Things to Know About Keyhole (Laparoscopic) Sleeve Gastrectomy

Are you planning of undergoing Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectom surgery because of your health issues or over-weight? If yes, then this article will help you get the necessary information that will help you before proceeding with the gastric sleeve.

Morbid obesity is a very harmful disease that is often associated with multiple medical illnesses. It is also responsible for a significant decrease in a person’s life expectancy. It is essential for people suffering from morbid obesity to follow a medically, supervised diet, and medication. However, the most effective way for significant weight loss is by bariatric surgery. This surgery is necessary because, without it, the risks of failure rates are very high that can lead to a very high risk of obesity-related medical illness along with decreased life expectancy.

How is laparoscopic/keyhole sleeve gastrectomy performed-

The laparoscopic/keyhole sleeve gastrectomy is a surgery that is performed by inserting laparoscopic instruments in several small incisions. Patients are usually allowed to go to their homes within two or three days of the operation; however, are advised to take a limited amount of food.

The surgery is carried out by removing the outer portion of the stomach by cutting it and leaving a small sleeve of the stomach. This helps to reduce the volume of the stomach by almost 80%. The abdomen is shaped like a hockey stick, which is very effective to hold less food, producing less acid. Also, the part which is responsible for producing the hormone implicated in hunger is also removed. According to reports, a large number of people who have undergone this surgery lost a significant amount of weight.

Comparison of Gastric sleeve vs. alternatives-

Undergoing a gastric sleeve has its own benefits as well as drawbacks-

The gastric sleeve can be a faster choice for weight loss compared to other alternatives. There it has a quicker correction of associated health issues of morbid obesity such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Not just that, there are a lot of chances that the patient undergoing gastric sleeve may not require long term vitamin, protein, or mineral supplements.

Eating habits and exercise for a person undergoing keyhole sleeve gastrectomy-

It is one of the most essential things which should look after your keyhole sleeve gastrectomy. It is vital to get an appropriate amount of calories, protein, and vitamins by the body so that the person does not feel ill, or weak. The goal of this surgery is to burn fat and not muscles. Therefore intake of protein to maintain muscle bulk is a thing to take special care of.

If you choose to have high-calorie foods like cookies, chips, and soft drinks, then there are high chances that your surgery may fail and you may gain weight after a longer period of time.

The unrealistic expectations with keyhole sleeve gastrectomy-

  • Weight loss- The process of losing weight from a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy can be a very rapid one. This makes it a psychologically addictive surgery as when you lose your weight, your capacity of exercising with increase making you feel better and more energetic. However, it is necessary to understand the fact that this process of losing weight will ultimately slow down after a period of six to nine months. So, it is best for the patient to be prepared for the phase.
  • The best average result- What do you think must be the best average result you will get from a keyhole sleeve gastrectomy surgery? It is 65% excess body weight over a period of 18 months. It is essential to understand that the surgery is about achieving a healthier life with increased life expectancy. It is not about cutting down your ideal body weight.

Precaution that should be taken before or after the keyhole sleeve gastrectomy-

  1. Pregnancy- If you are a woman who has done the surgery of keyhole sleeve gastrectomy, then it is recommended to avoid pregnancy in the first year. The phase of rapid weight loss is not perfect for getting pregnant or even maintaining existing pregnancy.
  2. Pre-surgery diet- To complete the process of your surgery in a safe way, your surgeon should recommend you for an Optifast diet. This diet should be followed for at least two to three weeks, before you are undergoing surgery, to shrink your liver, reducing surgical complications.
  3. Smoking- Smoking is one of the most dangerous problems for people undergone keyhole sleeve gastrectomy as there is a high chance that it may increase your pulmonary complications along with blood clottings, regardless the process you choose to undergo. Therefore, it is recommended to quit smoking before the surgery.

Risks related to Keyhole sleeve gastrectomy-

There are some risks and complications which you may experience while undergoing surgery or post-surgery. Therefore, it is our duty to let you know about it-

  • The anesthetic
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Deep venous thrombosis (DVT)
  • Death
  • Stroke
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart attack
  • Intra-abdominal abscess
  • Incisional hernias


This is a risk which you will face in any and every surgery. Some of the most common types of infections are wound infections, chest infections, urinary infections, and blood infections. And some of these can also lead to more severe conditions or death.


Blood clots are risks which usually occur after any kind of surgery and can result in sudden deaths. This risk can be only minimised if the surgical team takes special care during the surgery.

Chest problems-

There are some pulmonary complications like pneumonia, aspiration, and atelectasis, which can person undergoing any kind of operation under general anesthetic. However, this type of complexity can be minimized by stop smoking, early mobilization after surgery, etc.

Small bowel obstruction-

There are chances that your small intestine can get blocked during various processes in the surgery. However, it can also happen after many years of surgery. But the good part is that the rate of small bowel obstruction after a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is extremely low.

These are all the essential things which you should know before opting for a keyhole sleeve gastrectomy. And as we all know that every surgical team will always try to complete the operation laparoscopically, without any complication successfully. However, it is very occasional that you need to convert to open surgery for various safety reasons.

Make up your mind and go for a safe keyhole sleeve gastrectomy!