Gastric bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy are two procedures that are part of bariatric surgery, which is the set of surgical procedures offered to treat obesity.
Each of these two operations is based on different principles and procedures, but both can produce surprising results.
Here’s what you need to know about these obesity surgeries, and how the choice is made when it comes to taking action.
If you are suffering from obesity and conventional methods have not helped you shed the extra pounds adequately, then surgery may be an option to consider.
For many people, repeated exercise and dieting do not produce the desired results. It is then possible to consult a surgeon and request a gastric bypass or a sleeve gastrectomy.
These are the two leading procedures in obesity surgery: practised for years throughout the world, the effectiveness of these two techniques has been widely proven. However, in both cases, it is imperative to rigorously follow a new lifestyle in order to obtain the desired results and to keep the new weight stable.
Both operations are performed under general anaesthesia, and both require between 2 and 3 days of hospitalization. The price does not differ much between one procedure and the other. The main difference is the reversibility of the operations: with the gastric bypass, it is possible to carry out a new operation afterwards in order to reverse the changes made; this is not the case with a sleeve, where the results are definitive.
It is useful to know the procedures of the sleeve and the bypass before starting the procedure.
Both procedures will make significant changes to the anatomy of your digestive system, but the goal in both cases will be to reduce the amount of food eaten during meals.
Here are the principles of the two procedures and the changes your body will undergo:
The principle of a gastric bypass: In a gastric bypass, the stomach is bypassed by connecting a loop of the small intestine to the upper part of the stomach. After the operation, only a small part of the stomach is used (a small pouch). The aim of this manoeuvre is to limit the amount of food absorbed during the meal, which in the long term can lead to a significant weight loss. Patient can expect to lose up to about 65% of his excess weight. The main advantage of this procedure is that it is reversible, as the surgeon does not remove any part of the digestive system during the procedure.
The principle of a sleeve gastrectomy: for this operation, the surgeon will cut a large part of the stomach. This organ will lose 2/3 of its volume, and will be shaped like a tube after the operation. As with the bypass, the aim is to reduce considerably the amount of food taken during meals. However, unlike bypass surgery, sleeve surgery is an irreversible operation: it is impossible to go back, as a large part of the stomach is permanently removed during the operation. Patients who have undergone this technique can expect to lose up to 65% of their excess weight.
Before you can have a bypass or sleeve procedure, you will need to do your best to lose as much weight as possible using more conventional methods.
This means that you will need to do some dieting and exercise, if possible, get as close as possible to a more suitable weight.
You will also need to take time to think and prepare yourself mentally, as these are major operations and your body will undergo major changes especially in the case of a sleeve, which is an irreversible operation.
As with any other procedure, a full medical file will need to be prepared, including a medical check-up, blood tests and various other tests. The diagnosis will have to show that you do not suffer from any pathologies that could contraindicate the operation.
In the end, it will be up to your surgeon to decide which procedure is best for you between a sleeve and a bypass.
During the preliminary consultations, the specialist will evaluate various factors that will help him/her in the choice of the procedure: your general state of health, the history of your previous operations, your age, your eating habits, the number of kilos to be eliminated, etc. A detailed diagnosis will therefore be made, and it is on the basis of your examinations that the decision regarding the procedure will be made.
The most important thing to remember before requesting bariatric surgery is to choose the surgeon who will perform the operation and the clinic. A sleeve or a bypass are both complex procedures that require a great deal of expertise to ensure a satisfactory result.
You will also need to take the time to weigh up the pros and cons, and to decide whether this type of operation is right for you.
It is important to know that there are a few annoying side effects that can be expected after bariatric surgery. Among the most common complications: some difficulty in digesting food, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty in absorbing large quantities of food…
In some cases, you will need to take supplements to make up for the lack of certain minerals and vitamins necessary for your health.
When you lose a lot of weight, you will have to be monitored by a team of specialists, who will make sure that your body is responding well to the weight loss and that you are not suffering from any deficiencies.
Following the operation, you will also need to ban certain foods from your diet: you will need to avoid all alcoholic drinks or consume them in very small quantities (bariatric surgery patients can become intoxicated quicker than normal people).
You should also avoid pastries and sweets, and foods that are too fatty. In general, you will need to be very careful with your new diet, which is why it is useful to seek advice from a qualified nutritionist after the operation.