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Gastric sleeve surgery, which may also be referred to as sleeve gastrectomy, is a type of weight-loss surgery in which a large part of the stomach is removed. As a result, the remaining stomach is only around 25% of the size, meaning patients must eat smaller portions, and must modify their diet.


The surgery is usually only performed on patients who are morbidly obese, with a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or more, and after non-surgical weight-loss methods have failed. However, it may also be performed on patients who have a BMI of 35-40 who have health conditions which may threaten the patients health when combined with obesity, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure or osteoarthritis.

The surgery is irreversible, however it is usually very successful in achieving weight-loss. The procedure can be performed as an open surgery or laparoscopically and involves removing over half of the stomach, and stapling the remaining part together which is small and shaped like a thin tube. Patients can only consume small portions of food afterwards.


Recommended for

  • Patients who have a BMI of 40 or higher and have failed to lose weight through change of diet or exercise

  • Patients with a BMI of 35-40 who also have health conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure or osteoarthritis



Number of days in hospital: 1 - 3 days

Average length of stay abroad: 2 weeks.

After gastric sleeve surgery, the patient will need to be cleared by the surgeon before flying.

Take the next steps in your medical journey by inquiring with Healthticket below. Our Care Team will help you to find the right clinic, and get your free treatment plan and cost estimate.


Interested in Sleeve Gastrectomy abroad?

Patients will need various tests and exams ahead of surgery and will have to follow a diet plan. The consulting doctor will usually advise the patient about discontinuing any medicines and prescriptions. Patients are likely to be advised to follow a physical activity program and to abstain from smoking.

Patients with complex conditions may benefit from seeking a second opinion before beginning a treatment plan. A second opinion means that another doctor, usually an expert with a lot of experience, will review the patient’s medical history, symptoms, scans, test results, and other important information, in order to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan.


When asked, 45% of US residents who received a second opinion said that they had a different diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment plan. Click here to learn more about how to get a second opinion.

Gastric sleeve surgery is can be performed as an open surgery, however it is most commonly performed laparoscopically, making a few small incisions.

The surgeon removes around 3 quarters of the stomach along the outside curvature. This is performed using a stapling device to create two separate sections; the section to remove, and the sleeve of stomach that will remain.

The unwanted section of stomach is removed through a small incision and the remaining part of the stomach is stapled together. Colored liquid is injected into the remaining section of stomach through a gastroscope to ensure that the new stomach is sealed and there are no leaks.


General anesthetic.

Procedure duration

The Sleeve Gastrectomy takes 1 to 2 hours.


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Post procedure care

After gastric sleeve surgery, the patient will initially feel pain and may take pain medicine for the first week. The digestive system may need time to readjust, and some patients may experience diarrhea.

The patient will be given dietary advice, which is very important to follow, in order to ensure that they do not miss out on important nutrients. For noticeable weight loss, diet and regular exercise is important.

Possible discomfort

Discomfort and soreness is normal for a few days after surgery.


Not recommended for

  • Previous gastrectomy patients

  • Patients with severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

  • Patients with Barrett’s esophagus.

Potential risks

  • Suture or staple line leaks

  • Blood loss

  • Organ damage

  • Infection

  • In rare cases, surgical complications may lead to death

Gastric sleeve surgery is generally only performed on morbidly obese patients.


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As the stomach is cut away and removed, a sleeve gastrectomy is a permanent change.

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