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Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy


What do I need to know about laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy?

A laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is surgery to remove most of your stomach. The remaining stomach forms a tube or sleeve. You will feel full faster and have a decreased desire for food.

How do I prepare for LSG?

  • Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. You will work closely with a dietitian before and after surgery. Your dietitian will talk to you about nutrition and the diet you should follow before and after surgery. You may need to follow a very low-calorie diet for several weeks before surgery.
  • Your healthcare provider may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. You may be given an antibiotic through your IV to help prevent a bacterial infection.

What will happen during LSG?

  • You will be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your surgeon will make 4 to 6 small incisions in your abdomen. He will insert small tools through these incisions. He will fill your abdomen with gas in order to see your stomach clearly.
  • Your surgeon will cut away about 75% of your stomach. This will leave a narrow tube (sleeve) for food and liquid to pass through. The sleeve is secured with staples and your surgeon will check for any leaks. A drain may be placed near the sleeve to remove extra blood or fluid. The incisions will be closed with medical glue, medical tape, or stitches.

What will happen after LSG?

  • A nasogastric (NG) tube may be put into your nose and down into your stomach during surgery. The NG tube helps prevent vomiting and may help get your intestines working. The NG tube is usually removed 1 day after surgery. If you have a drain in your wound, it will be removed when it stops draining blood and fluid. You may have a catheter in your bladder to help drain urine. This is usually removed the day after surgery.
  • A test called a contrast swallow may be done the first day after surgery. This test checks for leaks in your stomach. You will be able to have clear liquids once your stomach starts working after surgery and tests show no leaks. You may be given ice chips at first. Then you will get clear liquids such as water, broth or juice.
  • You may have chest or shoulder discomfort caused by the gas used during surgery. Apply heat on your abdomen, walk, or lie down with your knees as close to your chest as possible. This will help decrease the discomfort or pressure from the gas.

What are the risks of LSG?

You may bleed more than expected or develop an infection. Organs near the surgery area may be damaged. During surgery, you may need one large incision instead of several small incisions. A leak may develop along the staple line where it is holding your sleeve closed. This leak can cause a severe infection. You may have nausea, vomiting, or heartburn. You may not lose as much weight as you want or you may gain weight. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening.

Care Agreement

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.