Each year in the United States, approximately 113,000 bariatric (weight loss) surgeries are performed. Two of the most common types of bariatric surgeries include the gastric sleeve and the gastric bypass. These surgeries have some commonalities along with some important differences that will help you decide which procedure is right for you. If you’re considering weight loss surgery, this article has information that you need to know.
The gastric sleeve procedure, also called the sleeve gastrectomy, is a surgical procedure to permanently remove 80% of your stomach. The rest of the stomach is stapled into a sleeve which allows digested food to pass through as before. Dr. Patel performs the procedure via robotic minimally invasive surgery with 4 small incisions.
Gastric sleeve surgery restricts your ability to overeat by reducing the amount of food the stomach can hold. You’ll feel full sooner and stop eating. This reduces caloric intake so you can lose weight.
Gastric sleeve surgery also works by making you less hungry. The part of the stomach that produces ghrelin, which is a hormone that causes you to feel hungry, is removed. Patients lose weight slowly; in the first year to 18 months, you may lose 60 to 70% of the excess weight as long as you are committed to the lifestyle changes that go along with the surgery.
The surgery takes about an hour and half to perform. You might be in the hospital for one to two days. After surgery, you will be on a liquid diet for 2-4 weeks and then gradually can begin to introduce soft solid foods slowly into your eating routine.
Patients that select this surgical procedure often have tried diets and exercise on and off for years but still struggle with their weight.
Gastric bypass, also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, is also a type of weight loss surgery. However, it’s a bit more complex than gastric sleeve surgery.
During the surgery for gastric bypass:
- A small pouch the size of a medicine cup is created from your stomach
- The intestine is now rerouted or bypassed to the newly created gastric pouch
Like the gastric sleeve procedure, Dr. Patel performs the gastric bypass with robotic minimally invasive surgery via 5 small incisions.
Gastric bypass is typically performed when exercise and diet changes haven’t worked to help the person lose weight. Obesity can create serious health complications, but a gastric bypass can cause dramatic weight loss and potentially improve the health of the bariatric surgery patient.
Gastric bypass, as well as gastric sleeve, can help lessen the risk of serious health problems such as:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Type 2 diabetes
The goal of both gastric sleeve and bypass surgery is the same: to reduce your stomach from its normal size to a small pouch. This prevents people struggling with obesity from overeating. Both surgeries help thousands of people lose weight, and neither surgery is better than the other. The recovery time in the hospital from both procedures is one to two days. However, there are pros and cons to both procedures that you should weigh with your doctor.