Author: James Donaldson

Why Gastric Sleeve Surgery is Still the Best First Choice

An article on U.S. News entitled “How Weight-Loss Surgeries Are Changing” discusses the pros and cons of sleeve gastrectomies (gastric sleeve surgeries) and gastric bypasses. The article points out that gastric sleeve surgery is on a rise, making up 49% of all bariatric (weight loss) surgical procedures 2013. It was an increase from 9% in 2010.

On the other hand, gastric bypass surgeries have gone down slightly, from 58% of all procedures to 44% from 2010 to 2013. The article points out that gastric bypass surgeries still lead to more weight loss than gastric sleeve surgery (75-85% excess weight loss compared to 60-65%). Gastric bypasses also reduce the risk of diabetes.

Why Go For Gastric Sleeve Surgery First?

Gastric sleeve surgery was originally the first procedure to a gastric bypass. For some patients, especially those in an advanced state of obesity, surgery was quite dangerous. If they had sleep apnea (excess fat on the windpipe causes the patient to momentarily stop breathing), going under was dangerous. Surgery also takes longer on average, and there is greater risk of postoperative infection or even heart attack.

Because of that, gastric sleeve surgery was used to bring a patient’s weight down, and make it easier for him or her to have the gastric bypass surgery. Patients discovered they were often happy with their lost weight, and no longer had the bypass.

Because of this, gastric sleeve surgery is still the best first choice. The patient can easily push through with the bypass if it is required for diabetes, or to lose additional excess weight. The less invasive gastric sleeve surgery is a good first step to a lifestyle of weight loss.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery is a Good Beginning to a Weight Loss Lifestyle

Weight loss surgery is the very last resort of any obese patient. It is not only more dangerous than regular exercise or a diet change, it is also a drastic, irreversible decision. Once the weight loss surgery is done, a specific kind of lifestyle should be maintained to lower weight gain and to enjoy the benefits of weight loss.

Weight loss surgery is only used when the obese patient can no longer effectively lose weight through exercise or a diet change. Usually, the stakes become higher when the patient already has a dangerous obesity-related condition, such as severe sleep apnea or Type-2 Diabetes.

Gastric sleeve surgery removes most of the stomach (around 80%), making the stomach smaller. Most of the ghrelin, or hunger-inducing hormone, is also removed. However, if the patient continues to eat the way he or she did, the stomach will simply stretch and keep on stretching. Besides endangering the surgical site, there will be little weight loss.

Getting used to a smaller stomach, and eating for a smaller stomach, is crucial to weight loss. Regulating food intake is a habit that must be learned, and it is best to learn it with gastric sleeve surgery. Gastric bypass surgery puts patients at risk of nutrient deficiency and diarrhea. Learning the best diet after a sleeve gastrectomy will make bypass surgery more effective.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: the First and Best Choice

There is more to gain than to lose by going with gastric sleeve surgery first. Even if the patient were to continue to another form of surgery afterwards, this is still the definite best choice.