Gastric Bypass vs. Gastric Sleeve: Which is Best for You

Gastric Bypass vs. Gastric Sleeve: Which is Best for You

Gastric bypass and gastric sleeve are bariatric surgeries that can aid weight loss. They’re optimal for people living with obesity who have had little luck with other weight loss methods, such as dieting and exercising.

Although both procedures seem similar, they’re vastly different, with unique risks and benefits.  Michael Sutker, MD, and our team here in Dallas, Texas, can help you decide between a gastric bypass and a gastric sleeve. Whichever procedure you opt for, you can be assured that it’ll be skillfully executed. 

Gastric bypass vs. gastric sleeve, know the difference 

In a gastric bypass procedure, Dr. Sutker redirects your digestive system by creating a small pouch from your stomach tissue and connecting it to your small intestine. This allows food to bypass your stomach, so your body absorbs less food. Some research shows that you are likely to lose up to 60% to 80% of the weight you are trying to shed in the first 18 months after the surgery. 


On the other hand, in a gastric sleeve procedure, Dr. Sutker removes part of your stomach using small incisions. Up to 80% of your stomach may be removed, leaving you with a smaller, sleeve-shaped stomach.

Benefits of gastric bypass or gastric sleeve 

In addition to helping you lose weight, bariatric surgeries address several other obesity-related health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and sleep apnea. 

Which is best for you?

Dr. Sutker is board-certified in general surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), and a Fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (FASMBS), highly qualified to help you navigate your surgical options and decide whether gastric bypass or gastric sleeve is best for you. Both procedures are highly effective in aiding weight loss, especially in the long term. 


People with high BMIs (>50) looking to lose weight may benefit more from a gastric bypass. A gastric bypass may also be more beneficial for patients with severe gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD or acid reflux) or for patients with diabetes who are on insulin.  On the other hand, people who are at high risk for medical complications of surgery (patients with severe heart, lung, or kidney disease) maybe benefit more from the gastric sleeve, which requires less time under anesthesia to perform the procedure.  

Any surgery has risks, and bariatric procedures are no different. However, when compared to the complications of living with obesity, undergoing bariatric surgery is often the wise choice. Before you decide, Dr. Sutker discusses all risks and benefits of each procedure at length with you, and he considers your overall health and weight loss goals when advising you.

A gastric sleeve may produce slower results than a gastric bypass. With the gastric sleeve, you can expect to lose around 60% of your excess body weight in the first year or two; with the gastric bypass procedure, you may lose up to 70% of your excess body weight. The recovery time for both procedures is two to four weeks. 

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