Gastric Bypass vs Gastric Sleeve: Which One Is Suitable for You?

Gastric Bypass vs Gastric Sleeve: Which One Is Suitable for You?

Gastric Bypass vs Gastric Sleeve: Which One Is Suitable for You?

Gastric Bypass vs Gastric Sleeve

Alongside the many physical and mental challenges being overweight creates, overcoming obesity is too difficult that any method practiced by obese people at some point becomes unbearable without any remained, satisfactory changes. As a result, more people are looking for permanent, practical solutions that help induce weight loss.

Bariatric surgery has notably gained in popularity over the last decade. However, since there are different types of this surgery, patients mostly find it difficult to choose the right one.

Gastric bypass and gastric sleeve are the two most common types of bariatric surgery. Therefore, one of the main questions obese people have is which is right for me?

Choosing the right weight-loss surgery needs thorough research about the surgical procedures, pros and cons, costs, risks, and so on. Also, you must know the traits of the ideal patient for each bariatric surgery type and then decide which one matches you the best.

We’ve put together this blog post to answer all the above-mentioned questions, in addition to some extra information including food restrictions, exercise schedule, and expected weight loss after gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries.

(gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve)

gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve
gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve

Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Bypass 

Before delving into the differences between their procedures, we should mention the similarities between gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries.

First of all, both of them decrease the amounts of food patients can eat after surgery in comparison to before the operation. So, if you believe you have to eat less to lose weight, but cannot do it by yourself, both gastric bypass and gastric sleeve are options worth considering.

Moreover, both of the procedures are done using a laparoscope, which means a camera using a lighted scope enters the patient’s body to perform the operation.

(gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve)

Gastric Bypass Procedure

During gastric bypass surgery, also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the small intestine is connected to a newly created small stomach pouch where food consumed will stay before heading to the small intestine. This means that the ingested food bypasses the first part of your small intestine and the majority of your stomach.

As the gastric pouch is really small, it gets full fast, so the obese person cannot eat as much as they could before the surgery.

gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve

Gastric Sleeve Procedure

A gastric sleeve involves removing a part of your stomach. The reason for calling this operation is that during the process a narrow sleeve is created and the larger part of the stomach (the curved part) is removed.

What remains is a banana-shaped portion, which is about 20% of your stomach.

Cost of Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Bypass

gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve

There is no fixed price for bariatric surgery as it depends on many factors including the country where the operation is being done, the expertise of your surgeon, the hospital you’re staying in, and etc.

However, there is one invariable statement: in a situation when all the other factors are the same, gastric sleeve is approximately 25% cheaper than gastric bypass.

If you have read the previous part, this cost difference makes sense because gastric bypass is a more complicated operation involving an extra step in addition to more challenges for bariatric surgeons.

If you’re considering this operation, try not to limit yourself to one location as you’re free to experience a cheaper surgery in a more pleasant location that can be mixed with an enlivening vacation. So, you can have the best of the two worlds 🙂

Recovery After Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Bypass

If you’re lucky and everything turns out to be OK, you should not feel that much pain after the bariatric procedures and you can leave the hospital about 1 or 2 days afterward.

Gastric sleeve patients are more likely to stay in the hospital for a maximum of two days. Some patients feel so good that they can leave within a few hours.

However, it all depends on the obese patients’ situation, how well they feel and how much pain they have.

As gastric bypass involves more complications, the minimum amount of recovery time in the hospital is two days. In case of further complications, this time will be extended.

Also, if the surgery is not done laparoscopically which requires an incision in the patient’s abdomen, as it takes longer for the incision to heal, leaving the hospital will be postponed even more.

Diet After Gastric Sleeve vs. Gastric Bypass

gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve

Unfortunately, there’s no solution for morbid obesity that can eliminate it with a quick spell without you having to lift a finger. Just like any other operation, bariatric surgery’s success depends on the adjustments you make to your eating habits after the operation.

As your stomach’s space has been reduced, for sure you have to eat smaller portions of food. So, in order to be healthy and energetic all the time, it’d be better to prepare small meals during the day.

For the first two weeks, you’re only allowed to drink liquids. This will result in your body getting used to taking smaller food intakes.

Regardless of the type of surgery, after two weeks, you must add vitamins and soft food to your diet. Then, gradually, you’re allowed to take more high-protein food. Remember, under no circumstances you should consume high-fat foods, even if it contains enough protein and vitamins.

To sum up, your food restrictions will be to a high extent the same after both gastric sleeve and gastric bypass. The main difference between the two types of weight loss surgery is the size of your stomach pouch.

The pouch created by sleeve surgery is capable of holding 3 ounces, while the one after gastric bypass can hold only 1 ounce, which is basically the size of a golf ball.

This pouch is stretchable. So, stop eating whenever you get full. Otherwise, its size will increase and you’ll have weight regain in the long run.


– Eat slowly.

– Avoid Difficult-to-digest food.

– Eat multiple small portions of food per day.

– Chew your food carefully.

– Drink a lot of liquids and water.

– Take your vitamins.

Physical Activity After Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Bypass

gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve

Patients who undertake bariatric surgery due to severe obesity are not recommended to exercise till 3 to 4 weeks after the operation. But weight loss won’t occur, at least not in a progressive, sustainable way, if you do not add regular exercise to your life.

(gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve)

Staying active not only increases the speed of your weight loss but helps maintain your ideal weight whenever you get there.

The good news is that the frequency and level of your physical activity after gastric sleeve does not differ so much from gastric bypass. You should just be aware of some advice experts mostly give, then you’ll be good to go.

As your body is still healing a few months after surgery, the only exercise recommended during the first one or two, in some cases three months, is walking.

The important point is to be active on a regular basis. Keep it short, but regular. So, instead of walking 2 hours a day and then having no activity for 4 days, stay faithful to a 30-min walk every day.

After the first month, if you feel ready to add up to the level of your exercise, you can start by jogging. In soma cases, depending on the patients’ health condition and physical strength, lifting weights can be a good idea as well.

(gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve)

Beware of adding any type of activity to your plan without consulting with your doctor.

If you had any routine before the surgery, you might be able to pick up where you’ve left off after the third month.

Some other activities you can add to your lifestyle 3 or 4 months after surgery:

– Yoga

– Walking

– Swimming

– Dancing

– Resistant Training

– Hiking

– Weight Training

Risks and Side Effects of Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Bypass Surgery

You don’t want to rush into a bad decision before knowing what is expecting you after different types of bariatric surgery. After all, no surgery in the world comes with no side effects, and DO NOT ever trust anyone who tells you “here’s a solution to lose your excess body weight with no side effects!”

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Risks and Side Effects of Gastric Bypass

  • Breakage
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Stomach ulceration
  • Infection in the abdomen
  • Wound infection
  • Nausea
  • Internal bleeding
  • Pneumonia
  • Nutrition deficiencies

Risks and Side Effects of Gastric Sleeve

  • Blood clots
  • Staple line failure
  • Leakage
  • Skin separation
  • Nutrition deficiencies
  • Stomach perforation

Expected Weight Loss

gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve

Reports show that for some time after gastric bypass (three years after the weight-loss surgery) the average number for excess weight loss is something between 70 and 75%. In other words, if you have 100 pounds excess weight, on average you’ll lose 70 pounds. This number increases depending on your body’s reaction to the surgery and your faithfulness to a healthy diet and exercise schedule.

On the other hand, gastric sleeve is reported to bring about 60 to 65% loss of excess weight. The difference is slight, yet again its influence on your final decision depends on the amount of excess weight you want to lose.

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Speed of Excess Weight Loss

In most cases, patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery experience faster weight loss right after the operation. But if you’re concerned about the long-term results, the results have shown equal weight loss for both gastric sleeve and gastric bypass approximately three years after the surgery.

Also, you should know that whether you choose gastric bypass or gastric sleeve, your BMI before the surgery directly affects the speed of your weight loss. To put it another way, the higher your excess weight is, the faster you’ll lose it after the operation.

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Gastric Sleeve vs. Gastric Bypass Surgery Failure Rate

Studies show gastric sleeve surgery has been successful about 80-90% of the time, which means the range of its failure rate is about 10-20%. The most significant weight loss occurs about one year after the surgery when people lose about 60-70% of their excess weight.

On the other hand, recent research demonstrated the failure rate of gastric bypass about 11.2% within one year after the surgery.

Bear in mind one of the factors that impacts the effectiveness of your surgery is that whether you have chosen the right one for your circumstances or not. So, let’s take a look at the requirements for both gastric sleeve and gastric surgery to see which one fits your needs better.

Good Candidates for Each Weight Loss Procedure

gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve

High BMI

Your BMI (Body Mass Index) is a significant factor that directly affects your decision. For patients with BMI over 45, gastric bypass is preferred.


Gastric bypass has proven to be more effective in the case of patients who had diabetes. However, both result in the betterment of diabetes. So, if everything else is prepared for sleeve bypass, do not change your mind just for this reason. The difference is not that notable at all.

Severe Acid Reflux Disease

If you have severe reflux disease before the surgery, you’d better consider a gastric sleeve as in most cases it seems to get worse after this type of bariatric surgery.

Multiple Abdominal Surgeries

Severe scars around the small intestine make it difficult to operate on it. Therefore, sleeve gastrectomy is much better for patients with a history of multiple abdominal surgeries.

High-Risk Surgical Conditions

Because of the easier process of sleeve gastric, both its anesthesia and recovery time are shorter. Therefore, in case you’re a high-risk patient, for instance, who suffer from heart disease and thus cannot lose your sensation and awareness for a long time, a gastric sleeve is a better option.

Severe Depression or Anxiety

If you are under specific medication due to depression or anxiety, for an effective treatment, you should avoid gastric bypass as it affects your body’s medication absorption. Moreover, you must inform your doctor of all the medications you take during the consulting sessions before the surgery.

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To Sum up

If you’ve tried many methods, have been on strict diets, and got no answer, you might be considering whether to have bariatric surgery or not.

If your answer is positive, still you have to figure out which bariatric surgery suits you the best, gastric bypass or gastric sleeve?

In order to make a good decision, don’t just rely on the information about the two types of bariatric procedures, but determine what you want from this surgery, and which one’s requirements apply to you.

Have a look at this overview; in case you have any questions about any of the sections, just get back and give it another look. Good luck with your surgery!

Gastric BypassGastric Sleeve
Easier procedure
Less cost
Shorter recovery time
Fewer food restrictionsTie
Fewer side effects
Faster weight loss right after the surgery
More weight loss 
Better for patients with a BMI of more than 45
Cures diabetesTie
Better for people with severe reflux diabetes
Suitable for patients with high-risk surgical conditions
Good for patients who use specific medication
gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve