There are PLENTY of online communities/forums for individuals to do research leading up to having bariatric surgery. These waterholes are absolutely valuable resources to hear thousands of peoples experiences, advice, opinions, etc etc. For me personally, they helped me learn a tremendous amount about how the procedures work, the types of procedures, pros/cons and things to expect for post op life (from waking up post op to years down the road).

However, for me, one odd thing is just HOW critical people are that the VSG post op stomach MUST be referred to as a SLEEVE and not a pouch. That a POUCH is solely reserved for RNY (gastric bypass). Granted, a sleeve is long, like they say a banana. A pouch is not. For me, thats not enough. For me, to see new individuals get corrected DAILY on what to reference the modified stomach as gets old and honestly kind of pisses me off.

Theres a motto that I love: If I do not know something, educate me. Don’t belittle me.

The argument could be made that these individuals (myself, included) are in fact being educated when they ignorantly, or by habit alone, reference a VSG stomach as a pouch. This led me to a question …. what does the bariatric professional community reference the stomach to?

There are the online communities opinions — then there is the professional opinion. I would prefer to adhere, follow and trust the professional.

The following is a post I wrote up to be on ObesityHelp forum, under the generalized “Weight Loss Surgery Forums”. I encourage people to do their own research. Theres no such thing as being too educated.

My post (can also be seen on OH here):

I decided to do some research into this, seeing as how serious a few people on this forum are that members (new people) reference the VSG stomach modification as a SLEEVE rather than a pouch. To me, they’re both adjectives. They both reference the newly reshaped stomach compartment our bodies are left with after bariatric surgery.

Is there a possible source of confusion by calling a VSG stomach a pouch? I wouldnt say no, but I dont know how critical it is that it must be called a sleeve, either. The RNY stomach resembles more of a “traditional” pouch as its not elongated.

According to Merriam Webster:

pouch |pouCHnouna small bag or other flexible receptacle, typically carried in a pocket or attached to a belt: a tobacco pouch |webbing with pouches for stun grenades.• a lockable bag for mail or dispatches.a pocketlike abdominal receptacle in which marsupials carry their young during lactation.• any of a number of animal receptacles similar to a pouch, such as those in the cheeks of rodents.

That being the case, I wanted to see what the professional bariatric community refers the VSG stomach as. Here are my findings. These are not all inclusive of the entire internet, as that would be a little bit too much work for me to do, but feel welcome to share any additional findings


by Gregg H. Jossart, MD, FACS; Gary Anthone, MD, FACS

Dr. Jossart is Director, Minimally Invasive Surgery, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, California. Dr. Anthone is Director Bariatric Surgery Program, Nebraska Methodist Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska.

References to stomach as pouch: 9 times

References to stomach as sleeve: 0



the internet

References to stomach as pouch: 0

References to stomach as sleeve: 1 time

————– ve


None listed, however, is leading organization for Metabolic Surgeries in America

References to stomach as pouch: 2 times

References to stomach as sleeve: 0



Updated by: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

References to stomach as pouch: 2 times

References to stomach as sleeve: 0



None listed

References to stomach as pouch: 3 times

References to stomach as sleeve: 2 times

————– mach-stapling-or-gastric-banding


Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD – Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerAli Tavakkoli, FACS, FRCS, MD – General Surgery, Bariatric Surgery

References to stomach as pouch: 0

References to stomach as sleeve: 1 time


In conclusion, my findings show that both the term “pouch” or “sleeve” can be used nearly interchangeably. From these 6 publications, the stomach is referred to as a pouch 16 times, and a sleeve 4 times. There can be some confusion to new individuals researching bariatric surgery, however, generally the stomach reference is involved in context of mentioning whether it is VSG or RNY, or another surgery; thus, eliminating any questions or reasons to be confused.

I feel we as a community should do less scorning of individuals referencing their new or future stomach cavity as a pouch or sleeve, and instead help educate and respond to questions that will actually be beneficial to them.

***Disclaimer: I am not a professional researcher or a “vet”. I simply used one of the most powerful tools in the world and searched for “vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure” and selected several sites that are credible and trusted sources for information. No information was pulled from a blog or individual(s) page, but instead research establishments, medical professionals, etc. With further research, my findings could be completely wrong. ***

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