Gastric sleeve surgeries continue to grow in popularity, so it’s no surprise that many of the patients at Oregon Weight Loss Surgery (OWLS) have questions about it.

gastric sleeve

gastric sleeve pros and cons

We’ve found that the most effective way of presenting information on this topic is to list the pros and cons of gastric sleeve surgery. But before we get to that, let’s briefly answer another common question: What is gastric sleeve surgery?

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

The Mayo Clinic defines sleeve gastrectomy (also called a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, vertical gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve) as “a surgical weight-loss procedure … which involves inserting small instruments through multiple small incisions in the upper abdomen. During sleeve gastrectomy, about 80 percent of the stomach is removed, leaving a tube-shaped stomach about the size and shape of a banana.”

Gastric sleeve surgery uses surgical staplers (similar to a gastric bypass), but the procedure does not involve rearranging the gastrointestinal anatomy.

Gastric sleeve surgery has become relatively common in recent years. The procedure involves removing most of the stomach and leaving a thin section of the upper stomach, called the gastric sleeve.

Pros and Cons of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

PROS

  • It’s highly effective. Gastric sleeve surgery has a success rate of about 85 percent. Gastric sleeve surgery helps severely obese people lose about 60 percent of excess body weight within 12 months of surgery.
  • Patients undergo anesthesia so they can be completely asleep during the surgery. Sleeve gastrectomy is a simpler procedure than gastric bypass and is a minimally invasive procedure when performed laparoscopically. This type of surgery uses very small instruments. Patients recover quickly because the surgical incisions are tiny.
  • Many comorbidities, such as diabetes, cholesterol and sleep apnea, improve soon after surgery.
  • There are fewer dietary complications than gastric bypass, which causes some people to become ill when they eat sugars or refined carbohydrates.
  • No Dumping syndrome.
  • Less risk of vitamin deficiencies post-surgery.
  • No foreign objects implanted in the body like there is with gastric banding.

CONS

  • When patients wake up after bariatric surgery, they will likely feel thirsty, but will not be able to drink — or take anything by mouth right away. Furthermore, only liquids and soft foods can be consumed in the first few weeks of surgery.
  • The patient’s throat may feel sore due to the breathing tube used during surgery.
  • Similar to the gastric bypass, there is a risk of leaking and bleeding at the staple lines.
  • The patient’s abdominal area will be sore, requiring the short-term use of pain medications.
  • The procedure is permanent and irreversible.
  • Post-op> patients will be unable to participate in any physical activities until the surgeon determines it’s OK.
  • The procedure permanently removes about two-thirds of a patient’s stomach.
  • Carbonated beverages are off limits for people who undergo gastric sleeve surgery. The carbonation reacts with the stomach’s digestive enzymes, which causes gas. This can lead to a stretching of the stomach pouch.

Oregon Weight Loss Surgery

Are you a candidate for weight-loss surgery? Contact Oregon Weight Loss Surgery today. We perform a variety of surgical procedures, including gastric sleeve. We’re happy to work with you to consider options and to determine the most appropriate course of action for your weight-loss needs.

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