Gastric sleeve surgery is a procedure performed on the stomach to reduce its capacity, in order to dramatically and permanently aid weight loss. This operation also removes the part of the stomach that makes a hormone which increases your appetite. This procedure removes both the desire to overeat, and the physical capability to do so, resulting in weight loss from the very first week following surgery.
While this operation is an extremely effective method of weight loss, it’s not an easy option or a quick fix.

A gastric sleeve operation involves major surgery, plus drastically changing your eating habits overnight, forever. Therefore it tends to be more suitable for patients whose weight is endangering their health, or who have tried all other methods and failed to maintain a healthy weight. During the procedure part of the stomach is removed, and the stomach is re-attached to itself, creating a smaller pouch. The new stomach is roughly banana-sized, and is around one tenth of the size of the original stomach. It is very easy to fill the new smaller-sized stomach to capacity with food, so it is impossible to over-eat after gastric sleeve surgery.

Gastric sleeve surgery isn’t the same as a gastric bypass, which leaves the stomach intact and diverts the food to the intestine instead.

It takes about an hour to perform a gastric sleeve procedure. The stomach is cut away with the help of a small camera that is inserted into the body, and the remaining stomach sides are sewn up. A hospital stay of around 2 to 3 days is required. Because the procedure involves removing much of the stomach itself, it isn’t possible to reverse a gastric sleeve operation.

Eating habits must change forever following a gastric sleeve procedure. It’s now impossible to eat overly large meals or eat very quickly, and everything must be chewed thoroughly. Initial weight loss may be very dramatic, as around four weeks of a pureed diet is essential for recovery. After that, solid yet soft foods can be eaten. It takes a few months to move on to normal meals again, and even then care must be taken not to over-fill the new stomach. Liquids must be taken separate from meals, and it’s essential to take a high quality multivitamin to make up for nutrients that you may not physically be able to eat.

"A gastric sleeve operation is not a decision to be taken lightly, but it can be life changing for patients." - Dr Hasan Erdem, Bariatric Consultant Surgeon for MedAway

Author's Bio: 

Layla Randle-Conde, freelance content writer for MedAway.

MedAway are a health tourism company providing affordable procedures to help people realise their weightloss, hairloss and cosmetic goals.