How Does Gastric Sleeve Work

How does gastric sleeve work

How does gastric sleeve work to help promote weight loss successfully? To help you understand how the gastric sleeve works we prepared a summary. Are you seeking gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico because you are frustrated with stubborn excess body weight?

Before you make a choice, you should know how does gastric sleeve surgery work? What are the procedure steps?

What are the requirements for candidacy? And what is the cost of this bariatric surgery in Mexico? Here is a detailed guide to address all your questions. Contact Jet Medical Tourism® today!


What is gastric sleeve procedure?

To understand how does gastric sleeve work, you should have a clear idea of what the gastric sleeve procedure entails?

In Mexico, this procedure is commonly performed on patients from the US and Canada. Mexico’s top hospitals will use the same surgical protocols, techniques, and quality standards as some of the best hospitals in the US.

In this procedure, the weight loss surgeon will remove a portion of your stomach. They will then suture together the remaining parts to create a new “sleeve” (banana-shaped stomach). Now with a significantly smaller stomach, you will feel fuller much more quickly than you did before.

The reduced capacity to eat will help you lose weight and maintain a slimmer body in the long run. During the surgery, the appetite-boosting hormones also get removed, which further supports your long-term weight loss.

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Distinct from Gastric Bypass

While you should know how does gastric sleeve work, it is also important to understand its differences with gastric bypass surgery. In gastric bypass, the bariatric surgeon in Mexico will create a small pouch that skips (bypasses) most of your stomach. This it will go directly to your intestine. Compared to gastric bypass, surgeons often give preference to gastric sleeve (or sleeve gastrectomy) because it is both malabsorptive and restrictive. This means the intake of calories is diminished from the source because you feel less hungry.

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How Does Gastric Sleeve WorkHistory of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

To gain better insights into how does gastric sleeve work, you should have an idea about its origins. Sleeve gastrectomy was first introduced about three decades ago to treat high risk patients who were suffering from morbid and super morbid obesity. Before subjecting these patients to a more invasive procedure such as duodenal switch surgery or a gastric bypass, it was proposed that they should first undergo gastric sleeve surgery.

In this two-step procedure for high-risk obese patients, gastric sleeve showed highly encouraging weight loss results. That led to sleeve gastrectomy being adopted as a standalone weight loss procedure. Since 2003, this procedure has been performed on thousands of patients as an independent bariatric surgery with outstanding results. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) finally changed its official position gastric sleeve surgery. In 2012, it recognized sleeve gastrectomy as both a primary bariatric surgery and a first phase in a two-step weight loss surgery.

READ: Truth about gastric sleeve revealed

What does a gastric sleeve do?

Gastric sleeve works in multiple ways to help you achieve sustainable weight loss and relief from the symptoms of obesity related co-morbidities. It is primarily a restrictive procedure, which means the surgery is designed to restrict your body’s natural capacity to store food. To understand what does a gastric sleeve do, you may note the following key functions of VSG.

  • Smaller meal portions: As part of your gastric sleeve process, about 80% of your original stomach tissue will be removed. You will be left with a much smaller gastric pouch that can store only a little amount of food at a given time. Therefore, your meal portions will reduce and you will feel full faster.
  • Appetite suppression: When you ask your bariatric surgeon how does gastric sleeve work, they will explain to you its role in curbing appetite. The natural production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, will diminish in your body after a VSG procedure. Therefore, you will feel hungry less frequently.
  • Disease remission: What does a gastric sleeve do for your obesity-related co-morbidities? The metabolic changes induced by this surgery may help in remission or total resolution of diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and fatty liver disease.
  • Emotional resilience: In addition to the direct gastric sleeve weight loss benefits, this surgery will indirectly strengthen your emotional balance, increase your will-power and self-esteem, and motivate you to stay healthy and fit. Your lifestyle habits and quality of life may dramatically improve.

Does gastric sleeve work?

Yes, gastric sleeve works well for an overwhelming majority of patients. As long as you qualify for this surgery and your procedure is performed by an experienced bariatric surgeon, you can expect excellent outcomes. Every year, thousands of women and men achieve their weight loss goals and improvement in co-morbidity symptoms with a gastric sleeve surgery. Here are the results of a research study to show how does gastric sleeve work?

  • The goal of the study was to determine: Does gastric sleeve work? Results showed high safety and very effective weight loss outcomes.
  • The study covered 156 patients, out of which nearly three-fourth were females. Mortality rate found in the participant group was 0%.
  • Excess weight loss on average was determined to be 82% at one year, 76% at three years, and 60% at five years post-operatively.
  • Anastomotic leak (gastric leakage) rate, which is a common post-bariatric complication, was only 1.2% among the participants.
  • Remission of type 2 diabetes occurred in nearly 75% of the patients, while sleep apnea devices were removed in all the patients with OSA.
  • Gastric sleeve weight loss and disease resolution results were more dramatic in patients with a pre-surgery BMI of less than 40 kg/m2.

READ THIS: Is gastric sleeve safe?

How does gastric sleeve surgery work?

To address the patient’s concerns, an experienced weight loss surgeon in Mexico will first explain how does gastric sleeve surgery work. The process begins with some advance preparation as follows:

  • Learn about Mexico gastric sleeve surgery as much as possible, and make a commitment to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle after the surgery.
  • Follow the pre-operative care instructions of your Mexico bariatric surgeon to avoid smoking before the procedure.
  • Stop taking any blood thinning medications and herbal supplements for a few days prior to surgery.
  • In the weeks or months leading up to your surgery, try to eat a more balanced diet and maintain an active lifestyle as far as possible.
  • Make post-surgical care arrangements in advance. These would include having a ready supply of liquid diet and any essential medications as advised by the surgeon.

During the Surgery

  • After you are wheeled into the operating room, you will be placed under general anesthesia. This will keep you asleep completely comfortable throughout the procedure. You will have no recollection of the surgery when you wake up.
  • The surgeon will begin the procedure by making multiple small incisions in the upper abdominal area. The incisions will be placed in discreet locations to minimize any post-surgical scarring.
  • If your gastric sleeve surgery is performed laparoscopically (most advanced surgery centers will use laparoscopy like the US hospitals), the surgeon will insert a small laparoscope and tiny surgical tools through the incisions.
  • At this point, the anesthesiologist will pass a thin sizing tube down your mouth into the stomach.
  • Now the surgeon will make use of a laparoscopic stapler to bifurcate the stomach (resulting in a narrow vertical sleeve).
  • The portion of the stomach that has been removed will be taken out through an abdominal incision.
  • Your surgeon will now test the sleeve for any leaks using an upper endoscopy or a dye study.
  • The incisions will be carefully closed with dissolvable sutures or tape.

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Why does the gastric sleeve work

There are three major reasons why the gastric sleeve works so effectively for most patients. While it is important to know ‘how’ does gastric sleeve work, it is equally important to understand ‘why’ does the gastric sleeve work? At your pre-op consultation, your surgeon will provide you a detailed explanation to help you make an informed and confident decision.

  • Restricted stomach: The most important reason why does the gastric sleeve work is that it will significantly restrict your stomach’s capacity to accept and store food. Your post-surgery sleeve shaped pouch will only be about 20% of the original stomach volume. You will feel full quickly after you have eaten a small meal, and will naturally consumer less calories a day.
  • Hormonal changes: Obesity leads to a disruption of the metabolic rate and increases the secretion of hunger hormones in the body. As a result, you will hungry more often. When you ask your surgeon how does gastric sleeve work, they will inform you about the lowered production levels of hunger hormones post-operatively, which will reduce your frequent urge to eat.
  • Gastric motility: In your body, the food passes through the digestive tract with a process of muscle contractions. Obesity creates hurdles in this process, resulting in reduced gastrointestinal motility. Gastric sleeve surgery will work to restore improved stomach motility, enabling a healthy passage of food through the intestines and reduction in digestive disorders.

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How is a gastric sleeve performed

Gastric sleeve is usually performed as a laparoscopic surgery. In the operating room, once you have been placed under general anesthesia, your bariatric surgeon will begin the procedure by creating 5 to 6 tiny incisions in marked locations in your abdominal area. Through these incisions, the surgeon will insert a slender laparoscope (a small camera), so that they can view the underlying structures on an external monitor.

Thin surgical instruments will then be introduced through these incisions to remove about 80% of your stomach tissue along the outer gastric curvature. You will be left with a small banana-shaped pouch, which will be stapled to function as your new stomach. The outlet controlling the passage of food to the small intestine from the pouch (the pyloric valve) will continue to work as before.

Requirements for gastric sleeve surgery

In addition to obtaining a clear idea about how does gastric sleeve work, you should also be aware of what would qualify you as a suitable candidate.

Should I Choose Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery is designed to restrict the amount of food you eat, but without interfering with food absorption. It also does not involve the placement of any foreign body inside your stomach. If these attributes appeal to you, gastric sleeve surgery might be the right option for you.

Compared to gastric bypass, the weight loss in case of gastric sleeve surgery will be more gradual. Like any other bariatric surgery, you will have to commit to a healthy diet and exercise plan for the long-term.

It’s also vital to know that sleeve gastrectomy is a permanent, irreversible procedure.

You should carefully consider the pros and cons of each type of bariatric surgery with your surgeon before making a decision.

RELATED: Gastric sleeve requirements: Do I qualify for it?

Am I a Good Candidate for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher are usually sound candidates for gastric sleeve surgery.

In other words, you may be at least 100 pounds above your ideal body weight to qualify for this procedure. If you suffer from a medical condition that could improve with weight loss, you may even qualify with a BMI of 35.

Patients suffering from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or sleep apnea are usually recommend sleeve gastrectomy if their BMI is at least 35. Individuals with extremely morbid obesity (BMI of 60 or higher) may also be candidates for gastric sleeve surgery.

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How long does gastric sleeve surgery take?

Apart from knowing how does gastric sleeve work, you should know how much time will gastric sleeve take inside the operating room? An experienced bariatric surgeon in Mexico would be able to complete the surgery within one to two hours. The precise duration of surgery can vary from one patient to another, depending on the complexities of a particular case.

In any case, with advanced laparoscopic techniques, the surgery is now performed faster. It involves no bypass or intestine removal, which also reduces the surgical time. Recovery after a gastric sleeve is also relatively faster, and you can leave the hospital the same day or next day.

Following gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico, you can lose about two-third of your excess weight in the first 6 to 12 months. It’s critical to follow the surgeon’s post-op guidelines to achieve the best results.

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How much does gastric sleeve cost?

Once you have educated yourself about how does gastric sleeve work, you should obtain information about how much will gastric sleeve cost you in Mexico?

By having gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico, you can save up to 70 percent off the amount you otherwise spend in the US. In Mexico, gastric sleeve surgery may cost you anywhere between $4,000 and $8,000, depending on various factors.

In the US, on the other hand, the same surgery could cost you up to $25,000 or more.

The cost of gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico will typically include:

  • Pre-op blood tests, EKG, and physical exam
  • Anesthesiology team’s fee
  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Hospital fee
  • Post-surgical medications

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Gastric sleeve surgery before and after

Following your gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico, you will be able to discover a slimmer, youthful and more attractive ‘you’. In about six months to a year, you will lose a dramatic amount of weight.

  • Any medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, arthritis, OSA (obstructive sleep apnea), high blood pressure, GERD, and heart disease may improve.
  • You will feel fitter, healthier, and more cheerful about life.
  • Your personal confidence and self-esteem will substantially improve.

RELATED: Benefits of gastric sleeve surgery

Although your surgeon will explain to you in detail about how does gastric sleeve work and what does a gastric sleeve do, sometimes words may not be enough to understand exactly what to expect from this surgery. Therefore, many committed bariatric surgeons use gastric sleeve surgery before and after photos as a visual aid to educate their patients about all aspects of this weight loss procedure.

Gastric sleeve before and after VSG surgery before and after male
Gastric sleeve surgery before and after Female Gastric Sleeve Before and After


If you want to know realistically what does a gastric sleeve do and what it does not do, be prepared to review as many gastric sleeve surgery before and after images as you can. You may also request your surgeon to provide some pictures or a video of how is a gastric sleeve performed in the operating room. These photographs will give you more confidence about the procedure and its expected results.

RELATED: Gastric sleeve before and after photos

Learn more about gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico

To know more about how does gastric sleeve work, and whether it is the right choice for you, schedule an appointment with our representative at Jet Medical Tourism® today. We work with some of the best gastric sleeve surgeons in Mexico to enable patients in the US and Canada achieve their weight loss goals.

Being one of the top providers of medical tourism in Mexico, Jet Medical Tourism® works with leading weight loss surgery hospitals and highly experienced bariatric surgeons in Mexico to enable patients from the US and Canada achieve their weight loss goals. Call us today!

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