One of the most misunderstood topics relating to gastric sleeve is stomach size after surgery.
The size of the stomach after gastric sleeve surgery is pretty consistent, although it can vary from patient to patient.
As surgeon expertise continues to improve, gastric sleeve surgery is quickly becoming the most chosen and successful weight loss surgery around today.
The stomach size for gastric bypass patients is roughly ~1 ounce, while the gastric sleeve patients can expect their stomach size at ~2 to ~3 ounces.1
But what factors impact stomach size?
What Impacts Stomach Size?
The stomach size is important to determine the amount of food you can eat at any given time. This is critical to understand portion control and the importance of every single calorie you eat to the most nutrient-rich foods.
With the same surgeon using the same bougie size on different patients, the end result will always be slightly different because of patients original stomach size.
There are 3 main factors that determine the stomach size immediately after gastric sleeve surgery.
- Stomach Size Before Surgery
- Bougie Size (Calibration Tube)
- Surgeon Cut Line (Loose or Tight)
Can You Stretch Your Stomach After Gastric Sleeve?
Weight gain, plateaus, and stalls can become a problem that nearly all gastric sleeve patient’s face at one point or another. This is why it’s so important to make healthy lifestyle choices and maintain them for the rest of your life.
The stomach won’t stretch without a legitimate reason. If patients eat to a point of being completely full multiple times a day, the stomach will stretch slightly and portion sizes will slowly increase.2
If you notice portion sizes increasing beyond what they should, you should speak with your primary care physician or nutritionist/dietician to get back on track.
Normal Stomach Size vs Morbidly Obese Stomach Size?
- The average stomach size is 31 ounces (.94 liters)3
- According to studies, the stomach size between morbidly obese and regular stomachs have no significant differences (based on stomach weight and volume).4
How Much Stomach is Removed in Gastric Sleeve?
Roughly 80-85% of the stomach is removed, meaning it can hold only on average of 2 to 3 ounces of volume. This means that it takes the smallest amounts of food to feel full while eating food less often.
The stomach does stretch after gastric sleeve surgery, but usually slightly varies depending on portions.
What’s Your Bougie Size?
Bougie (pronounced boo-jee) is a guide for the surgeon to divide the stomach. Bougie size influences the size of the sleeve and comes in different calibers ranging from 32FR to 50FR. FR, called French, is the unit of measurement equal to 1/3 mm, for example, a 40FR bougie measures about 13.32mm or 1/2 inch.
Bougies do not always create the same stomach size as the finished sleeve size depends on how close the stapler gets to the bougie and whether the surgeon sutures the staple line (inverted sleeve).
There is no standard for an ideal bougie size and it varies from surgeon to surgeon and depends on the amount of weight loss. A smaller bougie results in a smaller sleeve and a greater restriction and a greater risk of leak and stricture rate. On the contrary, a larger bougie size results in a larger sleeve, safer operation and not enough weight loss.5