Gastric Sleeve Surgery for Weight Loss

Dr. Husain visiting with a patient
OHSU’s Dr. Farah Husain and our other bariatric surgeons offer particular expertise in minimally invasive gastric sleeve surgeries. This gives you smaller incisions and a faster recovery.

Gastric sleeve surgery offers you a safe and effective way to lose weight. At OHSU, you’ll find a team that does nearly 300 of these surgeries a year. We offer:

  • Surgeons with advanced training in minimally invasive gastric sleeve, with less pain and faster recovery.
  • A full team of experts, including dietitians and psychologists, to work with you long term.
  • High rates of success, with most patients losing more than half their excess weight and keeping it off for years.

What is gastric sleeve surgery?

This is the most common bariatric surgery. It's also called sleeve gastrectomy. The surgeon removes about 80 percent of your stomach, leaving a pouch about the size of a banana. The surgery almost always uses a minimally invasive laparoscope and small incisions.

Medical illustration of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

How does gastric sleeve work?

A smaller stomach means you take in less food. Your body absorbs fewer calories and nutrients. Your appetite may decline because of changes in hunger signals to your brain. 

What to expect

This information is for the vast majority of patients who have laparoscopic surgery. About 99 percent are done this way at OHSU.

Hospital stay: Your surgery will take about an hour. You will probably spend one night in the hospital.

Activity:

  • You should be able to walk around three to four hours after surgery. Most patients can resume daily tasks such as showering almost immediately.
  • You should be able to fix meals and do other small household chores when you get home. You can slowly boost your activity over the next few weeks. Learn more about Life After Surgery.

Diet: You will have liquids for two weeks, then slowly add solid foods in stages. It may be two months before you settle into a long-term diet.

Weight loss: Gastric sleeve is a newer procedure without long-term data. Early studies show it’s nearly as effective in producing weight loss as gastric bypass, however. That surgery helps more than 85 percent of patients lose and keep off most of their excess weight, according to a broad National Institutes of Health study. OHSU produces similar results.

Dr. Farah Husain talking with a couple
Dr. Farah Husain helps patients understand the benefits and risks of weight-loss surgery.

Advantages

  • Gastric sleeve can lead to improvements in obesity-related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease and osteoarthritis.
  • It usually has fewer side effects than more complicated gastric bypass surgery.
  • It does not require a foreign object in the body, as gastric banding does.
  • Patients who have bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve, have higher life expectancy, better health and higher quality of life than similar people who don’t.
  • It is generally safe to use anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) after gastric sleeve surgery.

Risks and potential side effects

At OHSU, fewer than one in 200 patients is readmitted for treatment of a major complication. Still, every surgery has some risk. Complications can include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Hernias
  • Heartburn
  • Narrowing of the sleeve because of scarring
  • Leaking from the staple line
  • New or worse acid reflux
  • A few patients develop dumping syndrome, when food passes too quickly through the digestive system. This can lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It often goes away within three months. Medicine or diet changes usually help. This condition is also less common than many patients fear.

Other things to consider:

  • The surgery is not reversible.
  • You must take vitamin and mineral supplements and follow dietary guidelines for life.

Is gastric sleeve right for me?

See our Considering Bariatric Surgery page to learn how patients are assessed for bariatric procedures.

Gastric sleeve may be recommended if:

  • Your weight-loss goals are somewhat less than what might be recommended for gastric bypass.
  • You have obesity-related medical problems such as sleep apnea.
  • You take certain medications, such as anti-inflammatories or steroids, that might complicate other types of bariatric surgery. Gastric sleeve allows your body to absorb those medications more normally than gastric bypass does.

For patients

Get started:

Questions?

Location

Parking is free for patients and their visitors. 

Center for Health & Healing Building 2
Digestive Health Center, eighth floor
3485 S.W. Bond Ave.
Portland, OR 97239
Map and directions

Refer a patient

Cover of OHSU Bariatrics Patient Referral Guide