Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), is one of the most effective treatments for morbid obesity and long-term weight loss. Operated laparoscopically, this procedure reduces the stomach volume to curb appetite and helps with portion control. Patients can expect sustained weight loss with a low risk of complications and side effects.
Today gastric sleeve operation is a preferred surgical option compared to gastric banding and gastric bypass.
In general, the positive outcomes of undergoing gastric sleeve surgery considerably outweigh the potential risks! If you are not yet convinced, we will show an unbiased overview of all the advantages and disadvantages associated with gastric sleeve surgery to help you decide if it is the right weight-loss surgical procedure for you.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery Explained
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is performed by a board-certified bariatric surgeon through 1 to 5 small holes in the stomach wall. About 80% of the stomach is cut, removed, and stapled to create a banana-shaped narrow sleeve. By removing a large portion of the stomach, patients can expect a significant amount of restriction in food intake, hunger, and the digestion process.
The sleeve procedure is popular with its spectacular success at ending the cycle of obesity through a simple method of not allowing overeating and relinquishing the feeling of constant hunger.
Most people are attracted to sleeve gastrectomy surgery because of its reputation as the low-risk, high-results bariatric procedure. It owes its growing popularity to being one of the most straightforward and clean weight loss operations available for morbidly obese patients.
Advantages of Gastric Sleeve
The gastric sleeve surgery produces significant weight reduction, on average losing over 65% of excess weight within the first year. Reaching your goal weight within 2 years is easily achievable with this tool. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), weight loss surpasses well over 50% in years 3-5, making it extremely effective and sustainable.
Here are the many advantages of sleeve gastrectomy,
- Resets Body’s Metabolic Thermostat – It resets your body’s setpoint creating less hunger and increased metabolism.
- Significant Reduction in Hunger Hormones – By removing a big portion of the stomach where Ghrelin (hunger hormones) resides, the patients do not get as hungry.
- Reduces the Amount of Food Intake – It restricts the capacity to eat large amounts of food.
- Makes Patients Feel Full Faster – With a smaller stomach, the stretch receptors get activated faster to send the fullness signal to the brain.
- Increased Leptin Sensitivity – Patients become more sensitive to Leptin levels in the blood and satiety increases.
- Speeds Up the Digestion Process – Because food spends less time in the smaller, sleeve-shaped stomach, it allows fewer calories to be absorbed into the body.
- No Anatomy Changes – The stomach valve (pyloric) that regulates the food flow to the small intestine stays unchanged. Patients don’t have re-routing of the small intestines or the complications related to procedures like gastric bypass or duodenal switch.
- No Malnutrition – Despite the lack of nutritional deficiency, patients are not on as strict of vitamin supplements following surgery.
- No Foreign Object – In the gastric sleeve procedure, there is no foreign body like a gastric band used.
- Clear-Cut – Most bariatric procedures are complicated surgically and hard to follow. Gastric sleeve surgery is rather straightforward without very many variations or surgeon “individual touch.”
Disadvantages of Gastric Sleeve
Even with all the pros of gastric sleeve surgery, there are cons (disadvantages) to every surgical procedure. The cons of gastric sleeve procedure can be listed as follows,
- Leakage: Through resecting a significant portion of the stomach, leakage can occur along with the staple line proceeding surgery. Despite this, MBC’s best bariatric surgeons reinforce all staple lines with sutures to diminish the leakage complication rate to close to 0%.
- Non-Reversible: With the portion of the stomach removed, gastric sleeve surgery is a non-reversible procedure – unlike lap-band, plication, and gastric balloon. Gastric sleeve, however, is easily reversible to other bariatric options like a gastric mini bypass.
- Vitamin Supplements: Vitamin and mineral supplements should be taken daily due to nutritional deficiencies of the digestion process, causing less essential nutrients to be absorbed into the body. Procedures that incorporate malabsorption (like gastric bypass and duodenal switch) have stricter nutritional guidelines because they absorb fewer nutrients because of the anatomy changes.
- Post-Op Dietary Restrictions: Healthy meal plans must be integrated into patients’ lifestyles to succeed long-term.
- Costly: The sleeve surgery is over $16,000 in the United States and Canada. Patients without insurance cannot easily afford to pay for this life-saving operation from their pocket.
Gastric Sleeve Risks
Post-Op Complications and Problems
These are published data for potential post-op complications. Mexico Bariatric Center’s overall complication rate is less than 1%.
- Staple line leak (less than 0.5%)
- Bleeding (3%)
- Abscess (1-2%)
- Ulcers (~3%)
- Severe vitamin deficiencies (less than 1%)
Gastric Sleeve Benefits
There are many advantages shown through the major health benefits of gastric sleeve surgery. Besides rapid and long-term weight loss, the sleeve procedure increases life quality and improves overall health.
1. Health Benefits
Here is a list of health benefits patients can expect to drastically improve or even cure after gastric sleeve surgery.
- Sleep Apnea
- Reduce Blood Pressure
- Reduce Cholesterol
- Improve Type 2 Diabetes
- Improve Painful Migraines
- Infertility and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)*
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Less risk for COVID-19
2. Quality of Life Benefits
Quality of life benefits is extremely common for gastric sleeve patients. With so much change, patients often see life become more fulfilling after surgery.
Many of these benefits include:
- Change in Love Life
- A Boost in Self Confidence
- Increase Energy and Positivity
- Reduced Disability
- Less Anxiety and Depression
Additionally, non-scale victories are one of the greatest benefits of undergoing gastric sleeve surgery. These are moments in life that you could never do before losing weight with gastric sleeve surgery.
We covered all the pros and cons of sleeve gastrectomy to help you make an educated decision for this transformative event. Ultimately, undergoing gastric sleeve surgery is your decision. You need to decide whether to sleeve or not to sleeve. If your happiness and lifestyle change are worth it, then you should absolutely consider gastric sleeve surgery!
If you are interested in learning more about gastric sleeve surgery and get qualified, click here!
Medical Tourism in Mexico
Mexico medical tourism is a viable option for individuals suffering from obesity and cannot afford it. Mexico Bariatric Center® has teamed up with the best bariatric surgeons in Mexico to offer one of the most attractive all-inclusive weight loss surgery packages in Tijuana and Guadalajara, Mexico.