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Sleeve Gastrectomy

The majority of weight loss sleeve gastrectomies performed today use a laparoscopic technique, which is considered minimally invasive. Operation time for this procedure is one and a half hours with an average hospital stay of 2 days. Patients are able to recover more quickly and return to normal activities within 7-10 days.

During this procedure, a thin vertical sleeve of stomach is created using a stapling device, and the rest of the stomach is removed. The sleeve is about the size of a banana. This procedure limits the amount of food you can eat and helps you feel full sooner. It allows for normal digestion and absorption. Food consumed passes through the digestive tract in the usual order, allowing it to be fully absorbed in the body.


  • Weight loss is faster than adjustable gastric band (AGB), and slower than gastric bypass (50 percent excess body weight in first year)
  • More rapid improvement in diabetes and other co-morbidities than AGB, less than bypass
  • Less likely than bypass to result in vitamin, protein or mineral deficiency, but more likely than AGB
  • Intermediate surgical risk, between AGB and bypass
  • No dumping (nausea, vomiting, sweating, abdominal pain, diarrhea)
  • May decrease hunger as the procedure removes most of Ghrelin producing cells
  • Very effective as a first-stage procedure for higher BMI patients
  • Very small incisions causing less pain and very little scarring


  • Stomach is cut, therefore there is a potential for leak/peritonitis
  • Large portion of stomach (85%) is removed from the body, making it irreversible; however, it can be converted to a gastric bypass or AGB
  • Long-term results are unknown with a potential to "stretch out" the new stomach area with loss of restriction and weight gain
  • Procedure is not covered by many insurance companies at this time

For more information, please contact Saint Joseph Center for Weight Loss Surgery at 859.967.5520.  


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