What is gastric sleeve surgery?
Sleeve gastrectomy (also called gastric sleeve surgery) is surgery to remove part of the stomach. It helps with weight loss. The surgery limits the amount of food your stomach can hold. This can help you eat less and feel full sooner.
The surgery is usually done through several small cuts in the belly. These cuts are called incisions. The doctor will place small surgical tools and a camera, called a laparoscope, through the incisions.
The doctor removes more than half of your stomach, leaving a thin, vertical sleeve, or tube, for a smaller stomach.
The doctor will close the cuts in your belly with stitches or surgical staples. These will be removed 7 to 10 days after surgery, unless your doctor uses stitches that dissolve. The incisions will leave scars that fade with time.
Most people go home about 2 days after surgery. You will probably need to take 2 to 4 weeks off from work. It depends on the type of work you do and how you feel.
How do you prepare for surgery?
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
Preparing for surgery
- You may need to follow a clear liquid diet for several days before surgery. Your doctor will tell you how to do this.
- Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
- Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
- If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your surgery. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
- Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
- Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance directive. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
What happens on the day of surgery?
Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
Take a bath or shower before you come in for your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
Take off all jewelry and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.
At the hospital or surgery center
Bring a picture ID.
The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. You will be asleep during the surgery.
The surgery will take about 1 to 3 hours.
When should you call your doctor?
- You have questions or concerns.
- You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
- You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
- You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter O834 in the search box to learn more about "Gastric Sleeve: Before Your Surgery".
Current as of: August 25, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & C. Dale Mercer MD, FRCSC, FACS - General Surgery