Gastric Sleeve Surgery: A Comprehensive Overview

Gastric Sleeve surgery
, medically known as sleeve Gastrectomy, is a well-established bariatric (weight loss) procedure. It involves the reduction of part of the stomach to limit food intake. This, in turn, aids in weight loss. It’s essential to note that while this surgery is effective, it is not a standalone solution. Successful outcomes require a lifelong commitment to healthy eating and regular exercise.

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery reports that Gastric Sleeve surgery is the most frequently performed bariatric procedure in the United States.

The Procedure

Gastric sleeve surgery is a procedure performed at CER Bariatrics by board-certified surgeons. The procedure typically lasts between 45 Minutes to 1 hour and is suitable for both adults and adolescents.

During the surgery, the surgeon removes approximately 80% of the stomach, resulting in the creation of a smaller, tubular-shaped stomach—resembling the size of a banana. This reduction in stomach size leads to patients feeling full with minimal food consumption.

Additionally, this surgical procedure removes the stomach cells responsible for producing the hunger hormone ghrelin. Consequently, patients often experience reduced appetite, which further supports their weight loss journey.

Various Surgical Techniques

Gastric sleeve surgery is primarily performed using laparoscopic techniques, which are minimally invasive. In rare cases, open surgery may be necessary, involving a large abdominal incision to access the stomach.

Compared to other weight loss procedures like Gastric Bypass surgery, Gastric Sleeve surgery is associated with lower risks and is considered technically less complex. Importantly, it is perceived as less extreme by patients since it focuses solely on restricting stomach capacity without altering nutrient absorption in the small intestines.

Criteria and Contraindications

The decision to undergo weight loss surgery, including Gastric sleeve surgery, is based on specific criteria:

  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) exceeding 30.

However, it’s crucial to recognize that BMI is a dated measure that does not consider various factors such as body composition, ethnicity, sex, race, and age. Nevertheless, it remains widely used due to its simplicity and affordability in assessing potential health outcomes.

Absolute contraindications for Gastric Sleeve surgery include an inability to tolerate general anesthesia, and uncontrolled bleeding disorders. Relative contraindications encompass conditions like Barrett’s esophagus, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and large hiatal hernias.

Potential Risks

While Gastric sleeve surgery is generally safer than some other bariatric surgeries, it is not without potential risks and complications. These risks can manifest in the days, weeks, or even years following the procedure.

Aside from the standard surgical risks and anesthesia-related complications, specific risks associated with Gastric sleeve surgery include bleeding, stricture formation (narrowing of the new stomach), gastric leak (leakage of stomach contents into the abdominal cavity), abdominal abscess formation, wound infections, nutritional deficiencies due to reduced food intake, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), and potential weight regain.

It is essential to recognize that every surgical procedure carries inherent risks, and our board-certified surgeon will give you detailed information about these possible outcomes in the consultation before your surgery.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Purpose and Benefits

Gastric sleeve surgery is a surgical weight loss procedure designed to reduce the size of the stomach. By removing a significant portion of the stomach, the surgery restricts the amount of food a person can eat, leading to weight loss.

The primary goals of gastric sleeve surgery are:

  • Weight Loss: The most apparent purpose of this surgery is to facilitate weight loss. By reducing the stomach size, patients can no longer consume large amounts of food, which leads to calorie restriction and, consequently, weight loss.
  • Improved Health: Many individuals who undergo Gastric sleeve surgery experience improvements in obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and joint pain.
  • Enhanced Quality of Life: Weight loss can significantly improve a person’s quality of life by increasing mobility, reducing pain, and boosting self-esteem and confidence.
  • Long-Term Weight Maintenance: Gastric sleeve surgery provides a tool for long-term weight management. However, it’s important to note that it’s not a quick fix but a tool that requires commitment to lifestyle changes.
  • Reduction in Hunger: The surgery removes a portion of the stomach that produces the hunger hormone ghrelin. This reduction in ghrelin production can lead to a decreased appetite, making it easier for individuals to control their food intake.

Preparation for Gastric Sleeve Surgery

The journey to Gastric Sleeve surgery begins with thorough preparation. This preparation phase is crucial for ensuring the surgery’s success and minimizing potential risks. Here are the key steps involved in preparing for gastric sleeve surgery:

  • Consultation at CER Hospital: The process usually begins with a consultation at Our surgeon will evaluate your overall health, discuss your weight loss goals, explain the procedure, and determine if you meet the necessary criteria for surgery.
  • Comprehensive Medical Evaluation: You will undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation to assess your overall health and identify any underlying medical conditions that need to be managed before surgery.
  • Nutritional counseling: You will work with our registered dietitian Michel Gaona as an essential part of the preparation process. They will help you understand dietary changes, develop healthy eating habits, and learn portion control.
  • Psychological Assessment: Many bariatric programs require a psychological evaluation to assess your mental and emotional readiness for surgery. This evaluation can help identify any psychological factors that may affect your ability to follow post-surgery guidelines.

Lifestyle Changes

It’s important to start making lifestyle changes before surgery. This may include adopting healthier eating habits, increasing physical activity, and quitting smoking if applicable.

  • Education: You will receive education about the procedure itself, what to expect during recovery, and long-term lifestyle changes. Understanding the surgery’s implications and commitment is crucial.
  • Medical Tests: Your healthcare team may order various medical tests, such as blood tests, imaging studies, and cardiac evaluations, to assess your health and identify any potential risks.
  • Weight Loss: In some cases, your surgeon may recommend a period of supervised weight loss before surgery. This can help reduce the size of the liver, making the surgery safer and more manageable.
  • Discussion of Medications: If you are taking any medications, your healthcare team will discuss whether you should continue taking them or make adjustments before the surgery.
  • Support System: Building a strong support system is vital. This may include involving family members or friends who can provide emotional support and assistance during your recovery.

It’s important to approach the preparation phase with commitment and dedication. The changes you make during this time will not only prepare you for surgery but also set the stage for a successful post-operative journey.

What to Expect on the Day of Surgery

The day of Gastric sleeve surgery is a significant step in your weight loss journey. Knowing what to expect on this day can help alleviate anxiety and ensure a smoother experience. Here’s a general outline of what you can anticipate:

  • On the day of your arrival, our dedicated driver will be there to welcome you at San Diego airport. They’ll be your guide, taking you straight to CER Hospital.
  • As you step into our facility, a caring patient coordinator will be right there, ready to warmly assist you. They’ll guide you through the necessary paperwork, ensuring all your details are in place at the reception.
  • You’ll then be gently guided to our laboratory, where our attentive team will conduct essential tests like blood work, EKG, and more, all to ensure the best for you.
  • Following that, our patient coordinator will accompany you to your cozy suite within CER Hospital. It’s your space to relax and prepare yourself before your surgery—a moment to gather your thoughts and rest.
  • Dr. Carlos will visit you in your room, offering reassurance and making sure everything is perfectly aligned before your surgery. You’ll then be gently escorted to the operating room, where our skilled team will carry out your procedure with utmost care and expertise. You’re in safe hands, and we’re here for you every step of the way.

Recovery After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Recovery after gastric sleeve surgery is a gradual process that requires patience, commitment, and adherence to medical advice and lifestyle changes. Here’s what you can expect during the recovery period:

  • CER Hospital Stay: All patients remain in the CER Hospital for two days after surgery. During this time, you will receive pain management, nutrition education, and guidance on post-operative care.
  • Pain and Discomfort: Pain and discomfort are common in the days following surgery. Your healthcare team will provide medications to help manage these symptoms.

Diet progression

Your postoperative diet will start with clear liquids and gradually progress to pureed and soft foods. It is essential that you follow the recommendations of your Nutritionist who will be following your entire post-operative process to avoid complications.

  • Activity and Mobility: Early mobility is encouraged to prevent blood clots and promote healing. You will be advised to take short walks and gradually increase your activity level.

Weight Loss

Weight loss typically begins immediately after surgery. The rate of weight loss varies from person to person, but most individuals experience significant changes within the first few months.

  • Lifestyle Changes: Commitment to long-term lifestyle changes is crucial for sustained weight loss and overall health improvement. This includes adopting healthier eating habits, portion control, regular exercise, and emotional well-being.
  • Nutritional Supplements: You may need to take nutritional supplements to ensure you receive essential vitamins and minerals, as your food intake will be limited.
  • Psychological Support: Emotional and psychological support may be beneficial during your recovery. Weight loss surgery can bring about changes in self-esteem and body image, and it’s essential to address these aspects.
  • Monitoring of health conditions: If you have obesity-related health conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, our healthcare team at CER Hospital will closely monitor these conditions and adjust medication as needed.

#Nutritionist Suzette Avila talks about everything you need to know about #postopdiet

Long-Term Care and Lifestyle Changes

Gastric sleeve surgery is not a standalone solution for weight loss. Long-term success depends on a commitment to healthy lifestyle changes. Here are some key considerations for long-term care and maintaining weight loss:

  • Dietary Habits: Adopting and maintaining healthy dietary habits is essential. This includes consuming nutrient-dense foods, controlling portion sizes, and avoiding high-calorie, low-nutrient options.
  • Regular exercise: Incorporating regular physical activity into your routine is crucial to maintaining weight loss and overall health. Consult with a fitness professional to develop an exercise plan and visit our YouTube channel CER Bariatrics where you will find specific post-surgery routines.
  • Hydration: Staying hydrated is vital. Aim to consume an adequate amount of water throughout the day to support your overall well-being.
  • Emotional Well-Being: Addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of weight management is essential. Consider seeking support from a therapist or support groups if needed.
  • Follow-Up Care: Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare team are critical. These appointments allow for ongoing monitoring of your progress and adjustments to your treatment plan as necessary.
  • Vitamin and Mineral Supplements: you may need ongoing vitamin and mineral supplementation to prevent deficiencies.
  • Support System: Surround yourself with a supportive network of family and friends who can encourage and motivate you on your weight loss journey.


Gastric sleeve surgery is a well-established weight loss procedure that offers hope and improved health to individuals struggling with obesity. This comprehensive overview has provided insights into the procedure itself, surgical techniques, eligibility criteria, potential risks, and long-term care. Remember that Gastric sleeve surgery is not a rapid weight loss but a tool for achieving and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. It requires commitment, dedication, and ongoing support to ensure long-term success.

If you are considering gastric sleeve surgery, consult with us at CER Bariatrics with our surgeon Dr. Alberto Carlos so he can assess your individual needs and guide you through the entire process. The decision to undergo weight loss surgery is a significant one, and it is important to make an informed decision that aligns with your health and wellness goals.

A Message from CER Bariatrics

Achieving long-term success after Gastric sleeve surgery on your commitment to adopting new habits and discontinuing behaviors that contribute to obesity. Those who achieve the best results establish a strong support system, enlisting the help of friends, family, and healthcare professionals to sustain healthy habits in their daily lives.

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