If you’re struggling with life-threatening obesity and its complications, then it makes perfect sense that you’d be looking at some form of bariatric surgery — but which one should you choose?
Here’s a general comparison from your friends at Olde Del Mar Surgical to help you understand the differences between these two surgeries.
Gastric Bypass vs. Gastric Sleeve
Before you can weigh the relative pros and cons of gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery, you have to understand what these procedures consist of.
A gastric bypass procedure involves detaching a large portion of the stomach chamber, leaving only a small pouch for collecting food.
A portion of the small intestine leading from the stomach pouch is also cut, and the intestine below this area is connected to the new stomach pouch.
Incoming food, therefore “bypasses” the majority of the stomach, proceeding directly into the shortened small intestine. As a result, your body takes in only a fraction of the calories it once did.
By contrast, a gastric sleeve procedure doesn’t rearrange the intestine’s relationship to the stomach, nor does it leave a portion of the stomach chamber dormant within the body.
Instead, the surgeon simply removes a portion of the stomach lengthwise, leaving you with a small, banana-shaped, but otherwise perfectly functional stomach.
Here, too, you take in a much smaller amount of food, giving your body fewer calories to store.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Gastric Bypass vs Sleeve Bariatric Surgery
Both gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries get the job done, but which one you choose will depend on such factors as:
- Gastric sleeve surgery reduces the amount of food you can ingest, but your ability to absorb nutrients remains unimpaired.
- In gastric bypass surgery, the loss of part of the small intestine hinders your ability to absorb nutrients, requiring you to take supplements.
Associated health conditions
- If you’re trying to control obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or sleep apnea, you should know that gastric bypass surgery tends to be somewhat more effective than gastric sleeve surgery at resolving these issues, although either procedure can certainly help.
Severity of obesity
- The more obese you are, you more seriously you should consider gastric bypass over gastric sleeve. This more extreme procedure can often yield more profound weight loss.
- Although lap-band surgery, a form of bariatric surgery, is cheaper than both gastric surgeries, gastric bypass is traditionally cheaper than a gastric sleeve.