The obesity service at the Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital is a weight loss service tailored to supporting you in successful long-term weight loss. Our physician-led team of consultant general surgeons has a special interest in all aspects weight loss surgery. Our team also includes a dietician and a dedicated specialist weight loss nurse, all helping to ensure we offer the support you need.
What is gastric sleeve surgery (sleeve gastrectomy)?
Gastric sleeve or sleeve gastrectomy surgery is a type of weight loss surgery. It may be appropriate for you if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or more. It is a more significant operation than having a gastric band fitted, however it is not considered as major as a gastric bypass since it involves fewer changes to your body’s digestive system.
Sleeve gastrectomy can be performed on its own, however it is sometimes performed as the first part of a two stage procedure. For patients considered too high risk for gastric bypass for example, the gastric bypass can be performed sometime after the gastric sleeve surgery once the patient has lost some weight.
About the gastric sleeve operation
The gastric sleeve procedure involves reducing the size of your stomach. During the operation up to ¾ of the stomach is removed by dividing it, with the new stomach taking the shape of a narrow tube or sleeve. This effectively restricts the stomach capacity without affecting its function, so that the amount of food that can be eaten at one time is restricted.
Gastric sleeve surgery can be performed either as “keyhole” surgery or through an incision in your abdomen during an open operation, and usually takes one to two hours. It is performed under general anaesthetic, which means you will be asleep during the procedure. You will normally need to stay in hospital for one to three days so we can look after you and make sure we are happy with everything before you go home.
How does the gastric sleeve differ from other weight loss operations?
Gastric sleeve surgery reduces the size of your stomach, unlike to the gastric bypass procedure which also affects the way food is absorbed. Compared to a bypass operation there are also fewer restrictions on the types of food that can be eaten following the surgery. Following gastric sleeve surgery patients often experience a reduction in appetite as the area of the stomach that has been removed plays a role in the amount of the hunger hormone your stomach releases and you may initially lose weight more rapidly than with a gastric band.
The gastric sleeve operation also differs from the gastric band procedure since it is a permanent reduction in the size of your stomach, and is not reversible.