The Pros & Cons of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

The Pros & Cons of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

A gastric sleeve procedure, which is also called a sleeve gastrectomy, is used to assist obese patients with weight loss. The procedure helps limit the quantity of food that you can ingest by decreasing the size of your stomach.

During gastric sleeve surgery a significant portion of your stomach is removed, and you are left with a gastric pouch that is similar in size to a banana. Since the volume of your stomach is dramatically reduced, the amount of food that you can comfortably ingest is also limited.

Here are some of the pros and cons of a gastric sleeve procedure:

Pros of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

A gastric sleeve procedure can offer many benefits. Here are a few of them:

  • Reduction in Caloric Intake– The types of food that you eat may not change after a gastric sleeve procedure, but the quantity that you consume will. This reduction in caloric intake can lead to the shedding of a dramatic number of pounds in a relatively brief period.
  • Significant Weight Loss– Studies suggest that people who undergo gastric sleeve surgery can expect to lose about 60 to 75 percent of their excess weight.
  • No Dumping– During a gastric sleeve surgery, the intestines are not rerouted. As a result, you are unlikely to experience the negative side effect called dumping that is sometimes associated with a gastric bypass. Dumping occurs when the contents within your stomach are dumped into your small intestine before they are adequately digested.
  • Fewer Nutritional Deficiencies-Vitamin and mineral deficiency sometimes occur after bariatric surgery has been performed. However, with gastric sleeve surgery, the absorption of food is not altered. Thus, a deficiency is not as likely.
  • Reduction in Hunger– In addition to the resizing of your stomach, hormones, such as ghrelin which affect the appetite, are also influenced by gastric sleeve surgery. Ghrelin increases your sense of hunger and is produced by cells within the stomach. Since the gastric sleeve surgery removes the portion of your stomach that contains the ghrelin-producing cells, your appetite should decrease more significantly after a gastric sleeve procedure than it would with other bariatric procedures, such as gastric banding.
  • Improvement of Systemic Health Conditions– Weight-related health conditions can dramatically improve after gastric sleeve surgery. If you suffer from diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, gastroesophageal disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, or obstructive sleep apnea, you can expect your symptoms to improve.

Cons of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Although there are many benefits of gastric sleeve surgery, there are also potential risks. Your chances of developing a problem from a gastric sleeve procedure are small. However, they do sometimes occur. Here are a few of them:

  • Organ Damage– Nearby organs can be punctured or otherwise damaged during the surgery.
  • Gastric Inflammation– The lining of your stomach could be irritated or inflamed by the procedure.
  • Chronic Heartburn– You can have regular episodes of heartburn due to the reduction in the size of your stomach.
  • Infections– Partially digested material could leak from the surgical wound into the gut and cause infections.
  • Scarring– Your digestive tract could develop scarring from the surgery.
  • Reflux– Acid moving up from the stomach into the esophagus causing burning chest pain. This condition occurs in roughly 20% of all sleeve patients.
  • Vomiting– Uncontrollable vomiting may occur after consuming a large quantity of food.