top of page

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Pre-operative Gastric Sleeve Preparation After an initial evaluation with a multi-disciplinary team. You will be asked to follow a low-calorie liquid diet for two to four weeks. The diet is set to achieve a reduction in your liver size, it also achieves a small amount of weight loss, and it gives the individual the opportunity to demonstrate the ability and motivation to tolerate a liquid diet which is initially required post operatively. Support Prior to Gastric Sleeve Surgery Discuss the surgery with your family and friends, you want to be supported post operatively with your changes in diet and the changes will be more successful if family are behind you. In an ideal world it would be great if someone was around at home to support you in your first week post-surgery. Plan, after discussion with your dietician on what foods you need to prepare or buy. Think about soups and soft foods you like. Have a blender at hand for the first few weeks. Make sure you buy in some chewable multi vitamins. Finally start thinking about ways to achieve and build up on some exercise. It is also a time to think about your relationship with food and how to develop new habits, this is something you can discuss with your psychologist.

Gastric Sleeve - The Day of Surgery

The Day of your Gastric Sleeve Surgery Two to three weeks before your surgery you will need some basic blood test. Once you arrive at hospital you will be seen by Mr Whitelaw and the anaesthetist. A Gastric Sleeve Procedure takes around an hour to perform. The surgery is completed with five invisible dissolvable sutures and surgical glue is placed over the top of the incision, closed with sutures. This means you can shower or take a bath from day one post operatively. Immediately after Gastric Sleeve Surgery you will spend time in the recovery area of the operating department where you will begin to wake up from the anaesthetic and your blood pressure and pulse will be monitored. From there you will return to the ward and will have an analgesic patch, probably on your shoulder, an intravenous fluid infusion (drip) to make sure you are hydrated and given supplemental oxygen to your nose for the first six to twelve hours. You will be encouraged to sip water, tea, or coffee once you have completely woken up. Once you have returned to the ward and you have been seen by Mr Whitelaw you will be encouraged to drink fluids. It is important at the beginning to take things slowly and only take a small volume as you will now have significant gastric restriction. You will also be encouraged to get up and move around as soon as possible, this will also help alleviate any shoulder pain if you have it. It really is important to mobilse gently as soon as you can after surgery as it gets your bodys circulation going and reduces the chances of post operative complications such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and chest infection. If everything is okay, you will be discharged home the next day.

Gastric Sleeve - What to expect after Surgery

Weeks One to Two after Gastric Sleeve Surgery The return to eating a normal diet is slow and takes patience and perseverance. The main things to remember are to take things slowly, eat and drink at different intervals to allow space in your new stomach for both. Chew all your food properly. During the first couple of weeks you should keep to a liquid diet, slowly introduce, small amounts of pureed food at the beginning of week two. If you can tolerate this keep slowly building up your intake. Make sure you take your multivitamins and follow the dietetic advice you have received. At the end of week one if you are feeling ok you can return to work. You should be able to return to work by the end of week two. You can drive as soon as you feel you are able to do a simulated emergency stop without it being uncomfortable or sore. Weeks Three to Five after Gastric Sleeve Surgery By now you should be well on your way to post operative recovery, you should be eating a soft pureed diet aiming to achieve four small meals a day. Continue to eat small mouthfuls, eat slowly and chew properly. Always stop eating once you feel full, drink fluids at timely intervals before and after meals. You should also start to increase your exercise. Nothing too strenuous walking is a great place to start and build upon. Slowly increase from pureed foods to soft foods. Weeks Five to Eight after Gastric Sleeve Surgery Continue to build up on your soft food choices, you should be able to start introducing normal foods during week five. Talk to your dietician about foods to avoid such as white dry bread, undercooked or tough meat, stodgy under cooked pasta and rice. The amount you can eat post Gastric Sleeve Surgery will slowly increase. Portion size is important so always stop eating once you feel full. The Gastric Sleeve Surgery will enable you to lose weight, but you still must put the work in regarding the calories you consume. Continue to take a multi-vitamin tablet daily and continue to build on the exercise. Aim for a brisk thirty-minute daily walk if you can and some gently resistance training such as pilates or yoga two or three times a week. There are lots of free online classes now if you can tolerate a few adverts and three, ten-minute sessions a week are better than none. Possibly think about investing in some 0.5 Kg or 1 Kg dumbells and research a gently ten minute resistance work out. Exercise will also benefit your general health, mood, and well-being.

Gastric Sleeve - Onward Support

Onward Support after Gastric Sleeve Surgery After Gastric Sleeve Surgery you may experience a period of post-surgery blues, you have had major life changing surgery, that affects your relationship with food and eating behaviour. Sometimes this period of readjustment can be more difficult for individuals than others. Everyone’s experience is different. The Cobham Clinic and Mr Whitelaw follow NICE guidelines where you will be given strict post operative follow up. You will be expected to attend follow up appointment at four weeks, six and twelve months and annually thereafter. These are to check on your well-being and medical health. This appointment if all being well can be arranged virtually with Mr Whitelaw. If you are having any nutritional issues you may have to attend a clinic or see your GP to get bloods taken. While you will be followed up at The Cobham Clinic in Luton or Spire Healthcare it is also important that you take time to join either a local weight loss support group or alternatively social media has lots of weight loss, bariatric support groups online where you can share your experiences if you fell comfortable. It will be a place where you can share your experience as you begin to lose weight.

Risks of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Risks Associated with Gastric Sleeve Surgery All surgery where you undergo a general anaesthetic carrys a certain amount of risk and these include, rare respiratory or cardiac complications, deep vein thrombosis or DVT, a clot in the lower leg, pulmonary embolism or PE, a clot in the lung, chest, wound and/or urinary tract infection. Risks associated specifically with Gastric Sleeve Surgery include a less than 0.1% of death, bleeding or leakage from the staple line, ulceration, or stricture of the stomach. Shoulder pain which should subside within twelve hours due to the laparoscopic surgery. Long Term Risks Associated with Gastric Sleeve Surgery can include, severe heart burn or acid reflux, this can occur in about ten-fifteen percent of Gastric Sleeve patients, which can resolve itself over time but often requires medication to reduce the acid. In very severe cases of reflux following a sleeve gastrectomy conversion to a gastric bypass may be required to resolve the reflux. Other long term risks include vitamin, mineral, protein and energy deficiency, dumping syndrome and weight regain discussed in more detail in the gastric sleeve section. There is also an increased risk of gallstones.

Gastric Sleeve Prices


The first initial appointment at The Cobham Clinic will be charged at £150.00, this is fully refundable if you decide to go ahead with Surgery and will be deducted from your final bill. The next payment at the Cobham Clinic will be for £785.00 and this will be just before your appointment with the multidisciplinary team. The final balance will be due just before your final pre operative assessment. The Cobham Clinic does not ask for one large upfront payment giving you space and time to review your decision and ensure it is the right one for you. ​ After an initial appointment with Mr Whitelaw you will be given an assessment prior to surgery. The assessment follows the National Institute of Excellence (NICE) guidelines and consists of a multidisciplinary team approach including dietician, specialist nurse, psychologist (at The Cobham Clinic only) and anaesthetist. The assessment reflects his NHS practice at The Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, Luton, which is one of the largest Bariatric Centres in the UK. The assessment allow you to discuss your care and expectations with each member of the team. ​​


Mr Whitelaw holds weekly in person clinics on a Thursday evening at Spire Bushey from 6pm, Friday evening at The Cobham Clinic from 5pm. Additionally he holds virtual clinics on Monday evening from 6pm and Wednesday evening from 7pm. We welcome individuals from all of the Home Counties and the UK. Please either pop over to the appointment page here or call 07715 346331 to arrange a virtual apt.

bottom of page