Gastric Sleeve Surgery: What is It, Requirements, & How Long Does it Take?

Oct 30, 2022

Gastric sleeve surgery, another term for sleeve gastrectomy, is a bariatric surgery procedure. It is gaining popularity as it helps with severe obesity. Effective weight loss surely sounds like a major benefit. But what exactly is gastric sleeve surgery?

To know about this stomach sleeve procedure in detail, carry on reading this blog.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: What is It?

This procedure involves removing around 80% of your stomach. By reducing the size of your stomach, this bariatric surgery operation induces weight loss. All that is left behind is a banana-like tubular ‘sleeve’.

Gastric sleeve surgery works by restricting how much you consume since it reduces the size of your stomach. But this is not all — sleeve gastrectomy also minimizes the number of hunger hormones your stomach produces. Therefore, your appetite and cravings also decrease.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Requirements

Not everyone can sign up for this surgery. There are specific requirements for the procedure, and only those who meet them qualify for the weight loss surgery. But do you know what the requirements for gastric sleeve surgery are?

You can qualify for this procedure if you meet the following:

  • Severe Obesity: Only people with severe obesity (class III) can qualify for this procedure. With the help of your weight, height, and health conditions, your body mass index (BMI) is calculated to determine if you qualify. These fall under class III obesity:
    • BMI of 40 or higher
    • BMI of 35 with one or more health conditions
  • Failure in Losing Weight Before Surgery: Gastric sleeve surgery might become a choice if you have tried losing weight before the procedure only to remain unsuccessful. Hence, you may be required to follow a medically supervised weight loss plan for 3 to 6 months. Then, your insurance company will approve the surgery.
  • Being Physically & Mentally Prepared: Once you’ve qualified, there is an essential step remaining, whether you’re mentally and physically prepared to undergo surgery. Thus, a team of medical specialists, including dietitians and psychologists, will meet you for counseling and screening.

How Long is the Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Sleeve gastrectomy is short and simple compared to other weight loss surgery procedures. As effective as it sounds, this medical procedure reduces your stomach size in just 60 to 90 minutes. After the procedure, your surgeon might ask you to stay in the hospital for some days. This can help them monitor your condition and help manage any side effects.

What to do Before the Procedure?

Gastric sleeve surgery is not suggested for those who use alcohol or cannot stick to lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise. Therefore, your healthcare team will determine if you’re a good candidate for this surgery and if it is the best option for you.

After you’re qualified, your healthcare team won’t just put you in a wheelchair and roll you into the operating room. First, you’ll have to enroll in an education program regarding bariatric surgery. This program enlightens you about preparing for surgery. In addition, it will help you learn about your post-surgery life. Other than this, you’ll have nutritional counseling, physiological evaluation, physical tests and exams, blood tests, and more. Moreover, you might have an upper endoscopy or imaging of your stomach.

Apart from this, your surgeon will ask you to stop months before our surgery, given that you smoke. Furthermore, they might suggest losing some weight prior to the surgery to make your liver smaller for safer surgery. Blood-thinning medicines are also not acceptable when you’re close to having your gastric sleeve surgery.

On the day before your surgery, your surgeon might suggest that you stop eating or drinking once the clock strikes twelve.

Closing Word

If you didn’t know what gastric sleeve surgery was before, you must have a pretty good understanding of the procedure by now. Gastric sleeve has both pros and cons, which your healthcare team will discuss with you. Nova Bariatrics is here as your best weight loss surgery team. Dial (469) 639-0953 to schedule an appointment with us and get started today.

Dr. Mustafa H. Alibhai

Dr. Alibhai, a board-certified general surgeon, passionately leads Nova Bariatrics and General Surgery. Formerly an Assistant Professor at McGovern Medical School, he’s a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. His academic journey includes a Bachelor’s from Southern Methodist University, Medical School at UT Southwestern, and residencies at UT Southwestern. Specializing further, he completed Bariatric and Robotic Fellowships, advancing surgical techniques with a focus on patient well-being.



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