A few decades ago, weight loss surgery was new and relatively unknown. Most patients who had this type of procedure had what was known as a gastric bypass, in which the intestinal connection to the stomach was moved, bypassing the majority of the stomach. Now, weight loss surgery is more common, and there are a number of procedures to choose from. One of them is called the gastric sleeve procedure. While gastric sleeve surgery is a great choice for many patients, it is not for everyone. Here's a little more information to help you decide whether it might be right for you.
What is gastric sleeve surgery?
In gastric sleeve surgery, the doctor will remove a large portion of the stomach, leaving only a tube-like segment of the stomach leading from the esophagus to the small intestine. This tube is shaped like a banana or a sleeve — hence the name. Because the stomach is now a lot smaller, patients feel full faster and cannot eat nearly as much food at the same time.
Like any weight loss surgery, this is a serious procedure, and patients typically need to spend at least a week in the hospital afterward to recover. The effects are permanent; the patient's stomach can never be made "normal" again.
What are the benefits of gastric sleeve surgery over other approaches?
One advantage of gastric sleeve surgery over gastric bypass is that with gastric sleeve surgery, patients do not need to be as concerned about dumping syndrome. This is a condition that happens when a patient with a gastric bypass overeats, and the food "dumps" into the intestine before the stomach has had a chance to digest it.
Patients with gastric sleeve surgery are better able to maintain a normal diet and less likely to have to avoid specific foods post-surgery. They can't eat as much, but they don't have to avoid rich foods as vehemently as those with gastric bypass.
Are there any drawbacks to the gastric sleeve procedure?
Gastric sleeve surgery is not quite as effective at helping patients lose weight as gastric bypass. Patients with gastric bypass typically lose a few pounds more. If a patient is extremely obese, doctors usually prefer gastric bypass, but patients with a more moderate amount of weight to lose can have either.
If you are interested or considering gastric sleeve surgery, make sure to get in contact with a company like The Weight Loss Surgery Center of Los Angeles.