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Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Bypass: What’s the Difference?

Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Bypass: What’s the Difference?

Patients who know the difference between gastric sleeve and gastric bypass can make the best possible choice if their doctors recommend bariatric surgery for weight loss.

Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are weight-loss surgeries that can help you lose extra weight and reduce your BMI. Here’s a closer look at the differences between these surgeries and how to contact Lompoc Valley Medical Center if you think you could benefit from having one of these procedures.

What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery is also known as sleeve gastrectomy. This weight-loss surgery is a restrictive surgery because it reduces the amount of food you can eat during a meal. This helps you feel full sooner so you can lose extra weight.

About 80% of your stomach is removed in gastric sleeve surgery. The remaining 20% of your stomach will be a vertical, banana-shaped pouch.

Having a sleeve gastrectomy can help speed weight loss by making it difficult to eat too much food at one time and to feel satisfied after very small meals.  After a sleeve gastrectomy, the volume of the new smaller stomach can hold is reduced from about 1 quart to about 1 once, or 2 tablespoons. Over time the stomach pouch will stretch until it can hold 4 – 8 ounces or about ½ cup at a time.

Gastric sleeve surgery is a life-long commitment. When you commit to this surgery, you are also committing to eating less food and making healthier choices. You will also be expected to exercise regularly. All these behaviors can help you maintain a healthy weight.

In a 2017 study published in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, researchers looked at the effects of gastric sleeve surgery in 140 patients. All patients had a BMI between 34.2 and 76. By the end of the first year after surgery, the average BMI among these patients was 26.4.

What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Gastric bypass surgery is also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. This surgery is both restrictive and malabsorptive. It is restrictive because it reduces the amount of food you can eat in one sitting. It is malabsorptive because it prevents your body from absorbing too many calories.

In gastric bypass surgery, the effects are achieved by creating a very small stomach pouch (approximately thumb- sized) from which the rest of the stomach is permanently divided and separated.  The small intestine is cut about 18 inches below the stomach and is re-arranged to provide an outlet to the small stomach while maintaining the flow of digestive juices at the same time.  The lower part of the stomach is bypassed, and food enters the second part of the small bowel within about 10 minutes of beginning the meal. 

The result is a very early sense of fullness followed by a very profound sense of satisfaction.  Even though the portion size may be small, there is no hunger and no feeling of having been deprived; you will feel satisfied and indifferent to even the choicest of foods. Patients continue to enjoy eating but they enjoy eating less.

Having a Gastric Bypass can help speed wight loss by making it difficult to eat too much food at one time and to feel satisfied aft very small meals.

Like gastric sleeve, this surgery is also a life-long commitment. Malnutrition is a common side effect of gastric bypass. It can occur when your body absorbs fewer calories.

Research shows that patients who have gastric bypass surgery lose an average of 65% of their weight. Over 85% of patients keep 50% of their initial extra weight loss.

What’s the Difference Between Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Bypass?

The main difference between these two surgeries is that the gastric sleeve is only restrictive. In comparison, gastric bypass is both restrictive and malabsorptive.

With gastric bypass, your food portions will be smaller, and your body will absorb fewer calories. You’ll need to make wise decisions when it comes to nutrition so your body can stay healthy. Most gastric bypass patients must take nutritional supplements for life. This ensures you get the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and other critical nutrients.

Otherwise, gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are very similar to one another. Both surgeries help you lose excess weight by restricting food portions.

What Makes People Choose One Surgery Over the Other?

Most patients will choose a bariatric surgery based on their personal preferences. They may also rely on advice from their doctor to choose a procedure.

Gastric bypass gets linked to higher rates of weight loss than the gastric sleeve. People who are severely obese may choose gastric bypass to lose as much extra weight as possible.

In comparison, gastric sleeve surgery is not malabsorptive. Each procedure has its pros and cons that may influence a person’s decision. Also, medical studies show that one surgery may be better than the other at improving other health problems.

For example, patients who suffer from acid reflux may want to have gastric bypass surgery. Research shows that acid reflux usually improves after this surgery.

Gastric sleeve surgery may be ideal for patients at high risk for having surgical complications. This is because the length of time under anesthesia is shorter with gastric sleeve surgery. The recovery time is also faster.

Both gastric bypass and gastric sleeve are ideal for people with type 2 diabetes. These surgeries are shown to notably improve and resolve symptoms of this disease. Type 2 diabetes is a significant risk factor for obesity.

Who Are Ideal Candidates For Weight-Loss Surgery?

Ideal candidates for weight-loss surgery are at least 100 pounds overweight or have a BMI of 40 or greater. People with a BMI of 35 or greater are also eligible for surgery if they have at least one obesity-related health problem. Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and heart disease are examples of related health problems that may qualify you for surgery.

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) says that people unable to lose weight with diet and exercise may also be eligible for surgery.

Your doctor can talk to you in more detail about whether weight-loss surgery is right for you. The criteria for the surgery are often based on recommendations from organizations like the ASMBS. This means you may still qualify for surgery even if you have a BMI under 35 or 40.

What Else Should I Know Before Choosing a Weight-Loss Surgery?

Before you have weight-loss surgery, your doctor may require you to undergo several evaluations and tests. This is to confirm your eligibility for surgery. According to the National Institutes of Health, these tests may include a psych assessment, nutrition education, weight-loss planning, and medical approval.

Which Weight-Loss Surgery Should I Choose?

Weight-loss surgery is a serious and life-changing medical procedure. The decision you make will have a major impact on your lifestyle. This is why it’s important to take your time choosing a surgery.

Have a long talk with your doctors before choosing a weight-loss surgery. Your doctors can share their professional opinions and recommend the surgery that may work best for you.

In some cases, your doctors may suggest trying other medical weight-loss treatments before resorting to surgery. For instance, you can try prescription drugs that reduce your appetite or food cravings to help you lose extra weight. Some of these drugs increase your energy level to make you feel more active. Others can improve your metabolism.

Either way, it doesn’t hurt to learn more about your options. This can make you feel more confident about your decision if you choose to have weight-loss surgery.

Weight-Loss Surgery At Lompoc Valley Medical Center

Lompoc Valley Medical Center is accredited by MSBAQIP as a Comprehensive Bariatric Surgery Center. LVMC offers various weight-loss services, including bariatric surgery. Contact us today at (805) 737-3382 to learn more about gastric sleeve and gastric bypass and to get started on your weight-loss plan. Our bariatric surgery program team are devoted to helping you achieve a healthy weight and reduce your risk for obesity-related medical conditions.