Weight Loss, Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery

Upper Gastrointestinal, Oesophageal & Stomach Surgery

Cancer Screening, Endoscopy / Gastroscopy & Colonoscopy

Keyhole and General Surgery

Emergency and Acute Care Surgery

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Introduction

What is a sleeve gastrectomy?

A sleeve gastrectomy is a life-changing operation. It is used to help people to lose weight and improve their health. Losing weight lowers the risk of developing medical problems associated with obesity, such as heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, arthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, fatty liver, back pain, knee pain and ankle pain.

A sleeve gastrectomy makes your stomach smaller and should change the amount you can eat at your meals which will help you to lose weight. It is not a reversible procedure. This is the most common type of bariatric surgery performed in the world and Singapore currently.

How does it work?

The operation involves removing approximately 70% – 80% of your stomach, leaving behind a narrow tube (sleeve) that becomes your new stomach. After the surgery, food will follow the normal route into the smaller stomach and then into the small intestine.

The operation also alters some of the hormone signals from the stomach and intestine to parts of the brain that control body weight: many patients report that following this operation they feel less like eating and feel fuller sooner and for longer after a meal.

As the size of your stomach has been reduced, the size of your meals will need to be reduced to be appropriate for your new small stomach. Your reduced meal portion size, combined with low fat and low sugar choices, will help you lose weight and maintain weight loss.

The surgery is done laparoscopically, commonly known as “keyhole” surgery. This means that you will be up and about soon after surgery and should make a speedy recovery.

How much weight can you expect to lose?

You can lose up to 40% – 80% of your excess weight (EWL) or 20-30% of your total weight (TWL) in the first 12–18 months following surgery. However, an excess weight loss of 100% or more is not uncommon in patients who do intensive exercising. The amount of weight you can lose and keep off after surgery will also depend on the lifestyle changes you make, such as increasing the amount of exercise you take and eating a healthy diet.

What are the risks of a Sleeve Gastrectomy?

As with all major surgery, sleeve gastrectomy has some risks. These risks vary according to your age and other illnesses you may have. They are mainly general anaesthesia risk and specific operation risk associated with the operation. Dr Tan will go through the details with you in the clinic.

Recovery

What should you expect after the procedure?

Hospital Stay

The first few hours after the operation

You will wake up in a recovery room where nursing staff will monitor you for any complications. You will have a drip and also be wearing stockings and have a pumping device on your legs to prevent blood clots.​

As soon as you are fully awake and comfortable, you will be transferred to either the surgical ward, high dependency or the intensive care unit where your relatives can visit you. You will be able to have sips of water and some painkillers to control any pain.

You are encouraged to get out of bed as soon as possible after surgery. This helps to reduce the chance of post-operative complications, such as blood clots in the legs or chest infections.

The day after the operation

You may be scheduled for a swallow test by Dr Tan. After which you will be able to have some fluids. Your drip will be removed when you are drinking enough to keep you hydrated.

The following few days after the operation

You should start to feel better very quickly after the operation and will be able to move around on your own. You will need to drink an average of 1.5L to 2.5L of fluids daily. We will have a dietician to guide your post-operative diet. 2-3 days after surgery you will be able to go home.

At Discharge

Pain and Medications

You will be given oral pain medications to go home. You will also be given anti-acid medications. If you have been taking medication to control your blood pressure or diabetes, these will be reviewed before your discharge. In most cases, these can be reduced or sometimes stopped altogether. Please make sure you are clear about this before you leave the hospital.

Wounds

The small incisions made for your surgery may be covered with small plasters upon discharge. Dr Tan will review the wounds when you see him in the clinic.

Eating and Drinking after the operation

You will be given a diet information sheet. Our dietician will help guide you along for your post-operative diet.

Activities

You will be able to walk straight after surgery. Try to go for a walk every day, gradually increasing the distance as you feel able. You will be given hospitalization leave. It is advisable to avoid heavy lifting for at least 1 month after abdominal surgery.

Women of childbearing age must not become pregnant for at least one year following bariatric surgery.

After one year: if you are planning a pregnancy, please inform Dr Tan and he will guide you accordingly.

Follow up schedule

You will be given an appointment to see Dr Tan in his clinic for follow up. Initially after the surgery, there will be closer follow up, after which the periods for follow up will then be further spaced out.

Complications that can occur after surgery

Possible long term complications after surgery

Keyhole Surgery Expertise

A sleeve gastrectomy is carried out through a minimally invasive way known as laparoscopic, or keyhole, surgery. Whereas an open surgery requires long incisions made in the abdomen, laparoscopic surgery only requires small incisions and is carried out with the use of specialised keyhole instruments.

Because the procedure is less invasive, keyhole surgery offers the advantage of promoting less post-operative pain, shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery period. At Surgicare, Dr Tan specialises in providing keyhole surgery when surgical repair is needed and where applicable.

20+ Years of Clinical Expertise

Dr Tan Chun Hai (陈俊海医生)

Upper Gastrointestinal, Bariatric & General Surgeon

Endoscopy & Minimally-Invasive Surgery Specialist

Dr. Tan Chun Hai is a dual fellowship-trained specialist in laparoscopic (keyhole) stomach cancer surgery and Bariatric & Metabolic surgery. His clinical expertise includes the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques for stomach-related disorders, gallstones, appendicitis and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

Dr. Tan also specialises in performing endoscopies/gastroscopies and colonoscopies. When applicable, Dr. Tan provides same-day treatment within a few hours of diagnosis. Dr. Tan subscribes to a less invasive practice, promoting less postoperative pain and shorter hospital stays.

Have a concern?

Give us a call at 6250 5610 or WhatsApp us at 8870 3848.