Deciding between bariatric surgeries is difficult but exploring how these operations amplify weight loss can help navigate which laparoscopic procedure is best for you. Both the regular gastric sleeve and the mini gastric sleeve are mainstream surgical treatments that can lead to successful weight reduction.

The Mini Gastric Sleeve is literally a mini version of its predecessor Gastric Sleeve. They are similar in creating a restriction and decreasing hunger hormone which leads to fat loss. The mini-sleeve reduces the stomach volume by 40% versus 80% in the traditional gastric sleeve. Unlike the sleeve gastrectomy, the mini sleeve is reserved for patients with a BMI range in the 30’s who need a jump start in their weight loss journey.

Here we will cover critical elements of each procedure related to metabolic efficiency, weight loss expectations, candidacy requirements, and long-term success rates.

Mini Sleeve procedure

How Mini Sleeve Works

Similar to reinforced gastric sleeve, using single or multiple incision(s), a moderate portion of the stomach is cut and removed laparoscopically under anesthesia. The remaining stomach is then stapled and sutured to create a smaller pouch to decrease appetite and suppress hunger.

gastric sleeve

How Gastric Sleeve Works

In the gastric sleeve, also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), tiny incisions are made through the abdominal wall to remove and discard a generous portion of the stomach along its greater curvature. Gut hormones are dramatically disrupted due to the smaller banana-shaped pouch. Patients feel stuffed much quicker and food cravings gradually diminish. The body’s sensitivity to ghrelin, insulin and leptin hormones are restored.

Differences & Similarities

The mini-gastric sleeve is commonly referred to as a “loose sleeve” while the traditional gastric sleeve is known as a “tight sleeve”.

Key Mini-Sleeve Differences

  •  35-45% of stomach tissue extracted
  • Shorter surgery time
  • Faster recovery
  • 50% less tissue damage around the stomach???
  • Single-incision (SILS)

Key Sleeve Differences

  • 80-85% stomach removed
  • Lowest food intake
  • New stomach is a very slim banana-shaped sleeve
  • Stomach capacity is about 200 ml
  • Single-incision (SILS) candidate
  • More weight loss reported

Similarities

Mini and regular sleeve surgeries lead to weight loss with the same mechanism: restriction and hormonal changes. No major anatomy modifications in either procedure – pyloric valve remains intact and no rerouting of the intestine. Both operations utilize a bougie to guide the surgeon in gastric resection. However, different bougie sizes are based on surgeon preference.

Which procedure is best for me?

The mini sleeve is a great starting point for someone who wants to lose weight without severely affecting the stomach size and the body’s hormonal balance. It also gives the patient more freedom to choose a revisional procedure in case of weight loss stalls or plateaus. On the other hand, gastric sleeve surgery is a more determining option to lose weight and keep it off as a more significant percentage of the stomach is eliminated.

Mini gastric sleeve is more appropriate for people who are disciplined and keeping up with an active, healthy lifestyle.

Candidates best suited for

Mini Gastric Sleeve

Gastric Sleeve

  • Minimum BMI of 30+
  • Major obese related complications
  • Revision compatible with RNY bypass or duodenal switch

Mini Gastric Sleeve

Gastric Sleeve

MethodRestrictiveRestrictive
StomachRemove 30-40%
(1-2 oz.)
Remove 80-85%
(2-3 oz.)
AnatomyNo ChangeNo Change
Duration30 min45 min
Hospital1 to 2 days1 to 2 days
Time Off5 – 10 days1 to 2 weeks
Recovery2 – 3 weeks3 – 4 weeks
AdvantageSimpler
Low Risk
Common
Low Risk
More %EWL
FDA approved
DisadvantageNewer
Non-FDA approved
Less %EWL
Hair loss
Hormonal imbalance
Increases GERD/reflux
Weight Loss20 – 40% EWL60 – 75% EWL
Post-Op3 to 5 Meals/Day
800-1200 Cal
High-Protein
3 to 5 Meals/Day
800-1200 Cal
High-Protein
CandidacyBMI of 28+
“1st” Procedure
BMI of 30+
“1st” Procedure

(%EWL) = % Excess Weight Loss

Summary

Whether you need to drop a few pounds or have substantial excess weight to lose, both mini sleeve and gastric sleeve are proper tools to help transform your life with a healthy diet and exercise routine. VSG provides more sustained excess weight loss, whereas Mini VSG will have a quicker recovery time over with less anticipated excess weight loss.

Both procedures can be easily revised to other more aggressive procedures like RNY bypass. However, there is a chance of resleeving the gastric mini sleeve revision laparoscopically or endoscopically.