Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Turn to UNC Medical Center’s weight-loss surgery team in Chapel Hill to find out if your best option to treat obesity is gastric sleeve surgery, also called sleeve gastrectomy.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery ImageWhat is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

In gastric sleeve surgery, your surgeon will remove about 80-85 percent of your stomach using laparoscopic instruments (small tools with a light) through small incisions in your abdomen. A small portion of your stomach remains and creates a thin tube, or stomach “sleeve,” about the width of a banana.

Sleeve gastrectomy strongly limits the amount of food you can eat, which leads to gradual weight loss. Over time, you’ll likely lose about 50-60 percent of your excess weight if you follow required lifestyle changes.

What to Expect After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Plan to stay in the hospital overnight. Because UNC Medical Center performs gastric sleeve as a minimally invasive weight-loss surgery, you’ll recover faster with less pain and scarring than you would after open surgery.

Most weight loss occurs during the first 12 to 18 months following gastric sleeve surgery. As with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, expect our team to work closely with you after surgery to help you follow a helpful diet and make exercise part of your life.

You may also discover you can reduce or end medications for obesity-related conditions such as diabetes.

Turn to our weight-loss surgery support groups to help you make the most of life after gastric sleeve surgery. Meet others who have similar goals and challenges, and learn tips about how to stay on track with your weight loss goals over the long term.

Possible Complications of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

You’re in good hands because UNC Medical Center's Bariatric Center of Excellence has low complication rates for weight-loss surgery. Your risk of long-term complications is less with gastric sleeve surgery than with gastric bypass. Count on our academic medical center for all the care you need, even for possible side effects and complications such as:

  • Leak or infection

  • Bleeding or clotting

  • Bowel obstruction

  • Hernias, in which tissue or organs bulge through nearby muscle or other tissue

  • Nutritional deficiencies

  • Reflux

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