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

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

When your weight is putting your health at risk, and everything you have tried to shed the pounds has failed, bariatric surgery might be the logical next step.

Bariatric surgeries are procedures designed to alter the digestive system, primarily the stomach. The two most popular forms of bariatric surgery are gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass surgery. Quite often, you will hear both referred to as weight loss surgery.  

While the two procedures pursue the same goal of helping people lose weight, they feature significant differences that are worth discussing. Let’s have a look at gastric sleeve vs.bypass, so you can make a more informed decision when talking about your options with your doctor.

Gastric Sleeve vs. Bypass Surgery – The Similarities

Both surgeries alter your stomach size by shrinking it to the size of a small pouch.

A smaller stomach area means that you will feel full of a much lower amount of food. Smaller stomachs also result in less ghrelin – the hormone responsible for feelings of hunger.

The differences between the two surgeries lay in how they are used to create a smaller stomach pouch. 

How Gastric Sleeve Surgery Modifies Stomach Size

Gastric sleeve surgery is a weight loss surgery that removes about 80 percent of your stomach.

It’s almost always a minimally invasive procedure using keyhole surgery (tiny incisions) and performed with a laparoscope.

After making small incisions, the surgeon will insert a long thin tube into your abdomen. The tube has a tiny camera and other surgical instruments attached that allow the surgeon to operate.

Surgeons perform gastric sleeve bypasses using general anesthesia, which means you will be put into a deep sleep and will require a ventilator during the procedure.

The surgeon separates your stomach into two unequal parts, leaving 20 percent on one side, and removing the other 80 percent. 

After the surgeon has removed the excess stomach material, they will suture the remaining stomach together, leaving a tubed-shaped stomach (called the gastric sleeve) that accounts for around 25% of its former size. 

A gastric sleeve surgery will take about an hour. Once complete, you will spend at least another hour in postoperative care while you emerge from the anesthesia.

The small incisions will heal quite quickly, and because of its minimally invasive nature, recovery periods from gastric sleeve surgeries are rapid. Most patients will return home after 2 or 3 days.

You will be put on a liquid diet for a few weeks and will gradually transfer to pureed foods before starting on solid foods. Your meals will consist of significantly less food than what you are used to because of your smaller stomach. Most people will need to stop drinking during meals so they can eat more nutrient-dense foods.

How Gastric Bypass Alters Stomach Size

This procedure, also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass creates a small stomach pouch by bypassing a large portion of your stomach and some of your small intestine.

By attaching directly to the small intestine, the food bypasses the duodenum, which significantly reduces fat absorption.

Your doctor will first consult with you to make sure a gastric bypass is a right solution. In a lot of cases, gastric bypass is a keyhole procedure like the gastric sleeve. However, sometimes it will be necessary to conduct a full operation.

In a similar fashion to the gastric sleeve, your doctor will put you on a liquid-only diet, and then change to pureed food before returning to solids after a few weeks.

Dietitians will guide you as to what foods you should be eating because it’s crucial to maximize the number of nutrients you receive from a smaller amount of food.

Vitamin and mineral supplements will also be required to make up the shortfall caused by bypassing the small intestine. You will need to take these supplements for the rest of your life.

Risks of Gastric Bypass and Gastric Sleeve Surgery

All surgeries come with a certain degree of risk. Weight loss surgeries are routine operations and enjoy a great deal of success. The most significant risk is one of infection, but antibiotics reduce that risk to an acceptable level. There are also minor risks such as leaks from the staple joins, and bowel obstruction.

Some patients also experience low blood sugar levels following weight-loss surgeries. Talk to your doctor about how you can mitigate or eliminate these risks.

Gastric Sleeve vs. Gastric Bypass Recovery Times

A gastric bypass is a lot more complicated than a gastric sleeve, because the former is a two-step surgery, while the latter is a single operation.

Both surgeries can be completed using a laparoscope, which contributes to reduced recovery times. Once you can hold down liquids, you will be allowed to go home after 1 or 2 days.

If you experience a lot of pain after the surgery, your doctor may advise you to stay in the hospital so they can keep you under observation for a couple more days.

Due to the more complicated nature of a gastric bypass, you should expect to spend at least two days recovering in hospital.

A gastric bypass performed via open surgery will require more recovery time due to the wounds created by large incisions. Expect to be in the hospital for at least 4 to 5 days.

Possible Complications from Weight Loss Surgery

Most surgeries are successful, but each comes with its own set of risks and possible complications.

Gastric Sleeve Complications

After a gastric sleeve surgery, it’s possible patients may experience some of the following complications:

  • Acid reflux
  • Stomach fluid leaking
  • Obstruction in the stomach
  • A narrowing of the stomach pouch

Gastric Bypass Complications

There is a higher risk of nutritional deficiency after a gastric bypass, but there may be other complications, including:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Develop a sensitivity to alcohol
  • Stomach perforations
  • Bowel obstructions

gastric sleeve vs gastric bypass pros and cons

Each type of surgery comes with its own set of pros and cons, which can help you decide on the one that will work best for your situation.

Gastric Sleeve Pros and Cons

Gastric sleeve surgery patients often lose 65% of their excess body weight. The surgeon completes the surgery in one sitting, so there is less risk of complications. Recovery is faster, and patients can absorb more minerals and nutrients than gastric bypass patients.

The main drawbacks for gastric sleeve include slower weight loss, it’s not reversible, and acid reflux is a risk.

Gastric Bypass Pros and Cons

Bypass patients often lose up to 80% of their excess body weight due to the stomach not being able to absorb as many calories. Weight loss is also a lot more rapid than what’s possible with gastric sleeve. While the surgery is difficult to reverse, it’s not impossible.

Surgeons perform gastric bypasses in two steps. There is more risk, and the recovery period is longer. There is also the risk of dietary deficiencies because of malabsorption.

Deciding What’s Right for You

The best way to determine which weight loss surgery is right for you is to consult with your doctor. They will consider your weight, your medical history, existing health conditions, and your expectations to help you decide.

gastric sleeve vs gastric bypass cost

Like any other surgery, the cost of this procedure varies depending on several factors like the geographic hospital location, the surgeon’s experience.

Noteworthy is that the surgery’s cost in some places may not include all fees, such as aftercare services and anesthesia.

Recently, Istanbul has become the destination for many people from over the world to get medical services. The reasons behind that are the affordable prices there, the highly skilled doctors, and the distinctive medical services.

Here at HayatMed, we provide you with all fully inclusive fee package. This package includes all the services associated with the surgery, such as hospital charges, surgeons and anesthetist’s fees, and aftercare policy. 

With us, be sure that you are in the hands of medical experts who can achieve the results you aspire. 

Contact us to get the exact cost of Weight Loss Procedures or click here to go back to the Medical Blog.

Click here to get more information about Gastric bypass surgery or go back to the Obesity Category.

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