How Much Stomach is REMOVED in Gastric Sleeve?

Oct 20, 2020

This question is one I so often get asked. To give you a little bit of background, the gastric sleeve operation is basically performed in two key steps. The stomach is an organ like a bag. That’s the best analogy that we can give you.

We start the first part of the operation, that essentially involves freeing up what is called as the greater curvature of the stomach, or the outside of the stomach. This is done by using special energy devices so that we slowly take care of all the blood vessels all along the greater curvature of the stomach.

The next step is that of putting in a special calibration tube which is like a long tube that allows us to leave a set amount of stomach behind that we can measure and it is consistent in every case. Once that tube goes in, we then use a special stapling device. The stapling device not only seals the sides but then cuts in the middle as well. So, in this crucial step , the stomach that is freed up is essentially cut all along that line just outside the bougie or the calibration tube.

So, coming back to the question “how much stomach is removed in my gastric sleeve?” Well, I say the bigger point here is that how much stomach is going to be left behind? Because you know, the funny thing is that sometimes people come and ask me, “Oh, can you remove a little bit more stomach for me?” And some say, “No, can you remove a little bit less for me?”

Sleeve operation aims to leave a consistent amount of stomach in an individual every time and the consistent amount is about 120-250mls, almost the size of a banana. That’s the best analogy that I can give you.

Gastric sleeve surgery

The other thing is, to put a little lighter note on it, is that it’s just that you know if you’re going for a haircut and you want to have one consistent style every time because that is your uniform style. Does it matter how much hair has been cut off? Or does it matter more to you what has been left behind? That’s the analogy that can be applied to the sleeve gastrectomy. But what is the scientific reason behind it, friends, that is crucial to understand? And the key thing is there are these three key components for it.

 The first thing is about getting the right amount of restriction. Restriction is something that a smaller amount of stomach will be able to give you with a smaller amount of food. This is crucial for individuals who struggle with portion control. 120-250mls is what we say is adequate for you to have a meal-size portion which can be fitted onto a quarter plate.

Then, the next important aspect is that of hunger suppression. As we know, there are cells in the top part of the stomach which produce hunger hormone. This hunger hormone, Ghrelin, is the key hormone that we understand and has been extensively studied, which actually forms an important part of hunger regulation. Once that is taken away, individuals experience a significant drop in their hunger levels and this remains persistent for up to three to five years after gastric sleeve.

But the most important part why we are wanting a consistent size or a consistent amount of stomach to be left behind is to maintain your nutrition. It is because you need that minimum amount of stomach to maintain your protein, carbohydrates and fat intake, but more importantly, the micronutrients and the vitamins.

So, hopefully, you found this article useful and it explains to you the answer about how much stomach is left behind versus how important it is to leave the amount of stomach that we leave behind. If you found this article useful please do share it with your friends.

If you’ve been thinking about a gastric sleeve surgery and have been hesitating to have your questions answered, then why not book a FREE 20 minute phone consultation with our patient advisor. Rachael will take you thru a presentation and answer any questions you may have regarding weight loss surgery and our amazing After Surgery Support Package.