Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy—Laparoscopic
(Sleeve Gastrectomy—Laparoscopic; VSG—Laparoscopic)
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is surgery to decrease the size of your stomach.
Reasons for Procedure
If lifestyle changes are made, the benefits of VSG include:
Complications are rare. But no procedure is completely free of risk. Complications may include:
Long-term complications include vomiting and developing gallstones.
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Discuss these risks with your doctor.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
You may have the following:
Prior to the procedure:
Before the procedure:
General anesthesia will be given through an IV (needle) in your hand or arm. It will block pain and keep you asleep through surgery.
Description of the Procedure
A nurse will place an IV line in your arm to give you fluid and medicines. A breathing tube will be placed through your mouth and into your throat. This will help you breathe during surgery. You will also have a catheter placed in your bladder to drain urine.
Your doctor will make several small cuts in your abdomen. Gas will be pumped in to inflate your abdomen, making it easier for the doctor to see. A laparoscope and surgical tools will be inserted through the incisions. A laparoscope is a thin, lighted tool with a tiny camera. It sends images of your abdominal cavity to a monitor. Your doctor will operate while viewing the monitor.
The doctor will use surgical staples to divide the stomach vertically. The new stomach will be the shape of a slim banana. The rest of the stomach will be removed. Your new stomach can hold 50-150 mL (milliliters) of food, about 10% of what a normal adult stomach can hold. Incisions will be closed with staples or stitches.
In some cases, the doctor may need to switch to open surgery.
Immediately After Procedure
The breathing tube and catheter will be removed.
How Long Will It Take?
About two hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain medicine will be given after surgery.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay is 2-3 days.
At the Hospital
In the hospital, you may be asked to:
For a smooth recovery:
You should be able to return to normal activities in 2-3 weeks.
For good nutrition:
Call Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Weight Control Information Network
Canadian Obesity Network
Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated November 2010. Accessed November 22, 2010.
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Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Baylor College of Medicine website. Available at:
Sleeve gastrectomy. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://weightloss.clevelandclinic.org/Sleevegastrectomy.aspx. Accessed November 22, 2010.
Sleeve gastrectomy. Virginia Mason Medical Center. Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence website. Available at: https://www.virginiamason.org/SleeveGastrectomy. Updated October 2010. Accessed November 22, 2010.
Sleeve gastrectomy. Yale New Haven Health website. Available at: https://www.greenh.... Updated January 2010. Accessed November 22, 2010.
Walsh J. Sleeve gastrectomy as a stand alone bariatric procedure for obesity. California Technology Assessment Forum website. Available at:
Weight loss surgery. North Shore Medical Center website. Available at: http://nsmcweightloss.org/web/surgical_procedures.aspx. Accessed November 22, 2010.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Daus Mahnke, MD