Gastric Sleeve Surgery and What You Should Know About It

Gastric sleeve surgery, often called the “sleeve procedure”, is one of the most common bariatric weight loss surgeries performed in the United States. For many people who find themselves carrying extra body fat, strict diets and exercise regimens aren’t always effective enough to shed excess fat. The sleeve procedure can make lasting lifestyle changes that finally keep off unwanted weight.
But before you begin considering gastric sleeve surgery, take some time to learn about its benefits and drawbacks.

To provide some background:

gastric sleeve surgery removes parts of a patient’s stomach — about 9/10ths to be precise. After surgeons remove most of a patient’s stomach, they will take what’s left of it and create a “sleeve”: this is where the name of the procedure comes from. Since the stomach becomes so much smaller after a gastric sleeve procedure is performed, patients end up not being able to eat nearly as much as they used to. This significant reduction in food intake is a huge part of what helps them lose weight quickly and efficiently.
That’s not all there is to gastric sleeve surgery, though. In addition to a largely reduced stomach size, the gastric sleeve procedure impacts the hormones in a patient’s body, as well as how the body responds to the stomach’s hunger signals.
Basically, the way the sleeve procedure affects the human body’s hormones (Grehlin) makes patients feel less hungry after they’ve had their gastric sleeve procedure. Grehlin is what tells your brain that it’s time for you to eat something. So, when there’s much less of your stomach, there’s a lot fewer signals that Grehlin sends out to tell your brain to eat.

Gastric sleeve surgery is permanent, but patients typically just need to spend 2 to 3 days in the hospital after their procedure. Sleeve procedure recipients should expect to be only drinking clear liquids the first day after their surgery, and then mostly pureed foods and protein shakes for their first month post-op.

Eventually, patients can start eating soft foods again, although their eating habits must permanently change after they receive their procedure.
People who undergo gastric sleeve surgeries will never be able to eat as much as they could before their procedure.