Gastric Sleeve Pros and Cons: Surgical vs Non-Surgical Sleeves

Gastric Sleeve Pros and Cons

If you are considering losing weight through bariatric surgery, likely, you have already researched the available options. The “gastric sleeve” is a popular bariatric surgery that involves surgically removing around 80% of the patient’s stomach. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of the gastric sleeve method, including both traditional surgical procedures and non-surgical alternatives.

Gastric Sleeve Pros and Cons

Until recently, Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (LSG) was the least invasive of the bariatric weight loss procedures. Today, you have another option that achieves nearly identical results without the need for incisions. Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG) is gaining popularity as a non-surgical option to reduce an individual’s stomach size by about 70%.

Accessing the patient’s stomach through the esophagus, strategically placed sutures reduce the size of the stomach. If you want to compare these procedures, here is comprehensive information on gastric sleeve pros and cons that may help you with your decision.

What are the Gastric Sleeve Pros?

Both surgical and non-surgical sleeves have the following pros:

  • Reduction of the amount of food ingested in one sitting.

  • Reduction of the feeling of being hungry.

  • Less risk of nutritional deficiencies since the body is still able to absorb necessary vitamins and minerals.

  • Reduction in hunger pangs due to fewer “hunger producing” hormones ghrelin.

  • Reduction of weight-related health issues like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.

  • No dumping syndrome as with other bariatric surgeries. When food moves too quickly from the stomach into the small bowel, it can cause stomach cramping and diarrhea.

  • Effective weight loss of 25-30% and 20-23% of total body weight for LSG and ESG respectively.

Why is a Non-Surgical Endosleeve Better than a Surgical Sleeve?

The endoscopic gastric sleeve is a safer yet effective alternative to the traditional gastric sleeve. It has several advantages over the laparoscopic sleeve:

  1. No incisions are required.

  2. Shorter procedure time, so less time under anesthesia.

  3. Less than a 1% chance of complications or risks.

  4. No hospital stay is required.

  5. 5-7 days recovery time.

  6. No scarring.

  7. No part of the stomach is removed and the procedure may be reversible.

  8. Maybe an option for individuals who did not qualify for other types of bariatric surgery.

What are the Downsides of Sleeve Gastroplasty?

Laparoscopic Sleeve Cons

  • The risk of heartburn or reflux after the procedure is about 20%.

  • Performed laparoscopically requiring several small abdominal incisions.

  • Scarring is involved.

  • 80% of the stomach is removed and the procedure is irreversible.

  • 4-6 week recovery time with limited physical activity.

  • Requires a hospital stay of 1-3 days.

Endoscopic Sleeve Cons

  • The risk of ongoing heartburn or reflux after the procedure is less than 1%.

What are the Risks Associated with LSG and ESG?

Any type of medical procedure, especially surgery, comes with potential risks. Both of these weight loss procedures carry some risks but they are much lower than other forms of bariatric surgery. It is important to understand the procedure and follow all aftercare directions to ensure you get the desired results.

Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve Risks

  • Risks with general anesthesia.

  • 1-3% of patients can experience leaking from the suture/staple line.

  • Puncture of nearby organs during surgery.

  • Infection.

  • Excessive bleeding.

  • Blot clots.

  • Breathing problems.

  • Stomach perforation.

  • Ulcers and hernias.

  • Gallstones.

Endoscopic Gastric Sleeve Risks

  • Risks with general anesthesia.

  • ESG patients may experience mild abdominal discomfort and nausea for about a week following the procedure:

  • Perforation of the stomach <1%.

  • Bleeding from the stomach <1%.

If you are thinking about weight loss surgery, both the LSG and ESG have high rankings in terms of effectiveness and invasiveness compared to other bariatric surgery methods. Additionally, based on factors like your body mass index, overall physical health, and other considerations, your doctor may choose a specific weight loss surgery option that can achieve your desired goals. To reduce potential risks, it is important to trust experienced doctors, such as the skilled surgeons at the IBI Healthcare Institute.

To explore weight loss options that may be right for you, get in touch with IBI Healthcare Institute today. Additionally, take the first step towards a healthy life by setting up a personal consultation with us. Furthermore, we are here to assist and support you throughout your journey. Consequently, do not wait any longer, reach out to us now and let us be your guide!

Picture of Dr. A. Christopher Ibikunle MD FACS
Dr. A. Christopher Ibikunle MD FACS
Dr A. Christopher Ibikunle (MD, FACS) is a distinguished surgeon with a rich academic and clinical background. After completing his residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, he served as an Active Staff and Assistant Professor of Surgery. Currently, he is a Professor of Surgery at Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership and a Lead Preceptor for several institutions, including Morehouse University and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Chris is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, committed to advancing surgery and patient care.
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