Gastric Bypass vs. Gastric Sleeve: Which One Is Right for You?

March 20, 2019 / Dr. Sunil Bhoyrul

Bariatric surgery can be life changing. Not only does it provide significant weight loss, it improves the overall quality of your life. 


If you're struggling with life-threatening obesity and its complications, then it makes perfect sense that you'd be looking at some form of bariatric surgery -- but which one should you choose?


Two of the most common types of bariatric procedures are gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery. They can both help you lose more than half of your body weight.


Here's a general comparison from your friends at Olde Del Mar Surgical to help you understand the differences between these two surgeries.


Gastric Bypass vs. Gastric Sleeve


Before you can weight the relative pros and cons of gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery, you have to understand what these procedures consist of.


Gastric Bypass:


A gastric bypass involves detaching a large portion of the stomach chamber, leaving only a small pouch for collecting food.




A portion of the small intestine leading from the stomach pouch is also cut, and the intestine below this area is connected to the new stomach pouch.


Incoming food therefore "bypasses" the majority of the stomach, proceeding directly into the shortened small intestine. As a result, your body takes in only a fraction of the calories it once did.


Gastric Sleeve:


By contrast, gastric sleeve surgery doesn't rearrange the intestine's relationship to the stomach, nor does it leave a portion of the stomach chamber dormant within the body.




Instead, the surgeon simply removes a portion of the stomach lengthwise, leaving you with a small, banana-shaped, but otherwise perfectly functional stomach.


Here, too, you take in a much smaller amount of food, giving your body fewer calories to store.


Weighing the Pros and Cons


Both surgeries get the job done, but which one you choose will depend on such factors as:

  • Nutrient absorption

    • Gastric sleeve surgery reduces the amount of food you can ingest, but your ability to absorb nutrients remains unimpaired.
    • In gastric bypass surgery, the loss of part of the small intestine hinders your ability to absorb nutrients, requiring you to take supplements.
  • Associated health conditions

    • If you're trying to control obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or sleep apnea, you should know that gastric bypass surgery tends to be somewhat more effective at resolving these issues, although either procedure can certainly help.
  • Severity of obesity

    • The more obese you are, you more seriously you should consider gastric bypass over gastric sleeve. This more extreme procedure can often yield more profound weight loss.


To learn more about these procedures and more, reach out to us at Olde Del Mar Surgical. We can give you a consultation to determine which procedure is right for you. 


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Posted in Obesity, Weight Loss, Bariatric Surgery