Bariatric surgery is a term that encompasses many different treatments — such as a gastric sleeve surgery. All of these treatments and surgical procedures are aimed at obese people who need to lose weight. The idea with each of them is they alter your digestive system to promote more weight loss.
Many obese individuals need some type of bariatric surgery before beginning their weight loss journey. Often, this is because they’re at a high risk of many health complications if they start exercising. Bariatric surgery helps to reduce these risks by encouraging more weight loss.
Among the many types of bariatric surgery, you’ve probably come across the gastric sleeve. The “sleeve” is one of the most common weight loss surgeries. But what is it? Today, we look at the gastric sleeve surgery and explain the procedure, the goals, and anything else you need to know.
Gastric sleeve vs. gastric bypass
Firstly, we have to distinguish between a gastric sleeve and a gastric bypass. Lots of people confuse the two, assuming that the terms are interchangeable. A gastric bypass is one of the oldest weight loss surgeries available. Essentially, a surgeon creates a smaller stomach pouch for food to pass through. Food then bypasses your actual stomach and part of the small intestine.
By contrast, a gastric sleeve involves sectioning off a portion of your stomach. It becomes much smaller and narrow, like a sleeve. This presents some significant advantages, which you’ll see at a later point.
What’s the purpose of gastric sleeve surgery?
Obviously, the main purpose is to help you lose weight. It does this by restricting the size of your stomach to a small sleeve. Therefore, you physically can’t eat as much food as you used to eat. You get full really quickly, sending signals to your brain to stop eating. With fewer calories consumed it is easier to be in a caloric deficit and burn fat.
What are the advantages?
The primary advantage is that it doesn’t interrupt nutrients absorption. With a gastric bypass, your digestive system fails to absorb nutrients as effectively as it used to. In a gastric sleeve, food still passes through your stomach and small intestine. So nutrients absorption and digestion carry on as usual. It curbs overeating while ensuring you still get the nutrients your body requires.
What are the disadvantages?
There are only two disadvantages of this surgery. Firstly, as with any bariatric surgery, it doesn’t necessarily “last forever.” Your stomach can slowly expand with time. This means that gastric sleeve revision and tightening may be required to continue seeing the benefits.
Secondly, you end up eating a very restricted diet as you can’t eat that much food. Thus, you may need various supplements to ensure your body has enough calories and nutrients to function correctly.
Overall, the sleeve is a popular bariatric surgery for individuals that find it hard to curb their eating habits. It’s challenging for obese people to magically reduce their caloric intake — particularly owing to the volume of food an obese stomach holds. This is why bariatric surgery exists, to give everyone a chance at a better and healthier life.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life