Gastric Sleeve (VSG)

To learn more about gastric sleeve and other surgical options, click on “Meet Dr. Curry Online”!

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Gastric Sleeve/Sleeve Gastrectomy/(VSG)

There are a couple of different names to describe this operation–vertical gastrectomy, sleeve gastrectomy, or vertical sleeve gastrecomy (VSG)–these are all describing the same type of surgery, which is a newer procedure being performed for weight loss. It is done with the laparoscopic technique, similar to the LAP BAND and Lap Gastric bypass. It involves removing the portion of the stomach that functions mainly as a storage receptacle for food to make it much smaller, so it doesn’t take much food to make you feel full. This is similar in concept to the LAP BAND System. Most studies show that the weight loss with a sleeve is slightly less than with a gastric bypass but slightly more than with a LAP BAND. Also many studies show up to an 80% remission rate for Type II diabetes!


There are some advantages and disadvantages to this procedure:

Advantages of the vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG):

  • Since there is no mechanical device, there are fewer food intolerances with vertical sleeve than with LAP BAND or REALIZE BAND.
  • Weight loss is much faster with sleeve than with LAP BAND or REALIZE BAND.
  • Removal of the portion of stomach that secretes the hormone ghrelin can result in better hunger control than with LAP BAND.
  • There is no implantable device, so things like slips and erosions aren’t a concern down the road with the vertical sleeve gastrectomy.
  • The risk is lower risk than with gastric bypass, yet the weight loss is similar.
  • Since there is no device to adjust, the follow-up regimen not as intense as for LAP-BAND or REALIZE BAND.
  • If weight regain occurs it can easily be converted to bypass which will likely lead to additional weight loss.

Disadvantages of the vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG):

  • Since this is a newer procedure it is less time-tested.
  • Unlike LAP BAND or REALIZE BAND, it is non-adjustable.
  • Unlike LAP BAND or REALIZE BAND, it is non-reversible.
  • The risk is slightly higher than with LAP BAND or REALIZE BAND.

Operation Details:

  • The surgery usually takes us less than an hour to perform and it is done with five tiny incisions that add up altogether to about 2.5 total inches.
  • Many patients are able to go home the day of surgery!
  • Diet is advanced slowly, starting with clear liquids and ending at soft solid foods by week four.
  • Most patients will lose about 60-70% of their excess body weight in a year.
  • At $14,900 including 1 full year of post op office care, we have one of the most competitive prices for self pay sleeve patients in the region.
  • We have performed more laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomies (over 2500) than any other practice in Cincinnati!

The sleeve gastrectomy is also a good revision procedure for band patients who have had either failed weight loss or had to have their band removed. We have performed this procedure for patients from all over the country and have had excellent results.

If you are a self-pay patient and want info on pricing and financing for sleeve gastrectomy, click here!

Click on “Meet Dr. Curry Online” to learn more about gastric sleeve and other surgical options, or fill our the appointment request form below!

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96 thoughts on “Gastric Sleeve (VSG)

    1. Wow! Congratulations! You just did mine a month ago and I couldn’t be more pleased. What a great procedure. You and your staff do a terrific job. Thank you.

    2. Good evening. I had sleeve surgery 3yrs ago in Aug. In the past 3 to 4 month months I have been out of control eating. I was down at one time 115 lbs but now I’m only down 90 lbs. I’m so up set with myself. Would I be able to meet with someone about getting back on track?


      1. Absolutely Holly, we have many programs to help patients get back on track! Just call the office at 513-559-1222 option 2 and someone can discuss your options.

        Dr. C

    3. Hey Dr. Curry,

      You did my GSV almost 3 years ago. Honestly, it is the best decision I have ever made! I’ve lost 100-105 lbs ( I fluxuate) and went from a size 20 to a size 6/8. I feel like a new person. I just ordered the 7 day protein diet to detox from carbs due to I have gotten away from my healthy eating plan. Thanks for all you and your team does!

      1. Thanks Bessie, we appreciate all your hard work to achieve such a great outcome!

        I’d really appreciate it if you would do a testimonial for us – I’ll send you a link.


      1. Hi Jennifer,
        The staples do not dissolve, they are made out of titanium. But they don’t cause any harm being there!

        Dr. Curry

  1. I have tried different kinds of weight loss things I need this surgery to improve my life I want to see my grandkids grow up.

  2. I’ve tried to do this through another clinic, my insurance company does not cover anything bariaratric….is this something you could fight anyway to get the sleeve done?

    1. Typically if you don’t have coverage for surgical weight loss, no amount of fighting or appealing will make a difference unfortunately.

    2. Hi Jen!

      So I finally bit the bullet and just did self-pay, because my health insurance wouldn’t cover it either.

      Journey Lite was the most affordable that I could find in my area (Cincinnati).

      Insurance did cover the psychologist and blood work. Also, 6 days after surgery I was in so much pain that I ended up being admitted to the hospital. My insurance also covered that.

      The rest I put on care credit, which has 18 month plan with no interest. (Already paid off the surgery!)

      This is the best decision I’ve made and well worth the money!!! My sleep apnea is almost completely gone, I’m off almost all of my medication, and I’ve gone from a size 18 to a 10 in 4 months since my surgery!!

  3. I would love to share a before and after picture for you to share on here! (I can email it to you!)

    Dr. Curry did my surgery on 8/13/15. On surgery day I was 214.2 lbs (beginning of summer I was 222 lbs). I was also a size 18.

    In these short 4 1/2 months I am down to 153 lbs and a size 10!! I can’t believe I have already lost 76.6% of my excessive weight!!!

    I really appreciate everything you have done for me!

    Jenna O.

    1. How tall are you Jenna? And what are the prerequisites for being able to have the sleeve done Dr. Curry? I am 5’5, 190 lbs, 48 years old and have struggled with my weight ALL my life. This procedure sure sounds appealing to me!!

  4. Hi Dr. Curry, I was just wondering if the price for the sleeve is the same if it is a revision? I currently have the band but wanting to get a revision to the sleeve and it would be self pay because of the BMI requirements. Do you know what the price of a revision from band to sleeve would be? Thanks!

      1. I guess I should ask on your reply….do you typically do revisions from band to sleeve within the same surgery or so you remove the band, wait, and then perform the sleeve? Do you do revisions often?

        1. We do a lot of revisions, about 90% of the time we can accomplish a band to sleeve in the same procedure, but 10% of the time there is too much scar tissue and it has to bea staged procedure with band removal first then sleeve 3 months later.

    1. Hi Sheila,
      To be re-sleeved the pouch has to be really stretched, like double or triple in size. Otherwise the best surgical option would be conversion to a gastric bypass.

      Dr. Curry

  5. My insurance covers gastric bypass surgery but I would like to know how long does it take to actually get the surgery done

    1. Length of time to surgery is typically determined by your specific insurance requirements. Usually it’s a couple of months, unless insurance requires a 6 month supervised diet.

      Dr. C

  6. I had the RNY back in 2003. I lost 175 pounds in a little over a year. I am now able to eat about the same amount I could before surgery. I am now back up to within 60 pounds of where I was before surgery and miserable. What options do I have for a revision?

    1. For RNY patients the only procedure we offer is the Overstitch, which is an endoscopic approach to reduce the pouch and outlet. The main disadvantage is that it is not covered by insurance. If you call 513-259-2555 option 1, someone can talk you through your options.

      Dr. C

  7. I am curious as to how long someone has to be off work after having VSG? I have a desk job that does not require lifting.

  8. I just want to say you video was amazing and very informative.
    I am looking into having this procedure done and feel so much more at ease after watching this.
    You made it look so easy.
    I’m curious as to how many pounds of fat did you cut off and is it removed from the body?
    I do have to admit I started feeling a little nauseated at the end of the video, however I did just eat ham with horseradish.
    thank you

    1. Thanks Joyce! We aren’t actually removing any fat, just disconnecting it so that we can remove the part of the stomach at the end.

  9. Can a person with PKU have the sleeve and not have other potentially dangerous risks on organ failures due to having to follow such a high protein diet? I can’t seem to find any metabolic dietitians that have this answer. I have been looking for some kind of answer for over a year.. My pcp can not find the answer either..

    1. I think we can work with modifying both the pre-op and post-op diets for a PKU patient. We are shooting for 60-80 grams of protein a day for most patients, which not anything radical.

      Dr. C

      1. Hi. I am a PKU patient as well and have been researching whether any PKU patient has had the VSG. I have found absolutely no information on it anywhere. I am also on a low protein diet (20 g. “regular” protein/day – 40 g. “modified” proteins in my medication). Unfortunately, I live in New Mexico and if I read correctly, you are located in Ohio right? So, I’m sure my insurance wouldn’t cover out of state. Do you know of any PKU patients having this procedure done? I am 275 lbs. and really want to get this taken care of, but honestly I’m a bit scared of what kind of complications and problems could arise because of my PKU restrictions after surgery. I don’t want things to be worse. Do you have any advice/suggestions?

        1. If my memory serves me correctly we have done bariatric surgery on one patient with PKU and it was about 10 years ago. No issues that I recall. I would recommend seeking out a local academic center at a University where they would be more likely to be familiar with your disease process.

          Dr. Curry

  10. I am wanting the sleeve done I am 400 pounds have type two diabetes and high blood pressure and my Insurance will not cove it dose your office offer a payment plan on self pay or is payment required in full before the surgery

  11. My employer currently covers weight loss options (surgical and non surgical). This will change staring Jan. 1, 2016. I am not currently a pt. Would there be anyway to have the surgery before the end of the year?

    1. Many insurance companies have a 3 or 6 months supervised diet requirement prior to approval. If yours doesn’t, then it may be possible but it’d be tight for sure.

      Dr. Curry

  12. Hi Dr. Curry,
    I have struggled with my weight all my life; since I was 6th grade. The most I have weighed was 420lbs. I’m 5’10”. I exercised, ate healthy and got my weight down to 379. Now I’m fluctuating between 379-390. I’m stuck. I think surgery will help me so much. In the workforce it’s embarrassing to get the looks or hear the mumbles. I’m desperate.

    1. Sounds like we can help! Just watch the online seminar under “Meet Dr. Curry Online” that’s the first step.

      Dr. C

  13. I have a 44BMI, IBS and diverticulitis. Are the sleeve or bypass possible for someone with these conditions?

    I also have United Health Care insurance, and am hoping my insurance will cover, but would appreciate any info on this.

    Thank you!

    1. Yes a sleeve most likely would be best option. Insurance coverage depends on employer not on insurance company, so we would need to do some invesetigation. Give a call tomorrow to 513-259-2555 and they can help you!

      Dr. Curry

  14. Can u do the sleeve w EDS / connective tissue disorder? Can staples be supplemented w stitches or can something else be used??? – staples in head were used they leak/ infection– they no longer use and they now said multiple stitches and small — I also had drains in last surgery which helped w opening. 2. Do u know if u can have endoscope into small bowel w this??? Spouse had bowel obstructions due to as and meds and they may still want access to clear. (Its been 3 yrs but who knows)

    1. I would not recommend sleeve, RNY, or SIPS w/ EDS as the staple line leak rate may be higher. Lap Band could be a possibility.

      Dr. C

    1. Hi Dee a gastric sleeve at JourneyLite is $14,900. It includes surgery, anesthesia, and a year of office follow up visits.

      Dr. Curry

  15. Hi I’m very interested in self-pay for the sleeve. Does the price have to be paid in full before I can start the process of getting surgery? Or is it just required to be paid before surgery date? thanks.

    1. Hi there,
      Everything has to be paid within 14 days prior to surgery, not to get the process started. Call 513-259-2555 and one of my patient service representatives can take you through the process and help you get started!

      Dr. C

  16. How do I find out if my insurance will cover my surgery? I have Anthem BlueCross Blueshield, Ohio Carpenters Fringe Benefits Funds and I also have MedBen QCP Muskingum County Employees

    1. Hi Tammy – our patient service representatives can help you, just call 513-259-2555.

      Dr. Trace Curry
      Medical Director
      JourneyLite Physicians

  17. Hello. I have been doin alot of research and have no insurance and prefer not to go to mexico. Can you email me info on self pay and payment arrangements. I prefer columbus office as well its somewhat closer

    1. Hi Mandy I would call 513-259-2555 and speak to Marcy or one of the other patient service reps. They can talk you through all the options.

      Dr. Trace Curry
      Medical Director
      JourneyLite Physicians

  18. I am interested in the sleeve and would be doing self pay but I am out of state. Do you handle out of state patients?

    1. Yes we frequently do Ronda. Just call 513-259-2555 and tell them you’re interested in being an “express patient.”

      Dr. Trace Curry
      Medical Director
      JourneyLite Physicians

  19. I am 5 days post op and so far I have only great things to say about my experience. I appreciate the care I have received!

  20. I had my surgery (sleeve) October of 2016, and at my peak I was 211 pounds, size18-20 (I am 5’2). As of today, I am down to my goal weight of 149 pounds size 8. The surgery was the BEST thing I could have done for myself. I feel much better, healthier, and just overall more confident in myself. I would recommend Dr. Curry to anyone.

    1. We plan on offering this in the coming months, it is not covered by Medicare.

      Dr. Trace Curry
      Medical Director
      JourneyLite Physicians

  21. In 2008 I got the band surgery through another program, did amazing, changed my entire lifestyle, hit my goal weight in no time and maintained it for 3 1/2 years! Then I had complications, the weight slowly crept back, and ended up having emergency removal surgery. Since then, I have had additional stomach procedures to “fix” damage from the band. Im now back at my original presurgery weight, anx would love to get the sleeve, is that even an option at this point?

    1. It’s quite possible that a sleeve could be done in a situation like this, but we would have to review all the records and possibly do some testing before we could speculate.

      Dr. Trace Curry
      Medical Director
      JourneyLite Physicians

  22. Dr Curry, I had the gastric balloons and did really well. I still have 15 pounds to lose. I had the ballons removed in June and still have 15-20 pounds to lose. The doctor that place the balloons said he could do the sleeve procedure. My BMI is 25, is the sleeve successful with a lower BMI? Is there a risk with that low of a BMI?

    1. Lower BMI sleeve patients typically do have better results, but I don’t think any would do a sleeve on a patient with a BMI of 25. That’s considered a normal BMI!

      Dr. Trace Curry
      Medical Director
      JourneyLite Physicians

  23. Hi Dr curry I came to a consultation a while ago. My insurance did not cover it. I now have a new job and insurance that does and would like to start the process again.

    1. Give a call to our patient service reps at 513-259-2555 and they can help you.

      Dr. Trace Curry
      Medical Director
      JourneyLite Physicians

    1. You can use any financing source you’d like, we just chose them because they had an easy web integration for our site.

      Dr. Trace Curry
      Medical Director
      JourneyLite Physicians

  24. Hi, Dr. Curry. I’m a lap band patient of yours and, as I recall, you banded me in 2005. I moved to Texas last month, and am looking for a good follow-up care practice in the Ft. Worth area. In particular, I’m investigating going from the lap band to a sleeve. Do you recommend that I come back to Cincinnati to have that procedure done at your facility, or can you recommend someone in the Ft. Worth area for me to go to? I will be self-pay, as my insurance doesn’t cover any WLS — not even lap band fills. Is Mexico a safe alternative to a doctor state-side? Thanks a million. I tell everyone I know about you. You’re the best!

    1. Dr. Adam Smith is in Ft. Worth, he is awesome. I would not reommend going to Mexico, especially for a band to sleeve as the leak rate is higher, and you could have issues finding someone to take care of you in the US if you have any issues. Good to hear from you!

      Dr. Trace Curry
      Medical Director
      JourneyLite Physicians

  25. Hi Dr.Curry
    I will be having gastric sleeve surgery soon and have a question.How soon after surgery is it ok for me to resume my OTC vitamins glucosamine and CLA- should I switch to the chewable form or continue the tablet version?

    1. We recommend only sublingual B12 for the first 4 weeks after surgery, then start resuming other vitamins (that are chewable only) for the first 3 months.

      Dr. Trace Curry
      Medical Director
      JourneyLite Physicians

  26. Hello,
    I’m interested in getting the sleeve done. I was wondering what are your payment option, how do the payments work, and what is the full price of everything? My insurance does not cover anything for weight loss. So I would be paying out of pocket. Any help would be great. Thank you.

    1. Hi there, we don’t directly finance any of these procedures, but we do have a working relationship with several medical finance companies. You can actually apply through Prosper right on our site here.

      Dr. Trace Curry
      Medical Director
      JourneyLite Physicians

  27. You did a lap band on me around 2008 or 09. I lost 65 pounds, have kept 35 off. I don’t even have the band filled at present. I am 226 now. I am self pay and would like to do the sleeve. If self pay how many appointments would I have to have before gettimg the procedure done. I am 3 plus hours away. That thanks

    1. Typically there is an appointment for a consultation to discuss surgery and the risks/benefits, then one for a surgical consent visit with bloodwork/EKG. If arranged in advance we may be able to combine the two into one.

      Dr. Trace Curry
      Medical Director
      JourneyLite Physicians

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