A Patient’s Guide to Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Melbourne


Bariatric procedures such as gastric sleeve surgery at our Melbourne weight loss centre are life-changing for some patients wanting to reduce their BMI. It can provide you with numerous other health benefits aside from losing excess weight. These advantages include lowering your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more.

A lap sleeve gastrectomy may be an ideal next step if you have not been successful with other weight loss attempts. It differs from other bariatric surgeries in that no foreign body is put around your stomach as with a gastric band procedure. There is no complex intestinal rearrangement as with bypass surgery.

Most patients find that gastric sleeve keyhole surgery provides few complications, better cosmetic results, and less recovery time than other surgical procedures. After your recovery, you may also discover that you can eat various foods, including meat and vegetables.

Questions to Ask About Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

You can become better informed about LSG surgery with answers to these questions and decide if it is the ideal procedure for you.

What is sleeve gastrectomy?

This procedure is the most common weight loss surgery currently performed in Australia. The surgery is considered a restrictive procedure as it permanently removes 75-80 % of the stomach along the greater curve. Due to the considerable reduction in stomach volume, patients can become full or reach satiety quicker than they would have before surgery.

There is also an additional benefit to removing this part of the stomach: the loss of the hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin is thought to be the hormone that drives the hunger sensation, so inhibiting it can minimise the desire to consume food excessively. Furthermore, there is some suggestion that the small tube remnant of the stomach left behind during surgery can encourage faster transit through the stomach and into the small bowel releasing the hormones GLP1 and PYY3-36, which support better blood sugar control. These effects combine to result in increased weight loss and reduced obesity-related co-morbidities.

Stomach Staple Bariatric Surgery Resulting in 1/4 of the Stomach Removed.

Do I need to change my diet before surgery?

Generally, depending on their BMI, we will require patients to be on a very low-calorie diet for four weeks before their surgery. This low-calorie food plan can reduce the intra-abdominal fat and the fat content within the liver, making it easier for the surgeon to navigate the gastric sleeve operation.

Do I need to change my diet after a sleeve gastrectomy?

Initially, after the surgery, you will be on a liquid diet. This diet can include soups, shakes, and any other food you can drink with a straw. You will be on this food plan for the first two weeks after surgery. You can gradually transition to soft foods and a complete diet after your initial recovery. However, it is essential to remember that this operation, like other bariatric surgeries, is not a substitute for poor eating habits. The weight loss surgery can give you the ability to change your diet to a healthy one and ensure that it is sustainable.

When deciding whether a laparoscopic gastric sleeve is a suitable surgery for you, it is vital to see our surgeon and discuss the procedure, including preoperative and postoperative management, as well as the potential complications of the gastrectomy. You should be aware that weight loss occurs rapidly in the first six to twelve months. Sleeve gastrectomy also seems to have better patient compliance than a gastric band insertion, and the surgery is less complicated than having a gastric bypass.

Other Important Information You Should Know About Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery

Consider these answers to some other questions about gastric sleeve surgery.

How long does the surgery take?

The surgery typically takes between one and two hours. The duration will depend on unexpected complications, such as a hiatus hernia which our surgeon will repair during your surgery while you’re under general anaesthetic.

How long do I stay in the hospital?

Most gastric sleeve patients will have a hospital stay between one and three days. Your hospital stay depends on your case, medical risk factors, BMI, and postoperative recovery.

How successful is laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy in reducing my weight?

Patients generally lose a significant portion of their excess body weight following the sleeve gastrectomy. After the first year post gastrectomy, you may lose up to 70% of your excess weight. However, remember that this surgery is not a substitute for unhealthy food choices. Occasionally, a small portion of patients indulge in poor food choices and gain back some of the weight they lost within a couple of years of their surgery.

What You Can Expect From Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery is performed in a hospital under general anaesthetic.

Small keyhole incisions

Our surgeon will inform you of procedure details specific to your surgery case at your preoperative appointments. While some gastric sleeve procedures are performed with traditional open incisions, our keyhole surgery inserts instruments through small cuts in your upper abdomen. As you will be under general anaesthetic during your procedure, you won’t feel anything, and our surgical team will ensure you remain comfortable.

Removal of stomach portion

During your gastrectomy, our surgeon will first assess your stomach and divide your blood vessels on the lateral side. Next, the surgeon will place a bougie tube into your stomach as a guide for the amount of tissue to remove. Your stomach is then separated into two parts using a stapler, leaving you approximately 20-25% of the original volume.

After the procedure

Our recovery team will put you on a liquid diet after your surgery until you are ready to consume pureed food. You will need to take multivitamins and calcium supplements every day and have a B-12 injection once a month to ensure your body gets the nutrients it requires. You may experience some side effects such as aches, tiredness, feeling cold, dry skin, and mood changes as your body adjusts to your rapid weight loss.

Benefits of Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy for Weight Loss

After a sleeve gastrectomy, you may experience numerous other health benefits in addition to weight loss.

Remission of type two diabetes

Some bariatric surgery patients with type two diabetes can go into remission after a gastrectomy. In some cases, patients can maintain normal insulin levels for at least three years after surgery.

Improved cardiovascular health

Weight loss surgery can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke. Other cardiovascular benefits from losing excess weight can include reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Eliminate sleep apnoea

By losing weight through gastric surgery and obtaining a lower BMI, you may experience complete remission of sleep apnoea symptoms. This benefit can cause you to stop using a CPAP machine at night.

Additional benefits differ between individuals and can include easing depression, joint pain relief, improved fertility, and alleviating other medical conditions.

Why Trust Victorian Specialist Surgery & Weight Loss Centre With Sleeve Gastrectomy in Melbourne?

You can trust our dedicated and highly experienced team for a gastric sleeve procedure in Melbourne. Our team is led by skilled surgeon Mr. Niruben Rajasagaram who has extensive knowledge about advanced laparoendoscopic surgery and completed a four-year fellowship in bariatric, upper gastrointestinal and advanced biliary surgery. He is passionate about providing exceptional patient care, premium service, and keeping waiting times to a minimum. We prioritise new patient referrals with dedicated consultation appointments so you can be confident in getting the support you require.

We also have a skilled gastric surgery support team with a bariatric life coach and accredited practising dieticians to ensure you get the most value from this weight loss procedure. Our affordable elective surgery is suitable for insured and self-funding patients.

Contact us for more information about our gastric sleeve surgery or to discuss whether you are an ideal candidate for this weight-loss procedure.