Gastric Sleeve surgery involves removing the lateral two-thirds of the stomach with a stapling device. The procedure is done using keyhole or laparoscopic surgery. The remaining stomach is more like a tube or ‘sleeve’ than a sac. It is estimated that the remaining stomach has about a 100 to 200ml capacity. It works by making you feel “full” sooner, therefore you will eat less.
Is it effective?
Most people who have gastric sleeve surgery have been found to achieve long term weight loss, but it is contingent on keeping to a new lifestyle inclusive of movement and diet changes. Studies have shown that after a gastric sleeve resection procedure, patients show improvement in obesity related health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnoea.
What are the risks?
As with all major surgical procedures, gastric sleeve surgery comes with the risk of post-operative complications such as infections, pneumonia and bleeding. As the procedure involves stapling part of the stomach, leakage is always possible. If leakage occurs, it may cause infection and other health problems. The more obese you are prior to surgery, the higher the risk of complications. However, medical statistics indicate low mortality (risk of dying).
How long will recovery take?
Gastric sleeve surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and takes one to two hours.
We anticipate your stay in the hospital for two or three days, then recovery at home for two weeks. Your recovery should be fast and smooth, provided that you follow the dietitian’s instructions. You should avoid any heavy lifting for four weeks to allow the wound to heal. You should be able to return to work after 2-4 weeks, depending on your type of work (standardly two weeks).
You will be on a fluid diet for one week post operatively, then you will slowly progress to pureed foods, soft foods, before returning to solid food at approximately 6 weeks.
Movement and regular exercise will assist in helping you return to work as soon as possible.