How a sleeve gastrectomy works to help you lose weight

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.

The sleeve gastrectomy procedure

The majority of weight loss sleeve gastrectomies performed today use a laparoscopic technique, which is considered minimally invasive. Laparoscopic surgery usually results in a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures.

The length of time of the surgery varies. One study found that the average operative time was 1.5 to 3.5 hours and the average hospital stay was 2 to 5 days.14 Patients usually return to normal activities in 2 weeks and are fully recovered in 3 weeks.24

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy can be the first step before gastric bypass or it can be a single procedure for weight loss. If a sleeve gastrectomy is used as part of a two-step procedure, the first step is for the surgeon to create the small stomach "sleeve." After a period of time determined by the surgeon, another procedure would be done in which the surgeon attaches a section of the small intestine directly to the stomach pouch. This allows food to bypass a portion of the small intestine. Doing so enables your body to absorb fewer calories, in addition to consuming less food. This two-step procedure may be done because patients may not be able to tolerate both procedures during a single operation. Studies show that the two-step procedure has been used successfully in patients with a body mass index greater than 50 or in high-risk patients.27


Only the REALIZE® Solution for sleeve gastrectomy includes the REALIZE mySUCCESS® program

Experts agree that bariatric surgery patients require help to learn healthy new habits and to stay in touch with their bariatric team. That's why we created REALIZE mySUCCESS®, a Web-based clinical support tool designed to help you maintain a healthier weight. In fact, it has been shown that REALIZE® Band patients who frequently use REALIZE mySUCCESS® lose significantly more weight.*

REALIZE mySUCCESS® was developed in conjunction with surgeons, dietitians, and behavior modification specialists to guide you through two essential stages for success following surgery. Stage 1 helps you build healthy habits over the first 18 months. Stage 2 keeps you motivated, on track, and connected with your bariatric practice over the next 18 months and beyond.

Learn more about the power of REALIZE mySUCCESS®.