Stomach surgery: why I chose the Gastric Sleeve

A friend who is considering getting stomach surgery – she need to lose weight to help with some knee troubles – asked me why I chose the Gastric Sleeve over the other two options, so I have thrown together a Pros and Cons list for each option to explain why I made the decision.

I’ve made a pros and cons list for each option, but these are pros and cons in my situation – they may be different for you.

Gastric Band

Pros Cons
Least invasive Foreign object in your body
Shortest surgery Can be removed
  Bands can erode and cause infections
  You get the band in, but you don’t lose weight until at least 8 weeks later, when they tighten it.
  Band is gradually tightened, which means weight loss is gradual.
  Band can be tightened too much and cause discomfort and reflux
  Liquid calories (fruit juice) pass through the band and still end up in your stomach at a large volume
  You can’t eat steak, pasta or bread (they get stuck)
  Lots of follow up
  Weird port stick under the skin of your stomach (they put saline in it to inflate the band when needed) – it’s like a petrol flap, but for your stomach. Yuck!
  My surgeon said he’s only done two bands in the last year – so they aren’t popular or well-practiced.
  25% of patients don’t lose weight – because the lower part of your stomach is still there, you can push through food and keep eating (or just eat really slowly and eat more).


Gastric Sleeve

Pros Cons
Permanent Risk of leakage through staples for first 10 days (this risk is minimised with a liquid only diet for the first 14 days after surgery)
The risk of leakage is only for 10 days, after that you’re done Possible risk of reflux
No follow ups  
You can eat anything you want afterward – keeping in mind that you’re trying to lose weight…  
More rapid weight loss than the band  
Removes part of the stomach responsible for producing Gherin – a hormone that creates hunger  
My surgeon has done hundred (probably thousands?) sleeves and has never had a serious leak  


Gastric Bypass

Pros Cons
Rapid (drastic even) weight loss Too invasive a surgery
Best option for people with diabetes – although I am unsure why. Bypasses the part of your stomach that breaks down food, to absorb calories and nutrients
  Possible issues down the track with malabsorption and malnutrition


So there ya go, the sleeve has (by far) the most pros for me. But it’s also about intuition and knowing yourself – I know that I don’t have the will power required to restrain myself from over indulging while on the band. The sleeve provides me with the right amount of restriction, but without being as drastic a change as the bypass.


One thought on “Stomach surgery: why I chose the Gastric Sleeve

  1. Thanks for writing up how you made your choice. You’ve got a fairly similar thought process to me so, not surprisingly, you’ve arrived at the same result. This is all really helpful stuff for me since I’m still processing the decision right now.

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