How Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Different From Other Bariatric Procedures?
Once you have decided to take positive action towards regaining your health and losing your excess weight through bariatric surgery, the next and often-difficult task is to decide on which procedure is best for you. Each of the different surgeries has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It’s always a good idea to discuss all of the options with your surgeon to review in detail the benefits and risks of all the procedures available to you, so that you may arrive at an informed decision about which one suits you best.
What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Performed laparoscopically, gastric sleeve surgery features the surgeon shrinking the stomach into a narrow tube with the use of surgical staples. The volume of the stomach is thereby reduced by roughly 75%; limiting the volume of food a patient will be able to eat post-surgery.
Gastric Sleeve vs. Adjustable Lap Band
Like the gastric sleeve, the lap band also limits the amount of food the patient can eat. In this case, it is achieved with an adjustable band that is placed around the top portion of the stomach, constricting it and creating a small pouch. Patients can expect similar weight loss results from both procedures. In terms of risks and side effects, the gastric sleeve has shown to have slightly higher complication rates due to the risk of leaks along the staple line.
Gastric Sleeve vs. Gastric Bypass
Gastric bypass procedures also surgically alter the size and shape of the stomach by dividing a small pouch at the top of the stomach. Additionally, the connection to the small intestine is altered, bypassing a length of the intestine. An advantage that gastric bypass surgery has is that, in addition to limiting the amount of food a patient can eat, the surgery diminishes the body’s ability to absorb calories in food by directing it away from a large section of the stomach and a portion of the small intestine. Since the gastrointestinal tract is not similarly altered in the gastric sleeve surgery, it has fewer chances of complications than gastric bypass surgery.
Surgery with Little or No Scarring
One of the advantages the sleeve gastrectomy has that many of our patients are most enthusiastic about is that, in most cases it can be performed as a single incision laparoscopic surgery. That means is can be performed via one small incision through the belly button. Because it is less invasive, the result is a much faster recovery and leaves little or no visible scarring at all.