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

September 1, 2022 2:20 pm Published by

Gastric Sleeve

If diet and exercise alone aren’t helping you achieve your desired weight loss goals, bariatric surgery may be a good strategy.

Sometimes called weight-loss surgery, bariatric surgery can be a good option for many people who are looking to lose weight and improve their overall health.

In the United States, there are three types of bariatric surgery performed most often—gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and adjustable gastric band placement. A fourth procedure, known as biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, is less common.

To keep it simple, we’re going to talk through the gastric bypass procedure and the gastric sleeve procedure.

What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

A gastric bypass procedure, also called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, is performed in three steps:

  1. The surgeon compartmentalizes a portion of your stomach, creating a small pouch in the top section and stapling it off. This makes your stomach much smaller than it was previously, which will limit the amount of food you can eat without feeling full.
  2. Next, the surgeon divides the small intestine into two sections and connects the lower part to the new stomach pouch. This will cause food to bypass the larger portion of your stomach and the other portion of your small intestine, so the body will absorb fewer of the calories in the foods you eat.
  3. The last step of gastric bypass is to connect the upper portion of the small intestine to an area located near the lower part of the small intestine. This allows the stomach’s digestive juices to flow in from the bypassed portion of the small intestine to help digest food. This is important because the bypass procedure changes the balance of hormones and the bacteria in the GI tract that are related to metabolism.

How Does Gastric Sleeve Surgery Work?

Gastric sleeve surgery, also called sleeve gastrectomy, offers an incredibly effective weight-loss solution that works differently than gastric bypass. It’s also a much simpler procedure and is less likely to cause nutritional deficiencies after surgery.

During the gastric sleeve procedure, roughly 80% of the stomach is permanently removed and the remaining portion of the stomach is sewn into a banana-shaped pouch. The procedure requires no other alterations to the GI system.

Gastric sleeve works to promote weight loss in two ways—the stomach can physically hold less food, which means fewer calories are consumed. In addition, the part of the stomach that is removed is responsible for most of the hormone that causes hunger, so your appetite decreases after surgery. As you begin to eat less, you will also shed excess body weight. Plus, gastric sleeve surgery can be helpful in maintaining normal blood sugar levels.

Top Benefits of Gastric Sleeve

While both gastric bypass and gastric sleeve can help people achieve substantial weight loss, the gastric sleeve procedure offers several advantages.

Because gastric sleeve does not involve the small intestine, the risk of complications is lower than other weight loss surgery procedures. For example, people who undergo gastric bypass may experience vitamin and mineral deficiencies, a risk of small intestine-related complications or blockages, and an increased risk of developing ulcers.

Gastric bypass is also associated with unpleasant symptoms related to what’s called “dumping syndrome.” This syndrome occurs when someone who has undergone weight loss surgery feels sick after eating certain foods.

If diet and exercise alone haven’t helped you lose weight, gastric sleeve surgery could be your next best move. Set up a consultation with the Center for Surgical Weight Loss at Magnolia Regional Health Center to learn more.

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This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center

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