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 minimal 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 restriction in food intake and reduced hunger in digestion. Due to changes in the stomach, other hormones like GLP-1 and PYY are changed, leading to quick weight loss and blood sugar control.

The sleeve procedure is popular with its spectacular success in 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 a 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.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexico

Advantages of Gastric Sleeve

Gastric sleeve surgery produces significant weight reduction, losing over 65% of excess weight on average 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.
  • Reduces the Amount of Food Intake—It restricts the capacity to eat large amounts of food.
  • Makes Patients Feel Full Faster—A smaller stomach activates the stretch receptors faster, sending the fullness signal to the brain.
  • 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.
  • Increased Leptin Sensitivity—Patients become more sensitive to Leptin levels in the blood, and satiety increases.
  • Increased Level of GLP-1—Postprandial GLP-1 (Glucagon-like Peptide-1) gut hormone 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 a vitamin supplement regimen following surgery.
  • No Foreign Object—Unlike a gastric band, no foreign body is used in the gastric sleeve procedure.
  • 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 sizable 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 in the digestion process, causing fewer essential nutrients to be absorbed into the body. Procedures incorporating malabsorption (like gastric bypass and duodenal switch) have stricter nutritional guidelines because they absorb fewer nutrients due to the anatomy changes.
  • Post-Op Dietary Restrictions: Healthy meal plans must be integrated into patients’ lifestyles to succeed long-term.
  • Costly: 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%.

  1. Staple line leak (less than 0.5%)
  2. Bleeding (3%)
  3. Abscess (1-2%)
  4. Ulcers (~3%)
  5. Severe vitamin deficiencies (less than 1%)

Pros and Cons of Gastric Sleeve Surgery - Advantages and Disadvantages of Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG)

 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 improve or even cure after gastric sleeve surgery drastically.

  1. Sleep Apnea
  2. Asthma
  3. Reduce Blood Pressure
  4. Reduce Cholesterol
  5. Improve Type 2 Diabetes
  6. Improve Painful Migraines
  7. Infertility and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)*
  8. Cardiovascular Disease
  9. GERD
  10. Depression
  11. Less risk for COVID-19

2. Quality of Life Benefits

Quality of life benefits are extremely common for gastric sleeve patients. With so much change, patients often see life become more fulfilling after surgery.

Many of these benefits include:

  1. Change in Love Life
  2. A Boost in Self-Confidence
  3. Increase Energy and Positivity
  4. Reduced Disability
  5. 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.

The Verdict

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 want to learn more about gastric sleeve surgery and getting 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.

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