you will be admitted to the hospital and shown to your private room. Admission is normally before 0900.

You will usually meet the anaesthetist and surgeon before being taken to theatre and you will need to sign a consent form that the surgeon will explain to you.

Your surgery itself will normally take about 1 hour, usually a little less, but sometimes a little more.

The procedure involves the surgeon making 5 incision in the abdomen. This is keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. The incisions are horizontal and into these small tubes are placed. Into those tubes your surgeon will put the instruments needed to complete your procedure.

The incisions are of the following sizes:

  • 1 x 15mm
  • 1 x 12mm
  • 1 x 10mm
  • 2 x 5mm


The larger incision is for the camera and the others are used for clamps (to retract the liver) and for the handheld instruments the surgeon will use to disect the tissue around the stomach and to cut and staple the stomach.

The sleeve itself is done using a ‘gun’. The gun is used to cut and staple the stomach. On each ‘fire’ of the ‘gun’ the stomach is cut and two rows of staples either side of the incision are made. This ‘firing’ process is repeated between 5 and 7 times, depending on the length of the stomach, until the stomach has been cut along its full length and 80% of it can be removed.

You are left with a stomach that is about the size of a fountain pen. 


After the gastric sleeve operation

After your surgery you will go back to your room and you will be observed by the ward team on a regular basis. You will not routinely need care in an HDU unit but your hospital will have that facility should it be needed.

You will be visited by your surgeon and he will decide upon your discharge time based on how well you are recovering.

Although many patients are well enough to go home the day after surgery we prefer to have patients stay for a second night after their surgery so we can observe them and be as confident as possible that there is not a bleed or a staple line leak. It’s better to identify and treat complications before you go home rather than re-admit you at a later date.

The two night hospital stay is an important safety feature of the Healthier Weight package.

If you have more questions, please see our FAQs

Call our specialist team today on
0800 313 4618 
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