Gastric sleeve or Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) is becoming one of the most popular surgical treatments for obese individuals. VSG involves removing a portion of the stomach (sometimes up to 80%) laparoscopically to create a narrow sleeve. It limits the food intake a patient can consume.
Sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive procedure used to treat morbid obesity and help patients lose significant weight rapidly. It also treats many medical conditions, including hypertension, sleep apnea, and Type II Diabetes.
Gastric sleeve benefits outweigh its possible risks.
Like most surgical procedures, there are always pros and cons to consider before committing to the surgery itself. Make sure you understand the procedure completely and the risks associated with it.
Pros and Cons of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Advantages of Gastric Sleeve
The most obvious pro to this surgery is that it reduces hunger. The reduction of the stomach reduces the biochemical in the stomach that contributes to the feeling of being hungry.
Many patients also like that no restrictive device or foreign body is in place after surgery commences. These types of surgeries are more likely to cause infection and revisional surgeries.
Next, the amount of weight loss in regard to gastric sleeves is significant. Some studies suggest patients can lose 40-60% of weight in the first few years following surgery. This weight loss will improve several medical conditions patients may have been diagnosed with before surgery.
Because the gastric sleeve is not malabsorptive and is restrictive, there is no malabsorption of nutrients, like gastric bypass. Patients can eat what they want, just in smaller portion sizes. Because the patient eats less, they must choose nutritious foods that give them energy, not junk.
In the gastric sleeve procedure, there is no change made to the stomach anatomy. Unlike gastric bypass, the stomach outlet (pyloric valve) that regulates the release of food to the small intestine stays intact.
Gastric sleeves and other surgical procedures also cause less of a risk than that living with severe obesity. After significant weight loss, a patient may endure gastric bypass or duodenal switch surgery to complete their health change.
Disadvantages of Gastric Sleeve
The first con to this procedure is that it is irreversible. This bariatric operation is not reversible like the gastric band, plication, or gastric balloon.
The gastric sleeve also can be expensive in the U.S. and Canada and often isn’t covered by insurance. Patients, however, can look for healthcare beyond borders.
Like any other surgery, this surgical procedure can lead to complications, including infections, bleeding, and pneumonia. Leakage is also possible because of the stapling that occurs during the procedure.
Also, gastric sleeve only limits the ability to eat solid foods, not liquids that can prevent weight loss if consumed. The stomach can stretch and manipulate the procedure over time if poor food choices are made.
Another con is that a patient’s attitude toward food must change completely, or the patient will not lose weight as much.
Medical tourism is an alternative for many who cannot afford this life-saving procedure. Mexico Bariatric Center® has established itself as the number 1 leader in the Mexico Bariatrics for medical tourists.
MBC helps patients from the U.S., Canada, and Europe travel to Tijuana and Guadalajara for safe and affordable weight loss surgery. We work with the team of trusted and experienced bariatric surgeons in Mexico. Together, we are devoted to improving your health and quality of life.