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Gastric Bypass vs. Gastric Sleeve: What's the Difference?

If you’re considering weight loss surgery or researching options for a friend or family member, you probably already know that several options exist. There are three main types of bariatric surgery: gastric band, gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve, plus the Obalon® Balloon System

Dr. Robert Snow of Snow Bariatric Center has successfully performed all types of bariatric surgery, but today, Dr. Snow hopes to help you learn about two of the most common types of weight loss surgery — gastric bypass and gastric sleeve. 

Consider this your first step in finding out which type of weight loss surgery is best for you — here are all of the basics and essential information about gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery. 

What is gastric bypass surgery?

Gastric bypass surgery, technically called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, involves shrinking the size of your stomach, thus limiting the amount of food you can eat and how many nutrients you can absorb. 

During this surgery, Dr. Snow reroutes your digestive tract by disconnecting the top part of your stomach and inserting a segment of your small intestine. This way, food directly enters your small intestine and bypasses up to 95% of your stomach. 

Gastric bypass helps patients lose up to 20 more pounds than gastric sleeve surgery can, and it can also rebalance hormones to help patients overcome type 2 diabetes. Gastric bypass surgery does have drawbacks, however, such as a lifelong risk for nutrient deficiencies.

What is gastric sleeve surgery? 

Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy surgery, involves operating only on the stomach. Your intestines are left untouched.

To perform gastric sleeve surgery, Dr. Snow simply removes a large portion of your stomach and staples the remaining tissue together to create a smaller stomach that looks kind of like a narrow sleeve. This reduces the amount of food you can eat at any given time.

Like gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery has its own pros and cons. For example, the overall risk of complications is lower with gastric sleeve than gastric bypass, but you may not lose as much weight with gastric sleeve surgery.

Is gastric bypass better than gastric sleeve?

Gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery are both unique, effective approaches to weight loss surgery. They have their differences and their similarities, and they both have their benefits and drawbacks. The bottom line, however, is that the best weight loss surgery is the one that provides you with the best results. 

Determining the very best procedure requires an in-depth discussion between you and your weight loss surgeon. Dr. Snow can help you decide on the best weight loss surgery by going through a comprehensive health history, physical exam, and any other imaging or exams necessary.

To learn more about gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries — and to find out which one is right for you — schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Snow today. Call one of our convenient Texas locations or request an appointment online.

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