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Bariatric surgery encompasses a number of different medical procedures all having to do with obesity and weight loss. Two of the most popular types of Bariatric surgery are Gastric Bypass and the Gastric Sleeve.
Many people in Simcoe aren’t familiar with the different types of bariatric surgery, but you may be familiar with one or the other. Many potential candidates for Bariatric surgery do not know the ins-and-outs of which procedure may be the best choice for them.
Here are the pros and cons of Gastric Bypass Surgery versus the Gastric sleeve (aka “sleeve gastrectomy”), brought to you by Healthcare Connects, a medical tourism company based right here in Simcoe, Ontario.
What is Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery is an operation that helps you lose weight by making changes to your digestive system.
Some types of bariatric surgeries make your stomach smaller, allowing you to eat and drink less at one time and making you feel full sooner. Other bariatric surgeries also change your small intestine—the part of your body that absorbs calories and nutrients from foods and beverages.
Who is Bariatric Surgery For?
Bariatric surgery is typically only for people who are technically “Obese.”
Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. BMI is a measure of your weight in relation to your height.
- Class 1 obesity means a BMI of 30 to 35
- Class 2 obesity is a BMI of 35 to 40
- Class 3 obesity is a BMI of 40 or more.
Classes 2 and 3, also known as severe obesity, are often hard to treat with diet and exercise alone.
What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure that restricts food intake and shortens the digestive track by creating a small gastric pouch from the upper portion of the stomach.
The intestine is surgically connected to this pouch, creating a small opening for food to pass through. The remaining larger portion of the stomach and part of the intestines are bypassed. A gastric bypass procedure limits the amount of food consumed and reduces the calories and nutrients absorbed from food.
Why Have Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass is done to help you lose excess weight and reduce your risk of potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems, including:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Type 2 diabetes
Gastric bypass is typically done only after you’ve tried to lose weight by improving your diet and exercise habits.
Who is Gastric Bypass Surgery For?
In general, gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries could be an option for you if:
- Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher (extreme obesity).
- Your BMI is 35 to 39.9 (obesity), and you have a serious weight-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnea. In some cases, you may qualify for certain types of weight-loss surgery if your BMI is 30 to 34 and you have serious weight-related health problems.
But gastric bypass isn’t for everyone who is severely overweight. You may need to meet certain medical guidelines to qualify for weight-loss surgery.
You likely will have an extensive screening process to see if you qualify.
What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
During a sleeve gastrectomy, a sleeve-shaped tube is created from a small portion of the stomach and the majority of the stomach is removed. Food passes through the new stomach tube directly into the intestines. Nutrients and calories are absorbed from food normally, but patients feel full sooner and longer.
Sleeve gastrectomy is performed laparoscopically and can be a permanent surgical solution to manage weight. The gastric sleeve or sleeve gastrectomy provides an alternative for the patient that restricts what they eat without altering the route the food or beverages takes through the G.I. tract
Who is Gastric Sleeve Surgery For?
Gastric sleeve surgery is used to treat severe obesity. It’s advised for people who have tried other weight loss methods without long-term success. Your doctor may advise gastric sleeve surgery if you are severely obese with a body mass index (BMI) over 40.
Your doctor may also advise it if you have a BMI between 35 and 40 and a health condition such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes.
What Happens During Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
For gastric sleeve surgery you will be given general anesthesia which will cause you to sleep through the surgery. Your surgeon will use laparoscopy. He or she will make several small cuts (incisions) in your upper abdomen. The surgeon will then insert a laparoscope and put small surgery tools into these incisions.
The anesthesiologist will then pass a sizing tube through your mouth down into the stomach. The surgeon will then use a laparoscopic stapler to divide the stomach, leaving a narrowed vertical sleeve. The part of the stomach that was removed is then taken out of the abdomen through an incision.
Your surgeon may then test for any leaks in the sleeve using a dye study or an upper endoscopy.
Getting Ready for Bariatric Surgery
To help get you ready for Bariatric surgery your healthcare team will work with you to determine which procedure is right for you and will discuss lifelong diet and lifestyle changes with you that will help you keep all of the weight loss progress that you make post-surgery.
Which is Better Gastric Bypass or Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
The decision about what procedure is best for you can and should be made in consultation with your doctor and or surgeon. Factors including your medical condition, medications, previous surgeries and dieting history will play a role in this decision.”
According to several studies, Gastric bypass surgery resulted in an average 31 percent loss of total body weight in the first year and 25 percent of total body weight after five years.
Sleeve gastrectomy led to a 25 percent loss in total body weight in the first year and 19 percent loss of total body weight after five years.
What Happens After Bariatric Surgery?
You’ll likely go home the day after surgery. You will be on a liquid diet for the first week or two. Your surgery team will give you a schedule of types of meals over the next weeks.
You’ll go from liquids to pureed foods, then soft foods, and then to regular food. Each meal needs to be very small. You should make sure to eat slowly and chew each bite well. Don’t move too quickly to regular food. This can cause pain and vomiting.
Don’t Play the Waiting Game
A major problem that many patients waiting for Bariatric Surgery face is the low number of Canadian doctors available to perform their surgery. Months and even years on waiting lists can result in further health problems and death.
That is why Healthcare Connects specializes in medical tourism with Bariatric Surgery candidates with qualified, highly-reviewed foreign doctors who are able to perform surgery quicker and for cheaper than in the United States.