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Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy


A laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is surgery to remove part of the stomach so the remaining stomach forms a small tube. Once the stomach is made smaller, you will feel full faster and have a decreased desire for food. LSG is commonly done as a first surgery before a more involved weight-loss surgery can be done.


Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Antibiotics may be given before your surgery to help prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Blood thinners help prevent clots from forming in the blood. Blood thinners may be given before, during, and after your surgery. Blood thinners make it more likely for you to bleed or bruise. Use an electric razor and soft toothbrush to help prevent bleeding.
  • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.

During your surgery:

  • A circular tool called a trocar is inserted through a small incision in your abdomen. Your surgeon inserts tools through the trocar to do your surgery. Your abdomen is filled with gas so your surgeon can see your stomach better. Three to 6 more trocars are placed throughout your abdomen. Tools are inserted through the trocars and a piece of your stomach is cut away and removed through a trocar. The area is stapled closed.
  • Extra staples may be used to secure the stomach sleeve. Your surgeon may also use medical glue to secure the area. Blue dye may be put through a tube and into your stomach to check for leaks in the stapled area. A drain may be placed near the staple line to remove excess blood and fluids. All of the trocars are removed, and the cuts are closed with stitches. Numbing medicine may be injected into your incisions to help decrease pain.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.

  • The drain in your wound will be removed when it stops draining blood and fluid.
  • A Foley catheter may be placed for a few days after your surgery. A Foley catheter is a tube that is put into your bladder to drain your urine into a bag. Keep the bag of urine below your waist. Lifting the urine bag higher will make the urine flow back into your bladder, which can cause an infection. Do not pull on the catheter because this may cause pain and bleeding, and the catheter may come out. Do not allow the catheter tubing to kink because this will block the flow of urine.
  • A nasogastric (NG) tube is put into your nose and down into your stomach. The tube may be attached to suction to keep your stomach empty. You may have an NG tube after surgery to prevent you from vomiting. An NG tube may help get your bowels working. The NG tube is normally taken out 1 day after surgery.
  • A water-soluble contrast swallow is a test done the first day after your surgery to check for leaks in your stomach.
  • You will be able to have liquids and foods once your stomach function returns and tests show no leaks. You may be given ice chips at first. Then you will get liquids such as water, broth, juice, and clear soft drinks. If your stomach does not become upset, you may then be given soft foods, such as cooked cereal and applesauce. You may need to be on a pureed or soft diet for a few days to a couple of weeks after your surgery.
  • Medicines:
    • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
    • A proton pump inhibitor may be given to help decrease stomach acid production, and to help prevent heartburn.


  • LSG is surgery that cannot be reversed. During and after surgery, you may bleed more than expected. After surgery, you may have abdominal and shoulder pain, nausea, vomiting, and heartburn. Eating less food after surgery may cause you to have low levels of vitamins and minerals. You may get stones in your gallbladder that cause pain. You may get a wound infection, and your stomach may leak into your abdomen and cause a serious infection. You may need another surgery to fix the leaking area.
  • You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening. Even with surgery, you may not lose as much weight as you want. Your stomach sleeve may get bigger, and you may gain weight.
  • Without surgery, your obesity may cause your health problems to become worse, or you may develop new health problems. You may become depressed, have trouble breathing, and suffer from asthma and sleep apnea. You may have new or worse joint pain and inflammation. You are more likely to have high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. You are at higher risk for gallbladder and kidney problems. Obesity also increases your risk for certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, and death. Obese women may have problems getting pregnant or may have health problems during pregnancy.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.