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Gastric Bypass vs Gastric Sleeve

Posted on 27 Aug, 2020

Gastric Bypass vs Gastric Sleeve – understand your options and the key differences between two of the most common weight loss procedures in Australia.  


If you're considering weight loss surgery in 2023, you have a few options. Two of the leading excess weight loss procedures performed in Australia are gastric sleeve surgeries and gastric bypass surgeries. 

Each type of surgery comes with a variety of benefits, risks, pros and cons. The kind of weight loss procedure that you choose should depend on what is most appropriate for your weight, your weight loss goals, any medical conditions, your age and what you are hoping to achieve with weight loss surgery.

As one of Australia’s leading weight loss clinics, we thought we’d break down and compare two of the most popular intervening weight loss options in Australia for 2023: Gastric Bypass vs Gastric Sleeve surgery.

Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are both forms of bariatric surgery, performed laparoscopically by a qualified and experienced bariatric surgeon. Both are legitimate dramatic weight loss routes, with thousands of patients every year benefitting from both gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgery. However, there are some major differences between the two procedures. Let's look at each of them: 


Gastric Bypass vs Gastric Sleeve


Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are similar in that they both reduce the amount of food one can consume. This type of restriction encourages weight loss as the patient is forced to eat less food and dramatically adjust obesity food consumption behaviours. Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are both an option for those who have attempted numerous weight loss routes with no success. 


The main difference between gastric bypass vs sleeve is the procedure itself. Gastric sleeve surgeries involve a bariatric surgeon removing a large portion of the stomach, to have it sewn up as a small pouch. The remaining pouch will act as a small stomach, significantly reducing the amount of food and liquid one can consume. As well as reducing the size of the stomach, gastric sleeve surgery also involves removing the hormone that produces the feeling of hunger (ghrelin), which also aids the weight loss process. 


gastric sleeve surgery 


Gastric bypass surgeries involve a process wherein a small stomach pouch is created by bypassing most of the stomach and the first section of the small intestine. The small, newly created stomach pouch is then reconnected to the remaining small intestine. The bypassed section of the stomach is attached further down the small intestine, to ensure that the acid and digestive enzymes are produced correctly. As well as creating a smaller stomach pouch, gastric bypass surgery also means that there are fewer calories absorbed because the portion of the stomach that normally does so has been adjusted. This also contributes to the process of weight loss. 


Gastric Sleeve vs Bypass Recovery Time


The gastric sleeve vs bypass recovery time can vary from patient to patient. However, by nature, gastric bypass surgery is more complicated than gastric sleeve surgery. This is because gastric bypass surgery is a two-step procedure; where the surgeon separates a portion of the stomach and then reconnects it to a section of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach. Gastric sleeve surgery is much more straightforward – a portion of the stomach is removed, and the small pouch is stapled back together. This means that when it comes to gastric sleeve vs bypass recovery time, gastric bypass may involve a longer initial recovery period. 


gastric bypass surgery diagram 


The initial recovery period for gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve will be dependent on several factors. Considering gastric bypass surgery is relatively more complicated, gastric bypass patients may experience a longer recovery. Similarly, if the bypass procedure is performed laparoscopically, the recovery period will be significantly shorter than if it has to be performed abdominally. 


Following gastric bypass surgery, gastric bypass patients may experience an intolerance to certain types of food and drink, known as dumping syndrome. Dumping syndrome reinforces the body’s inability to consume high-calorie foods and can present some unpleasant symptoms that may interfere with the recovery of the procedure. 


The average stay in hospital for gastric bypass surgery is at least two days, as the procedure is complicated when compared to gastric sleeve surgery. For gastric sleeve procedures, patients should be able to return from their hospital stay after 1 to 2 days if everything goes smoothly. 


For both procedures, patients will need to take it easy for 3 to 4 weeks before resuming normal activities. While laparoscopic surgeries are very straightforward, they are still intervening procedures that require time to fully recover from. 


Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Bypass Long Term


When it comes to gastric sleeve vs gastric bypass long term results, again, results will vary from patient to patient. The long-term results that come with weight loss surgery will always depend on the patient, how much weight they need to lose, and how committed they are to adopting long-term healthy food and weight loss behaviours. 


For gastric sleeve vs gastric bypass long term results, we can only speak generally. On average, gastric bypass patients can expect to lose 60 to 80 % of excess weight within the first year and a half after the surgery. Gastric sleeve patients can expect a slower, steadier excess weight loss process, with patients losing 60 to 70% of excess weight in the first 12 to 18 months on average. 


However, if you do not implement healthy behaviours in the long-term after your gastric sleeve or gastric bypass procedure, you may regain the weight back after a couple of months. 


gastric sleeve pros and cons 


Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Bypass Cost


Gastric sleeve vs gastric bypass costs will rely on the clinic and the surgeon performing the surgery. The costs involved of both procedures will come down to the surgeon, the surgical assistance, the consultations with physicians, dieticians and psychologists, the hospital stay and the anaesthetist. For many clinics, the complexity of gastric bypass surgery means that it will come at a higher cost. 


Fortunately, there is no discrepancy between gastric sleeve vs gastric bypass costs at Central Coast Surgery. All of our weight loss surgeries come at an out-of-pocket price of $3,500 for insured patients. This includes both gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass surgery. However, non-insured patients may be out of pocket approximately $20,000 for either surgery. 


Pros and Cons of Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Bypass


When it comes to the pros and cons of gastric sleeve vs gastric bypass, it’s important to remember that the main difference is the process of the procedures. Both gastric bypass vs sleeve surgeries can be effective in achieving long-term weight loss. Both procedures will work to improve obesity-related illnesses, including:


  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Sleep apnoea


However, each gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve procedure comes with a variety of advantages and disadvantages. As is the way with any surgical procedure, both bariatric surgeries come with a risk of complication. Other pros and cons of gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve include:


The pros of the gastric sleeve are that the removal of the ghrelin hormone means patients feel a reduction in hunger, the procedure is relatively straight forward, and that the patients will require fewer vitamins after the surgery. When compared to bypass surgery, the patient will also be left with a smaller stomach pouch with gastric sleeve surgery, and there are fewer issues experienced with dumping syndrome. The cons of the gastric sleeve are that the procedure is irreversible, the amount of weight loss within the first 18 months is lower than gastric bypass on average, and weight loss will also be slower. Gastric sleeve surgeries can also cause acid reflux, which in turn may require anti-reflux treatment.


The pros of gastric bypass are that the procedure has been performed in Australia for longer, meaning there is more research into the procedure, the results of the procedure and the complications involved. Gastric bypass surgery produces a malabsorption aspect that reduces calorie consumption. Finally, gastric bypass is known to produce higher levels of weight loss, at a faster rate than gastric sleeve procedure within the first 18 months. The cons of gastric bypass include a higher risk of complication, a potentially longer recovery, the malabsorption process can cause deficiencies, and the patient is more likely to experience dumping syndrome. 


gastric bypass pros and cons 


Gastric Bypass vs Sleeve: Which Should I Choose?


If you’re considering bariatric surgery, you should first talk to your doctor. Weight loss procedures are offered to those who have attempted numerous conventional weight loss routes prior to considering gastric sleeve or bypass surgery. Neither gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve surgery are quick-fix weight-loss routes, and both require life-long commitments for the procedures to be effective. 


For those suffering from extreme obesity, if you have a body mass index of over 45, gastric bypass surgery is often recommended. Gastric bypass is advised as it produces slightly more weight loss on average, and it can provide the dumping syndrome. For extremely obese patients, the dumping syndrome can be beneficial as it reinforces the body’s inability to tolerate high-calorie foods like sweets, fatty foods and sugary drinks—the symptoms of dumping syndrome help to reduce binging and consumption of high carbohydrates. 


Gastric bypass surgery may also be recommended if you have a history of acid reflux (GERD), as there is a lower risk of GERD after gastric bypass procedures. For patients who are not extremely obese, to begin with, gastric sleeve surgery may be recommended over gastric bypass. 


The weight loss procedure that you choose, whether it be gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery, will depend on your weight loss goals and your health conditions. Both gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve surgeries are proven to provide dramatically effective weight loss results. While there are many benefits of either operation, the bariatric procedure that you choose should be selected alongside your doctor’s advice. 


At Central Coast Surgery, we offer gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and gastric band procedures. Performed by chief surgeon Dr Ken Wong, our weight loss clinic provides fantastic weight loss results for a wide range of patients in Australia. If you’re thinking about weight loss surgery, get in touch with our weight loss clinic to learn more about your options today.