Gastric Sleeve Vs. Gastric Bypass: What Are the Differences?



Bariatric surgeries are effective in helping with weight loss. According to a study published on the NCBI website, bariatric surgeries have a 60%-80% success rate. Hence, many people consider getting one of the bariatric procedures.

There are two main types of bariatric surgeries, gastric bypass and gastric sleeve. Both can be effective in helping patients lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but each has its pros and cons. But before getting into the differences, here’s what each surgery means.

What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

If you are considering a medical procedure for weight loss, gastric sleeve surgery is one of the most popular options.

Many Americans undergo this procedure to get rid of excessive weight. According to Clevland Clinic, around 150,000 gastric sleeve surgeries are performed annually in the US. This is almost half of the total gastric sleeve surgeries worldwide. It’s also known as a sleeve gastrectomy or vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG).

The gastric sleeve is a band placed around the stomach, reducing its size and volume. This limits how much food you can eat at one time and slows down the digestion of food, so it takes longer to pass through your small intestine, which helps you feel full longer. Because there’s less volume in your stomach, you’ll feel full after eating less food than before surgery. This causes you to eat less overall over time.

The procedure is reversible. You can gain back some weight after having had this operation done on yourself. If that happens, it is possible to have another operation called an adjustment or revision operation. Hence, once again, reduce their size even more if necessary until they eventually reach optimal results where no further adjustments are needed anymore.

What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Another effective way to get weight loss is gastric bypass surgery. This surgery treats obesity and can be part of a multistep program that includes dieting, exercise, and behavior modification. In gastric bypass surgery, your doctor creates a small pouch at the top of your stomach and connects this pouch directly to your middle intestine.

The connection between these two parts of your digestive tract helps slow food from moving through your system so that you feel full sooner than average when eating less food than usual. This also reduces the calories absorbed into the bloodstream after meals because they pass through this new section before reaching other parts of the gastrointestinal tract, where absorption occurs more quickly than normal.

Therefore, fewer nutrients are available for digestion, resulting in less energy being released into cells during metabolic processes like ATP production. Like gastric sleeve surgery, even gastric bypass is a standard procedure. However, a study from the BMC Journal shows that 15%-35% of the people undergoing gastric bypass surgery do not achieve the desired weight loss.

Differences Between the Two Procedures

If you are confused about which surgical procedure to choose, there are many things that set them apart. Hence, it is vital to research gastric sleeve vs. gastric bypass to know the advantages of both procedures. This will help you pick the right one for you.

Here are some differences to know about:

  • Gastric sleeve is a restrictive procedure. The surgeon removes most of your stomach, leaving only a small tube connecting to the small intestine. This limits how much you can eat at one time and how quickly you’ll digest food, which helps you lose weight.
  • Gastric bypass is a malabsorptive procedure. It’s similar to gastric sleeve surgery in that it reduces the size of your stomach and alters how food moves through your digestive tract. Still, instead of removing all or most of your organ, it reroutes part of it. Hence, the body is able to absorb fewer nutrients into your bloodstream before being passed to other organs like the liver or kidneys.
  • Gastric bypass is more common than the gastric sleeve. Almost 70% of bariatric surgeries in the US are gastric bypass surgeries.
  • The gastric sleeve includes removing a small portion of the stomach, whereas the gastric bypass simply reroutes the food canal.
  • Weight loss in the gastric sleeve procedure may take longer than gastric bypass. However, the gastric sleeve can be more effective in the long run.

Is Gastric Surgery Ideal for You?

So, you’ve researched and found that you’re a good candidate for gastric sleeve surgery. But what if you want to know more about the procedure? What exactly does it entail?

The first thing to note is that there are specific requirements for those considering these procedures. For example, if you have chronic health conditions or take certain medications, it’s best not to have surgery until your doctor can resolve or change them.

It’s also important to note that both surgeries require careful medical follow-up during and even after a recovery has been completed. This includes ensuring all wounds heal properly without infection or reopening, checking for signs of post-operative bleeding, monitoring bowel function, checking blood pressure regularly, monitoring weight loss progress, etc.

Which Gastric Surgery Is the Right Fit for You?

When considering gastric surgery, it is essential to determine which type is the right fit for you. As you have seen, both gastric sleeve and gastric bypass have some pros and cons. Hence, it is vital to weigh them efficiently before making a decision.

While gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are the most common procedures, other options are available, including adjustable gastric banding and duodenal switch surgery. Each procedure has its benefits and risks, so it’s essential to consult a qualified bariatric surgeon who can help you understand the pros and cons of each option.

Your medical history, current weight, and weight loss goals should be considered. It’s also important to remember that gastric surgery is not a quick fix for weight loss and requires significant lifestyle changes to be effective.

Before deciding on a specific procedure, it’s essential to clearly understand the potential risks and benefits and the level of commitment required to achieve and maintain successful weight loss results.


Overall, gastric sleeve and gastric bypass are different bariatric surgeries that can help those struggling with obesity. While both surgeries can help with weight loss, they have different risks and benefits. Discussing the pros and cons of each procedure with a doctor is essential to determine which option is best for an individual.

Ultimately, deciding which bariatric surgery should be based on a patient’s specific needs and goals.