how gastric bypass & gastric sleeve are different

Weight loss surgery is often necessary for patients that have extreme difficulty losing weight or for those who seek permanent weight loss. Often, if you are significantly overweight, it can actually be a health risk to begin a rigorous exercise routine or too-strict diet plan. In these cases, we may recommend a surgical procedure like the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass. These options can lower your risks and get you on a path to improved health and wellness.

Amongst the many bariatric surgery options available, gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgeries are the most well-known and common. Both of these procedures are meant to be permanent and require a full-time commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But what’s the difference?

Learn about each option and which is best for your weight loss goals!

What is a Gastric Sleeve?

Also known as sleeve gastrectomy, gastric sleeve surgery is designed to limit the amount of food that patients can eat—and desire to eat. The surgery will reduce the stomach size to between two-thirds and 80% of its original size.

A smaller stomach means people physically eat less food before feeling full, reducing their caloric intake and helping them lose weight. Moreover, gastric sleeve surgery also removes part of the stomach responsible for producing the hunger hormone ghrelin. That means patients are less likely to feel the urge to eat after this surgery, which is why it is so popular.

The procedure only takes 30-35 minutes, and recovery is typically quick. Gastric sleeve surgery is performed laparoscopically, meaning that it doesn’t require any large abdominal incisions. Because this surgery is minimally invasive, it involves less pain and less hospital time.

What is a Gastric Bypass?

Gastric bypass surgery creates a small pouch that bypasses most of your stomach and some of the small intestine. Food will then go through this pouch and to the intestines, cutting out a large section of the stomach. Additionally, a part of your small intestine that absorbs calories is removed. Without this portion of your intestine, you absorb fewer calories from meals, helping you lose weight.

A gastric bypass is more complex than a sleeve. In a sleeve gastrectomy, your surgeon must only complete one step: removing part of your stomach. In a gastric bypass, the surgeon will remove part of the intestine, create a stomach pouch, and then re-attach the rest of the stomach closer to the intestines. Consequently, the surgery has a longer recovery period.

Which Option is Best for Me?

Gastric bypass is the more complicated surgery but also the one that tends to deliver the most dramatic results. It is also the preferred choice for those who suffer from severe diabetes. Because a gastric sleeve isn’t an option for those with severe reflux disease, a bypass may give them an avenue for significant weight loss.

That said, the gastric sleeve is simpler and comes with fewer risks. It can be an incredible way to jumpstart your journey to overcoming obesity without affecting the sphincter muscles that allow food to enter and exit your stomach. Most patients see 50-70% of excess weight lost over the first 1-2 years and find it easier to perform daily activities, helping them maintain their results.

Discuss Your Options with the Professionals

There are lots of bariatric surgery options, and gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are the most common because of their great results! However, it’s important to consult a surgical expert before making a decision. The best surgery will depend on things such as your current weight, lifestyle, eating habits, and medical history. A certified doctor will be able to evaluate all of these things and help you decide which choice is right for you and your weight loss goals.

Learn More About Bariatric Surgery And Lose Weight At BMI Surgery!

If you’d like to learn more about our minimally invasive gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgeries—or any other bariatric surgeries—please feel free to contact Dr. Long and his team today. Proudly serving the Birmingham area, we specialize in all types of bariatric surgery and can help you find the best solution for your weight loss goals. Call us today at 205-850-1973 to set up a consultation.

We look forward to helping you take back control of your health!