Differences And Similarities Between Gastric Sleeve And Gastric Bypass Surgeries

If you need to lose a large amount of weight, you have a variety of bariatric surgery options. Two popular surgical options for weight loss are gastric bypass and gastric sleeve. Both types help people with severe obesity lose weight quickly. They have many similarities but also many differences. If you want to know about the difference between gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgery, here is more information about them.

What Are Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery is a procedure where the surgeon removes a significant portion of your stomach. Only a sleeve is left in its place. Gastric sleeve surgery does not remove or bypass any part of the intestinal tract. Your stomach fills up faster, but you digest the food as normal. The result is that you eat fewer calories and lose weight.

Gastric bypass surgery doesn't involve removing the stomach. Instead, the esophagus is detached, and a small pouch is created from the upper stomach. Then, the surgeon attaches your small intestine to this pouch, bypassing the part that absorbs the most calories. Your stomach is re-attached further down in your small intestine to help supply essential digestive acids.

Who Are Good Candidates for Each Surgery Type?

Both types of surgery have similar requirements. With both surgeries, you must have severe obesity and be over a specific BMI. You also must have tried more conventional weight loss efforts. You can also qualify if you have weight-related health problems that can benefit from the surgery. However, these health problems cannot be so severe to make surgery and anesthesia riskier than they are to the average patient. You also have to be within a particular age range.

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Both surgeries result in significant weight loss within a relatively short amount of time. One main benefit of gastric sleeve surgery is that it is usually faster for the surgeon to do. Plus, you are less likely to have mal-absorption and dumping syndrome issues compared to gastric bypass. Your stomach also produces less acid, so you're less likely to get an ulcer.

The main drawback to gastric sleeve is that it can't be reversed because part of the stomach is removed instead of being rearranged like it would be with a gastric bypass. Your stomach will still digest high-fat, high-calorie food, so weight loss may be slower if you don't watch what you eat.

Gastric bypass is still more common than other bariatric surgeries. However, gastric sleeve surgery is slowly starting to gain more acceptance. In addition to discussing surgery, work with your doctor to further improve your health. For more information about gastric sleeve surgery or for any other type of weight loss help, talk to your doctor.