Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy—Open
(Sleeve Gastrectomy—Open; VSG—Open)
by Sarah J. Kerr, BA
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is surgery to decrease the structure and size of your stomach. This restricts the amount of food you are able to consume.
Reasons for Procedure
If lifestyle changes are made, the benefits of VSG include:
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Long-term complications include vomiting and gallstones.
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Each bariatric surgery program has specific requirements. Your program will likely include the following:
Prior to the procedure:
General anesthesia will be given through an IV. It will block pain and keep you asleep through the surgery.
Description of the Procedure
An 8-10 inch incision will be made to open the abdomen. Surgical staples will 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.
Staples or stitches will be used to close the incision.
Immediately After Procedure
The breathing tube and catheter will be removed.
How Long Will It Take?
About 2 hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay is 4-6 days. If there are any problems, you will need to stay longer.
At the Hospital
You can expect the following after the procedure:
While in the hospital, you may be asked to:
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection such as:
You will need to practice lifelong healthy eating and exercising habits. After your surgery:
For good nutrition:
Call Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you develop complications such as:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Weight Loss Surgery
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Gastric sleeve or sleeve gastrectomy. UC San Diego Health website. Available at: https://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/surgery/bariatric/weight-loss-surgery/gastric-sleeve/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed December 22, 2017
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Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 3/23/2015
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