Sleeve Gastrectomy

The Ultimate Guide to Sleeve Gastrectomy

Last fact-checked: 23 November 2020

Looking for affordable surgical weight-loss options, such as a sleeve gastrectomy? If you set your sights abroad, it's possible to save over ten thousand dollars on what is one of the most popular and effective types of bariatric surgery.

Also known as a gastric sleeve, you can undergo this procedure at one of our listed specialist centers around the world—with countries to choose from including Mexico, Thailand, Turkey and Spain. 

Find experienced, highly-qualified surgeons who can help turn your life around with this brief Medical Departures guide to sleeve gastrectomy. 

Am I Suitable for a Sleeve Gastrectomy Abroad?

Generally, if your weight is causing other health problems, you have a BMI (body mass index) of more than 40 and you have not been able to lose it by diet and exercise, you may be suitable for a sleeve gastrectomy.

It is worth remembering that the procedure is irreversible, and you will need to rethink your lifestyle to lose and keep the weight off. Your surgeon will discuss everything in greater detail, but you should consider all the pros and cons very carefully before you decide to go ahead.

For a gastric sleeve abroad, you will want to take into consideration air travel (unless you are driving over the border to one of our clinics in Mexico) and any associated problems that may entail due to your weight.

What Is Involved in a Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure?

Sleeve gastrectomy surgery typically takes between one and two hours to perform. The procedure can be carried out using a general anesthetic via keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery.

The laparoscope consists of a tiny camera that is inserted through a small incision and allows the surgeon to see inside your body on a monitor. Other surgical instruments are similarly inserted through small incisions–with up to five made across your abdomen; the surgery and removal of up to 75% of your stomach are performed through these.

The remaining 25% of your stomach is formed into a tube-like structure and stapled together before the incisions are closed to complete the procedure. 

After surgery, your stomach will be so much smaller that you simply won’t be able to eat as much (and you won't have the same appetite); this is essentially how this procedure works in making patients lose weight, often quickly

What Is the Recovery Time for a Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Your digestive system will need time to heal after the surgery, and so you will not be permitted to eat for a couple of days. You will then start slowly, on liquids, then onto soft or pureed food before introducing solid food. You will have to stay in the hospital for one or two days and you will be given dietary advice and information about additional vitamin supplements that you may need.

Obviously, you will need to take things slowly during the weeks following surgery. You may not feel up to much anyway as the complete change for your body could well result in fatigue and you feeling generally out-of-sorts. However, you will be encouraged to start your exercise regime after around a month, and you should then start to feel much better and have a lot more energy.

Your doctors will advise you to take part in a weight loss program and special diets, to ensure the weight stays off.

Always consult your surgeon abroad as to when you will be able to fly home after surgery as this can depend on a number of factors. 

How Much Does a Sleeve Gastrectomy Cost Abroad? How Much Can I Save?

This really depends on where you go. As an example, a gastric sleeve in the United States costs an average of $19,000—compared to just $8,000 at one of our clinics in Mexico. In Thailand, the price of a sleeve gastrectomy is around $7,000. 

These savings of more than $10,000 can justify traveling abroad and spending some time away from the distractions of home as you recover from this life-changing weight loss surgery.

Please note: these prices are approximate estimates based on international data, calculated at the time of writing. Check below to see some of the latest prices on offer at these three top clinics for your gastric sleeve:


How Do I Book with Medical Departures?

To see updated prices, as well as photos, surgeon profiles, patient reviews and location maps, check out our global listings for gastric sleeve surgery.

You can book directly through our site or, to get a personalized quote for your treatment, get in touch with the Medical Departures Customer Care Team today. 


Anglis, Jaclyn. 20 Inspiring Gastric Bypass Before-and-After Transformations. First for Women. 12 June 2019.

What Is Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery? WebMD. 25 December 2018.

Vitamin and mineral supplements after weight loss surgery. NHS. PDF accessed: 23 November 2020