The sleeve gastrectomy is a weight loss surgery that is performed by permanently removing 75-85% of your stomach. The new, smaller stomach provides restriction to helps you to feel satisfied sooner and with less food. During the procedure, the surgeon divides and staples your stomach vertically, making your stomach smaller, about the size of a banana. The rest of the stomach (75-85%) is removed from the body. The sleeve gastrectomy allows for normal digestion and absorption of foods.

The Sleeve Gastrectomy preserves all the important structural elements of the stomach such as the antrum, pylorus and the nerves that control stomach function, leaving a stomach that is much smaller but one that is close to the normal stomach in terms of its function.

During this procedure, a thin vertical sleeve of stomach is created using a stapling device, and the rest of the stomach is removed. The sleeve is about the size of a banana. This procedure limits the amount of food you can eat and helps you feel full sooner. It allows for normal digestion and absorption. Food consumed passes through the digestive tract in the usual order, allowing it to be fully absorbed in the body. While sleeve gastrectomy is generally considered a restrictive procedure, the mechanisms of weight loss and improvement in comorbidities seen after sleeve gastrectomy may also be related to neurohumoral changes related to gastric resection or expedited nutrient transport into the small bowel. The metabolic mechanisms of action of SG continue to be an active area of research.

Health Benefits

[EES summary of data contained in review article: Brethauer SA, Hammel JP, Schauer PR. Systematic review of sleeve gastrectomy as staging and primary bariatric procedure. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2009;5:469-475.]

Studies found that sleeve gastrectomy:

  • Helped patients lose an average of 55% of their excess weight
  • 60-80% of patients experienced a remission in their diabetes [Gill RS, Birch DW, Shi X, Sharma AM, Karmali S. Sleeve gastrectomy and type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review. Surg Obes Relat Dis;6:707-13.]
  • 49% of patients high blood pressure was resolved
  • 43% of patients with high cholesterol was resolved; 38% improved
  • –60% of sleeve gastrectomy patients experienced a resolution of their obstructive sleep apnea

Quality of Life

One meta-analysis stated that for bariatric surgery patients who experienced significant weight loss:

  • Overall quality of life improved greatly.
  • They experienced improved physical functioning and appearance.
  • They experienced improved social and economic opportunities.


  • Most patients who have sleeve gastrectomy at St. Mark’s Hospital spend the night in the hospital.
  • Most patients will return to work in 2 weeks following surgery

Potential Concerns of Sleeve Gastrectomy

  • Patients must supplement their diet with a daily multivitamin, vitamin B12, Vitamin D and calcium. Some patients must also take additional iron.
  • Weight regain following sleeve gastrectomy is a possibility. Surgery alone does not guarantee success. Our program is very specific about nutrition and exercise behaviors to help enhance your weight loss. Our support team will help encourage you to establish these healthy behaviors with the assistance of the sleeve gastrectomy as a tool.