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Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy or vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), is a bariatric surgery that can help people find successful long-term weight loss. Struggling to lose weight on your own is nothing to be ashamed of—at Northwest Weight & Wellness Center (NWWC), our board-certified bariatric surgeons understand that weight loss surgery is a tool to help patients create a healthier, happier life. We focus on providing comprehensive, high-quality care for patients from Seattle, the greater Pacific Northwest and beyond at our Everett, Washington clinic.

What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery and How Does it Work?

Gastric sleeve surgery reduces the size of the stomach to about the shape and size of a banana. This reduction has a two-fold impact on your eating habits. First, this limits the capacity of our stomach so you can feel full with a smaller amount of food. Second, the portion of the stomach removed during surgery produces the hunger hormone ghrelin. By removing this section of the stomach, your metabolic function is improved and hunger is greatly reduced, minimizing the frequency and cravings for food.

Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

For patients who are good candidates for gastric sleeve surgery, potential benefits include:1

  • A sustainable approach that helps end the cycle of yo-yo dieting
  • Encourages portion-control and leaves you satisfied with less food
  • Reduces production of ghrelin which is “the hunger hormone”
  • Improves obesity-related medical conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and joint pain
  • No rerouting of intestines or implanted medical devices
  • Laparoscopic technique is minimally invasive

Am I a Good Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?

If diet and exercise have not produced sustainable weight loss, bariatric surgery may be a solution. Ideal candidates for gastric sleeve surgery are committed to making lifestyle changes and have a body mass index (BMI) higher than 40 or a BMI of 35 or more along with obesity-related health conditions. 2

What to Expect From Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Each patient is unique and your treatment plan will be customized to meet your individual needs. Our team of doctors and weight loss experts will be there to support you on every step of your journey.

Preparing for Gastric Sleeve

The best way to determine if gastric sleeve surgery is right for you is to schedule a consultation appointment. Your gastric sleeve consultation is your opportunity to learn more about your options and get answers to any questions. We will review your medical history and if gastric sleeve seems like a good option for you, we’ll go over pre-surgical details such as dietary changes you’ll need to make prior to surgery. All patients must stop smoking in the weeks leading up to surgery.

Your Gastric Sleeve Surgery

We perform gastric sleeve procedures at Sound Surgeons, which is our specialized and fully accredited surgical center. Gastric sleeve is typically an outpatient surgical procedure performed with general anesthesia. Your surgeon will remove part of the stomach and create a new, smaller stomach. Our surgeons are specially trained and highly experienced in laparoscopic techniques. This approach is less invasive as surgery is performed with long, skinny surgical instruments through very small incisions. Laparoscopic surgery offers a shorter and less painful recovery.3

Recovery After Gastric Sleeve

You will be restricted from strenuous activity for several weeks after your sleeve procedure, but you’ll be able to resume many activities within a few days. You will receive guidance from your surgeon and our dietitian on your post-procedure diet. Patients are typically advised to follow a liquid diet for several days, followed by a diet of soft foods or pureed foods for several weeks.

Gastric Sleeve Results

Every individual patient will have unique results, but many gastric sleeve patients lose up to 70% of excess body weight.4 Your health and success will depend on your commitment to lifestyle changes, which our team will support you with. Our patients report feeling healthier, more active, and more confident. Read success stories from NWCC patients.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gastric Sleeve

How do I know which weight loss procedure is right for me?

We offer a variety of bariatric surgery procedures including gastric banding and gastric bypass, and we will recommend which procedure is best for you based on your medical history and your goals.

Will insurance cover bariatric surgery?

Many insurance plans do cover bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve procedures. We can help you navigate your insurance plan to determine what coverage may be available. We can also explain your self-pay options if you do not have insurance coverage or if you’d like to avoid the prerequisites that some insurance companies require. Contact our insurance verification team to learn more.

What are the risks of gastric sleeve surgery?

Any surgical procedure carries some risk of complications or side effects, such as infection or bleeding. The risks of gastric sleeve are comparatively low and you can minimize your risks by choosing a qualified surgeon and following all pre and post- surgical guidelines.

Why should I choose Northwest Weight & Wellness Center?

At NWWC, our team prioritizes your health and we give you the support you need to succeed. Our bariatric surgeons, Dr. Robert Michaelson and Dr. Devorah Chock, are board-certified and their skill has been recognized with several awards and honors.

Do you accept traveling patients?

Yes, we recognize that high-quality, patient-centered bariatric care is not available in many regions and we are happy to accommodate patients who choose to travel to see us. We have served patients from other states and countries, including Montana, Alaska, Idaho, and Canada. If you are considering traveling for gastric sleeve surgery, our team can give you the support you need for a successful trip and subsequent weight loss journey.

Contact Us

Are you ready to take control of your health? We are ready to help. Contact us to schedule your consultation appointment and learn more about gastric sleeve surgery can help you reach your goals.

1 American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Bariatric Surgery Procedures. Available: Accessed April 25, 2022.
2 National Institutes of Health. Potential Candidates for Weight-loss Surgery. Available: Accessed April 25, 2022.
3 Mayo Clinic. Bariatric Surgery. Available: Accessed April 25, 2022.
4 Hoyuela C. Five-year outcomes of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy as a primary procedure for morbid obesity: A prospective study. World J Gastrointest Surg. 2017;9(4):109-117. doi:10.4240/wjgs.v9.i4.109

Being in my mid-50s, change is not something I undertake casually. I had LAP-BAND® surgery with Dr. Michaelson in 2011 because I knew it was time to prioritize my health. My insurance covered the procedure, and I was able to lose 50 pounds in the first eight months. Unfortunately, by 2017, I had gained back all of the weight, plus some. I was still determined to win my lifelong battle with obesity and returned to Dr. Michaelson for a second procedure. This time I had a gastric sleeve revision, which I paid for out of pocket, so you know I believe in my surgeon! To date, I have lost 64 pounds, and I am continuing to slowly lose.

The revision was by far the best decision I have ever made for myself. I feel absolutely amazing! I traveled from Alaska for surgery on a Tuesday and flew home on Friday.
I was back at work on Monday with no issues at all. I’m loving life post-revision!

Robin M.
Wasilla, AK