Gastric Sleeve Surgery Facts

Also known as Gastric Sleeve Resection and Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, Gastric Sleeve surgery helps patients lose weight by diminishing hunger thus reducing food intake. Many patients prefer this surgical option since, unlike other weight loss procedures, the Gastric Sleeve does not involve intestinal rerouting or food malabsorption. Below are 9 other facts on the increasingly popular weight loss surgery - the Gastric Sleeve. 

1. Gastric Sleeve is Permanent

It is important to note, Gastric Sleeve surgery is permanent and is not reversible. Bariatric surgeons will remove up to 80% of the stomach, leaving just a slender tube or "sleeve" for the new stomach pouch. As a result, hunger can be controlled due to the smaller pouch or "sleeve." The part of the stomach that is cut out is completely removed from the body, as opposed to other procedures that leave it in place. 

2. Gastric Sleeve Surgery Can be done Laparoscopically

The benefits of Gastric Sleeve surgery being done laparoscopically is that there will be less incisions. Less incisions means less chance for infections and a much quicker recovery time. 

3. Hunger Producing Hormone, Ghrelin, is Reduced

During the surgery, the section of the stomach that is removed is the section of the stomach that produces Ghrelin. Ghrelin is responsible for creating the feeling of being hungry. Less Ghrelin production means you will feel less hungry. 

4. Gastric Sleeve Surgery can be a "One-Stage" or "Two-Stage" Surgery

In the past, Bariatric Surgeons used the Gastric Sleeve surgery as the first procedure in a "Two-Stage" operation. At a later date, surgeons typically did a second procedure - the Gastric Bypass or a Duodenal Switch Surgery. 

5. No Foreign Objects

One of the benefits to the Gastric Sleeve over the Lap Band surgery (Gastric Banding) is that no foreign objects or mechanisms are left in the body. No worrying about Lap Band slippage or possible erosion. 

6. Gastric Sleeve Surgery is Covered by Insurance

Most major insurance providers cover the cost of Gastric Sleeve surgery as they see the long-term benefits for the patient and the cost benefits for their insurance company. 

7. Gastric Sleeve Surgery is No Longer Considered Investigational

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, The Obesity Society, and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, reclassified Sleeve Gastrectomy as a proven method of weight loss surgery rather than an experimental one. 

8. Digestive System Remains Intact

For patients that have a significant amount of weight to lose, the Gastric Sleeve surgery has become the most common weight loss procedure in the U.S.  Overall, it is a less complicated operation that either the Gastric Bypass or Duodenal Switch surgery since the pyloric valve and the small intestine are left intact. 

9. Gastric Sleeve Surgery Patients Lose 80% of Excess Weight in 24 Months

Studies have shown that patients who have the stand-alone procedure typically lose from 60-80% of their excess weight in a two-year period. Patients who feel their weight loss has been insufficient may choose to have a second, malabsorptive weight loss procedure, such as the Duodenal Switch surgery. 

Of course, healthy weight loss following bariatric surgery depends on the patient's willingness to adopt a new lifestyle, which includes changes in eating habits and getting regular exercise. For more information on the Gastric Sleeve surgery, or any other weight loss procedures, please call South Texas Surgeons at 210.220.1726 or visit and allow us to help you on your bariatric journey.