The dilemma is real! With all the pros and cons of gastric sleeve surgery, patients can expect significant weight loss with low risk of complications. As one of most effective treatments for morbid obesity and long-term weight loss, it’s a huge decision to make whether to sleeve or not to sleeve.
If you are not yet convinced – here, we will show an unbiased overview of all the advantages, disadvantages, benefits, and risks related to gastric sleeve surgery to help you decide if it is the right weight loss surgical procedure for you.
Description of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Most people are attracted to sleeve gastrectomy surgery because of its reputation as the low-risk, high-results bariatric procedure. It is rapidly growing because it is one of the most straightforward and clean weight loss operations available for morbidly obese patients.
In short, the gastric sleeve surgery removes up to 85% of the total stomach volume to give patients a small sleeve-shaped stomach while leaving the intestines unchanged. In 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 breathtaking success at ending the cycle of obesity through a simple method of not allowing overeating and relinquishing the feeling of constant hunger.
Pros and Cons of Gastric Sleeve – Advantages
The gastric sleeve surgery produces significant weight loss, on average over 65% within the first year. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), weight loss exceeds 50% in years 3-5, making it extremely effective long-term as well.
Pros of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- Resets metabolic thermostat – resets your body’s setpoint creating a faster metabolism
- Significant effect on decreasing the stomach’s hunger hormones, known as Ghrelin – excludes the portion of the stomach that releases most hunger hormones
- Reduces the amount of food intake – eliminates the ability to eat large portions of food
- Makes patients feel full with less food
- Increase speed of digestion process because food spends less time in the smaller, sleeve-shaped stomach – allows less food to be absorbed into the body
Why Patients Choose Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Those who gravitate towards the gastric sleeve procedure do because of the advantages related to the surgical procedure.
- No anatomy changes – Patients don’t have re-routing of the small intestines or the complications related to procedures like gastric bypass or duodenal switch. In light of the lack of nutritional deficiency, patients are not on as strict of vitamin supplements following surgery.
- Straightforward – most bariatric procedures are complicated surgically and hard to understand. Gastric sleeve surgery is straightforward without any variations or surgeon “individual touch”. There are no different variations of performing the procedure and every surgeon follows the same method.
Pros and Cons of Gastric Sleeve – Disadvantages
Even with all the pros of gastric sleeve surgery, there are cons (disadvantages) to every aggressive surgical procedure. Through resecting a significant portion of the stomach, leakage can occur along the staple line proceeding surgery. Despite this, we re-enforce all staple lines with sutures to diminish the leakage complication rate to close to 0%.
Vitamin supplements are needed long-term due to nutritional deficiencies because of the increased digestion process, forcing 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 must be integrated into patients lifestyle to succeed long-term.
Because of the portion of the stomach being removed, the gastric sleeve surgery is a non-reversible procedure.
Gastric Sleeve Complications
- Staple line leak (less than 0.5%)
- Bleeding (3%)
- Abscess (1-2%)
- Ulcers (~3%)
- Severe vitamin deficiencies (less than 1%)
Expected Weight Loss (3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months)
- 3 months: 30% excess weight loss
- 6 months: 50% excess weight loss
- 12 months: 70% excess weight loss
- 18 months: 75% excess weight loss
*Individual results may vary
Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
There are many advantages shown through major health benefits of gastric sleeve surgery. Beside rapid and long-term weight loss, the sleeve procedure increases the quality of life and improves overall health.
Health Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
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
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 from undergoing gastric sleeve surgery. These are moments in life that you were never able to do before losing weight with gastric sleeve surgery.
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 is worth it, then you should absolutely consider gastric sleeve surgery!
If you are interested in learning more about gastric sleeve surgery or to see if you pre-qualify, click here!