Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass: Which is the Better Weight Loss Surgery for You?

 Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Any type of surgical weight loss procedure is reserved only on extreme cases of obesity. The kind of surgery you will get will depend on your specific situation, including your doctor’s expert opinion.

Gastric bypass and gastric sleeve will both require general anesthesia. They are done when the patient is unconscious. The procedure will take several hours and after surgery, the patient is required to stay in the hospital for observation. Hospital stay may vary between three days to a week.

Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass: How They Work

Gastric Bypass and gastric sleeve are very similar weight loss surgeries. Both procedures will inhibit the patient from eating more food, leading to weight loss. Although gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries have a high success rate, the procedures will require a patient’s complete health assessment to ensure safety. After-surgery risks could include blood clots, internal bleeding, and stomach leakage. Do note that both procedures are non-reversible.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

In gastric bypass, a surgeon will create a new stomach pouch by making an incision to the abdomen. This pouch will bypass the stomach. A portion of the intestines is also closed off so food does not travel to it. This procedure will help the patient feel full despite consuming a small amount of food. Gastric bypass guarantees a 60% to 80% weight loss rate within the first year. Gastric bypass is best for patients with a BMI of 40.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

A gastric sleeve is usually recommended for patients who are not qualified for other more evasive bariatric procedures.

This surgery requires the removal of a portion of the patient’s stomach to produce a smaller, tube-like stomach. Removing the portion of the stomach not only limits the amount of food stored, it also removes the hormone ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger.

Unlike gastric bypass where you could lose as much as 80% of your body weight within a year after treatment, gastric sleeve works at a slower pace. During the first year, the patient could lose 50% (or more) excess weight. However, weight loss from stomach sleeve is steadier. This means the patient will lose weight continuously. Gastric sleeve is best for patients with BMI of 50.

Benefits of Both Gastric Bypass and Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Both types of procedures may sound complicated but they are actually the simplest of all bariatric operations. Because gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery does not cause nutritional deficiencies, it promotes natural digestion without weight gain. This also keeps the intestines small and the pyloric valve intact. Both weight loss surgeries also help rid of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for triggering hunger.

Which Type of Bariatric Procedure Is Best for You?

The kind of bariatric procedure that suits your condition will depend on your own health as well as your doctor’s recommendation.

For instance, if you are not qualified for a more radical type of bariatric operation, then your doctor could recommend doing a gastric sleeve surgery. Essentially—through pre-surgery consultation and health assessment—you will be given a choice of which type of bariatric treatment works for you.


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