The gastric sleeve, or otherwise known as a sleeve gastrectomy, is a lesser known procedure and suits a specific type of weight loss requirement. With expected loss of 30 – 50% excess weight in the first 12 months (source: BOSPA), the gastric sleeve is more aggressive than a gastric band, but not such a major operation as a gastric bypass and can therefore suit those for whom the bypass may be considered inadvisable due to health complications..

The gastric sleeve can be considered as a step towards gastric bypass, in that it can later be converted if required. However, for others, the sleeve may enable them to lose enough weight with a sleeve gastrectomy alone, so that the second stage of the operation is not required.


The gastric sleeve is a stomach reduction procedure. As such, it is a longer and more complicated procedure than the gastric band, but unlike the band, it cannot be “cheated” as it works to reduce the size of the whole stomach, not just restrict the entry to the stomach. Weight loss is usually more rapid than the band, as a sleeve gastrectomy significantly reduces appetite and ability to eat large portions.

Like the bypass, the gastric sleeve operation is irreversible. However, compared to the bypass, it is less traumatic in that it does not require any “rerouting” or “reconnecting” of the intestines, so the stomach functions as normal, but with a smaller capacity. As a result, there are fewer restrictions on the types of food which patients can consume after surgery. This is seen by many patients as being one of the great advantages of the sleeve gastrectomy – the procedure reduces appetite and therefore helps patients to control their food volume intake.

Where required, in a subsequent procedure, the gastric sleeve can be converted to a bypass. However, this is not always the case – it is a very effective procedure on its own for many patients.

The procedure is advised for patients with a BMI of 35+, although dependent on your individual circumstances, a band or a bypass may be advised. The vertical sleeve gastrectomy is usually recommended for patients who are either extremely overweight or whose medical condition would rule out other forms of surgery. It is best to see one of our friendly professionals to discuss your own circumstances and take expert advice on which procedure is right for you.



The gastric sleeve procedure is normally done as keyhole surgery and involves a vertical removal of up to 75% of the stomach area. This means that the stomach continues to function as normal, but is simply smaller, which reduces the appetite and makes it easier to cut down dramatically on calorie intake. In addition, the portion of the stomach that is removed is the area responsible for secreting the hormone “Ghrelin”, which is responsible for appetite and hunger – the near elimination of this “hunger hormone” results in a significant reduction or loss of appetite.

Patients achieve 30-50% weight loss in the first year and this is increased if they also follow sensible dietary advice from our dietitians (i.e. low fat, low sugar, low alcohol, high fruit/veg…). The sleeve is a tool to help the patient manage their food intake..


We have listed here some of the more commonly asked questions from our patients about the Gastric Sleeve procedure.

Q: How Long Is The Hospital Stay ?

2-3 nights stay

Q: What Is The Difference Between Sleeve And Bypass ?

The sleeve is a procedure that purely reduces the stomach size. it is less traumatic that the bypass which involves re-routing and re-connecting of the intestines.

Q: Is The Sleeve Reversible ?

No the sleeve is a permanent procedure.

Q:Is There Anything I Wont Be Able To Eat ?

The sleeve is to reduce portion sizes not specific food types, there are however some patients that may struggle with certain textures of food such as bread or red meat.


Whether you have a gastric band, bypass, sleeve or balloon, your weight loss procedure is only the start of your journey. All these procedures are tremendous tools for weight loss and you can lose dramatic amounts of body weight, but it’s not entirely effortless. You DO have to work with it and you DO need aftercare following obesity surgery.

Gastric Bypass Aftercare