What Is a Gastric Sleeve?


Quick Answer

A gastric sleeve is a type of weight-loss surgery where the surgeon removes about half the stomach and staples what remains into a sleevelike structure about the size of a banana, according to WebMD. Most patients who have the gastric sleeve lose more than half their excess weight.

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What Is a Gastric Sleeve?
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Full Answer

Although surgeons usually do a gastric sleeve as a laparoscopic procedure, the patient requires general anesthesia, as stated by MedlinePlus. The surgeon makes two to five small cuts into the abdomen through which they insert the camera and surgical instruments. Most patients go home from the hospital about two days after the surgery. The first day after the procedure, the patient stays on a clear liquid diet. They will graduate to pureed foods by the time of their hospital dismissal.

While the gastric sleeve is effective as a stand-alone procedure, for some patients, it is the first of two weight-loss procedures, as noted by UPMC. In these patients, the doctor performs the sleeve procedure, and after significant weight loss makes surgery safer, the patient has a duodenal switch surgery. The second procedure helps the patient lose more weight to attain their weight-loss goal. After the surgery, patients must work carefully to ensure they receive the proper amount of necessary nutrients.

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