The gastric sleeve, or sleeve gastrectomy, may be recommended for patients considered high risk for surgery, due to their weight or underlying medical conditions.


How Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Works

Using a laparoscope, the surgeon removes approximately 60 percent of the stomach. Weight loss occurs because the remaining size of the stomach restricts the amount of food that a person can eat. (This procedure may be the first part of a two-stage operation.)

Early reports indicate that it is safe and effective in reducing weight and decreasing obesity-related medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Since no long-term data on the safety and effectiveness of the procedure exist, the Expert Panel considers it investigational, but it may be considered if other WLS options are ruled out.

Diagram explaining gastric sleeve (sleeve gastrectomy) surgery

Potential Risks

When looking at the risks associated with WLS, it is important to remember that obesity itself carries a high risk of mortality due to obesity-related illnesses. For many patients, the potential risks from not having the surgery may be greater than the risks from possible complications of having the procedure.

Information provided by the Massachusetts Expert Panel on Weight Loss Surgery Summary from the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety and Medical Error Reduction within the Department of Public Health.