Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure | MedStar Health
Ivanesa Pardo-Lameda

Sleeve gastrectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that removes most of the stomach. The remaining stomach is formed into a long vertical tube, or sleeve-shaped pouch, which holds less food.

In this surgery, the part of the stomach that attaches to the beginning of the small intestine, called the duodenum, remains intact. This prevents “dumping syndrome,” which occurs when undigested contents of your stomach move too rapidly into your small bowel. Dumping syndrome can cause cramps, nausea, and diarrhea.

As with other bariatric surgery procedures, after sleeve surgery, you feel full after eating smaller amounts of food and you eat less.

How is it performed?

Medical illustration showing the internal organs after a bariatric gastric sleeve surgery.

Sleeve gastrectomy is a laparoscopic procedure. Surgeons make several small incisions in the abdomen through which they insert a scope with a video camera to guide their hands and instruments. The surgeon staples off a large part of the stomach lengthwise and removes it. What remains is a long sleeve or tube-shaped stomach, which is approximately 15 percent the size of the original.

MedStar Health’s bariatric surgeons are also trained to use the da Vinci® Surgical System for sleeve gastrectomy procedures. During a robotic procedure, the surgeon inserts tiny robotic instruments and a camera into small incisions in the abdomen. The surgeon then controls the surgery from a nearby console.

How does it work?

When the stomach is greatly reduced in size, it holds less food. You eat less and feel full sooner.

In addition, the portion of the stomach that is removed in the procedure contains the hormones that signal hunger and satiation (feeling full), as well as the hormones that control blood sugar.

Without these hormones, you feel less hungry and eat less food. This reduction of calories results in weight loss. Evidence also shows that sleeve gastrectomy may be effective in improving obesity-related type 2 diabetes.

How much weight can I expect to lose?

Weight loss will vary from person to person, but the average patient can expect to lose 50 to 70 percent of their excess weight during the first 12 to 24 months after the surgery.

More about weight loss surgery at MedStar Health:

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MedStar Washington Hospital Center

110 Irving St. NW
Washington, DC 20010