The growing awareness of the health risks associated with obesity has led to an increase in bariatric surgeries.

Bariatric surgery may be an option for those who are obese (a body mass index of 30 or higher), have obesity-related problems, and are unable to lose weight through traditional means such as diet change and increase in physical activity.

The goal of bariatric surgery is to help patients lose weight by making the stomach smaller and sometimes, making changes in the small intestine.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: An Option for Weight Loss

Gastric sleeve surgery (also known as sleeve gastrectomy) is one of the most popular bariatric surgeries. Considered as a ‘restrictive’ operation, it aids in weight loss by making the stomach smaller.

The surgery is usually performed by making several small incisions and using small, special instruments and a camera to guide the surgery (laparoscopic approach). In some cases, it may be done with an open approach through a large incision in the abdomen.

During gastric sleeve surgery, more than half of the stomach is removed, leaving a tubular pouch that is about the size and shape of a banana. The stomach is 75 percent smaller after the surgery, which limits the amount of food that can be eaten.

Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are metabolic procedures. This simply means that hunger and satiety hormones are altered after the procedure. Hence, undergoing either of these surgeries causes the patient to feel full even after a small meal.

Both surgeries work well in achieving long-term weight loss, especially for those with obesity-related problems such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol.

When it comes to risks and complications, the gastric sleeve has a lower risk of “dumping syndrome” compared to gastric bypass surgery. Also known as “rapid gastric emptying”, dumping syndrome happens when food moves from the stomach to the small bowel very quickly. It usually occurs in surgeries that involve removal of all or part of the stomach and in surgeries that bypass the stomach. 

Advantages of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Aside from the lower risk of dumping syndrome, gastric sleeve is often preferred as postoperative deficiencies are more minimal. Patients who undergo gastric sleeve also have less chance of developing ulcers compared to those who undergo gastric bypass.

Foothills Weight Loss Specialists in Knoxville perform surgery for the treatment of obesity that helps to improve overall quality of life. Our board-certified bariatric surgeons and highly trained staff offer comprehensive care to help you succeed in your weight loss surgery process. Attend a free class with one of our surgeons to learn if weight loss surgery is right for you. Click here to register today!