The Top 8 Reasons a Sleeve Gastrectomy is Better than a Diet
The vertical sleeve gastrectomy is one of the most beneficial weight-loss options out there, so it’s no wonder that it’s also the most popular bariatric surgery available! However, there are still people who believe that dieting is an equal, if not better, way to lose weight. Today we’re going to set the record straight by shedding a little light on the top 8 reasons the sleeve gastrectomy is better than a diet for many people. Remember, candidates for the sleeve gastrectomy typically have a BMI greater than 40, which is about 100 lbs. overweight for an average height adult.
1. It Actually Works!
The gastric sleeve was originally developed as the first surgical step patients underwent before their procedure, usually the gastric bypass or duodenal switch. As it turned out, many surgeons noticed that their patients would lose such substantial amounts of weight that their secondary procedure was no longer necessary.
Today, the sleeve gastrectomy is performed primarily as a standalone procedure that helps patients lose anywhere from 55 to 70% of their excess body weight. Scientific studies and patients themselves report that surgery helps to improve energy, quality of life, and symptoms of weight-related conditions. In fact, bariatric surgeries like the sleeve gastrectomy are named by the ASMBS as a treatment option for type 2 diabetes—with some patients finding their condition completely resolved after surgery!
That’s just one example of the power of the sleeve gastrectomy; studies have also shown the surgery’s positive effects on conditions such as joint pain, hypertension, and sleep apnea, among others. Gastric sleeve procedures are effective for losing weight and improving health, but what makes them so much better than diet and exercise alone? Well, we’re glad you asked!
2. It Decreases the Size of the Stomach
For starters, dieting relies exclusively on mental and habitual changes to promote weight loss. This fails to take into account the other aspects of health that could be at play, such as metabolic factors or genetic predispositions. Many diets are also nutritionally unsustainable in the long-term—there are any number of reasons a person might fall back into old habits.
The sleeve gastrectomy is different because it combines the psychological support patients need with physical changes to anatomy that promote long-term weight loss.
This procedure removes about 75% of the stomach, creating a banana-shaped pouch. This change in stomach size helps patients eat smaller portions while still feeling full, which many patients say helped them develop new, healthier habits. This anatomical change also affects the body’s metabolism and hormones, leading to our next point:
3. The Gastric Sleeve Changes Stomach Anatomy—AND Biology!
The sleeve gastrectomy doesn’t just change the size and shape of the stomach, it changes how the stomach work for the better! Studies show us that dangerous dieting techniques can cause our bodies to enter “starvation mode,” fighting to regain lost weight by slowing metabolism. Bariatric surgery, meanwhile, has been shown to reset a patient’s metabolism and help them to maintain their new, healthier weight.
Another benefit of the sleeve is feeling hungry less frequently, and not just because the stomach is easier to fill! The part of the stomach that produces the “hunger” hormone ghrelin is removed during the sleeve gastrectomy, so fewer signals are sent to the brain telling patients to eat. Additionally, weight-loss surgeries promote the production of leptin – the satiety or “fullness” hormone—helping patients feel full on less food!
4. Diets Negatively Affect the Body and the Brain
Losing weight through dieting is not always a straightforward endeavor. A common problem people face is a phenomenon known as “yo-yo dieting” – the repeated process of losing weight on a diet, only to gain it back as soon as we stop. This is an example of the body rebelling against a diet by making it difficult to sustain the loss of excess weight.
Fad diets often have us avoid certain food groups or focus too heavily on another, causing us to miss out on proper nutrition. When we lose weight in a way that the body deems “dangerous,” it assumes that this we are starving, and adjusts itself accordingly—primarily, through storing fat to protect us from “starvation.” And with each significant fluctuation of weight, what our body considers our “normal weight” rises.
It can be supremely disheartening to know that your body is undermining any attempts made at living healthier and losing weight. In addition, the culture that surrounds dieting in the United States can be extremely toxic; that if a person just tries harder, or eats less, they can lose weight—that it’s their fault if they need help. And unfortunately, mindsets like these can contribute to depression and even eating disorders.
That’s why, at NYBG, we work so hard to support our patients, and to fight the stigma against asking for help with weight-related struggles—our patients work hard to achieve their success, and we are proud to be there for them along the way.
5. Patients Have an Extensive Support System
Bariatric patients have another huge advantage over solo dieters: a dedicated support group to help them through the highs and lows of their journey! From their surgeon to nutritionists to staff psychologists and other patients, there’s a wealth of experts in every patient’s corner. At NYBG, we are especially passionate about providing a wealth of resources for patients at every stage, such as:
- Educational videos
- Seminars and patient support groups
- Access to nutritionists and staff psychologists
- Regular consultations and check-ins
- 24/7 phone support
- Dietary supplements
- A team of some of the most experienced and caring professionals in the field of bariatrics!
We measure our success by our patients’ success, and we love helping them achieve their health goals as they continue their journeys to better living. Check out some of their amazing stories here!
6. You Can Still Eat Delicious, Well-Rounded Meals
While fad diets often promote cutting out certain foods or downright unhealthy substitutions (juice cleanse, anyone?), gastric sleeve patients can still eat their favorite flavors, just in different portions! Bariatric-friendly meals are a bit smaller and contain fewer carbs, but they can still be packed with flavor and the nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy and strong.
Our nutritionists are also available to help patients learn how to make healthier choices about their post-operative diets to help keep them on track on their weight-loss journey. NYBG also offers dietary supplements, vitamins, instant meals, and bariatric-friendly snacks to help our patients eat well and stay healthy!
7. Weight-Loss Surgery Can Help You Save Money
Obesity is a disease that can take a lot out of patients – physically, emotionally, and financially. Diet program fees really add up on top of medical expenses, gym memberships, and other related costs. In fact, people suffering from obesity are estimated to spend an extra $15,500 annually when compared to a those who aren’t!
Bariatric surgery eliminates the need for these expenses, saving patients money long-term. The best part? Getting a gastric sleeve is more affordable than ever. There are many cases where insurance covers most, if not all, of the cost of the sleeve gastrectomy. Additionally, we offer financing options to help make successful, sustainable weight loss accessible to as many people as possible!
8. Sleeve Gastrectomy Patients Live Longer
Weight-loss surgery doesn’t just improve a patient’s quality of life, it helps extend their life! Those who suffer from obesity are more susceptible to developing weight-related conditions that can drastically impact their health. Some of these problems and risks include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Arthritis and Joint Pain
- Difficulty breathing and lung issues
- Increased risk for developing cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, and more
Thankfully, studies show that many patients see some improvement to their weight-related conditions post-op, meaning they no longer need to take as many medications, use their sleep apnea machines, and suffer less from their symptoms. Some patients even report a complete resolution of conditions like type 2 diabetes, and no longer need to take medication at all!
If you ask us, one of the greatest benefits of the sleeve gastrectomy is that the procedure helps patients live the healthy lives the want and deserve for a long time to come—bariatric surgery patients saw their risk of mortality decrease by half after their procedure!
Come to NYBG.
When it’s time to start a successful weight-loss journey, it’s time to call NYBG! We’re the best practice around and our numbers prove it:
- 9 skilled surgeons who are leaders in bariatrics
- 15,000 successful procedures performed with more every day
- The #1 gastric balloon practice by volume – most balloons placed in the United States
- 24/7 access to online seminars
- 100s of videos for patients explaining procedures, answering common questions, and showcasing previous patients
- Since 2000, we boast 18 years of success!
Our commitment to patient success and excellence has earned us accreditation from the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This prestigious achievement recognizes only the top bariatric practices. Stop waiting; start achieving better health today.