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Sleeve vs. Gastric Bypass

Started by LovinLife, Jun 16, 2010 3:25 AM
18 replies to this topic
18 replies to this topic


    Senior Member

  • Posts: 56
  • Joined: May 2010
  • Location: TEXAS
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
Posted June 16, 2010 - 3:25 AM

I had my surgeon consultation last week and he recommended gastric bypass over the sleeve. :sad0:This was confusing to me because he performs both but feels the sleeve is actually more risky because of the large area that is stapled and the possibility of leaks. I thought it was less risky since the intestines are not involved. He likes the long term results of the bypass and the sleeve is too new to have a long track record. He is entitled to his opinion but I really want the sleeve and I know I have a choice.

So to the sleeve community, can I get some feedback on why you have chosen the sleeve vs. gastic bypass? I would appreciate your thoughts!:biggrin0:

Also, is there a comparable site for gastric bypass patients? It's a big decision and I want to read as much as possible.


    Believes in the Sleeve

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  • Location: FLORIDA
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
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Posted June 16, 2010 - 1:52 PM

The risk for a leak with RNY is actually higher because it's a more difficult staple line. If your surgeon has done more RNY bypass staple lines, he may not be comfortable doing sleeves if he doesn't have the experience. Technique gets better with experience, and if he doesn't have a lot of sleeves under his belt then his sleeve patients may not do as well as his bypass patients. RNY immediate complications are practically double vs. VSG. It's been well documented. I've lost just as much if not more that some RNY patients that started out with similar pre-op stats. If I were to consider a malabsorptive procedure, I would not waste my time, money on RNY. I'd go full Duodenal Switch. Grant it, neither of the malabsorptive procedures were an option for me. I didn't entertain either of them, but the DS is by far superior over RNY with long term results.

There are some 5 year results out for VSG that show that VSG results are extremely close to what the weight loss that is seen with RNY.

You do have a choice, and I firmly believe that no one, even a doctor, should not try to convince someone of a different surgery. I had it happen to me. The first time it was my band surgeon trying to convince me to get RNY, and during my revision, the assisting surgeon tried to tell me to do bypass instead of the sleeve.

The one place you can look for more information on RNY is on obesityhelp.com
If you're looking at both, check out the Revision forum, the RNY forum, the Failed Weight loss surgery, and the hunger and food issue forum over there. You'll see that out of all the surgeries, RNY patients are seeking the most revisions along with band patients, and that RNY patients have long term complications with food, hunger, weight regain.

Here are some of the reasons I chose VSG over RNY for my revision from the band.

1) RNY only gives you 2 years of calorie malabsorption of calories, but a lifetime of Vitamin malabsorption which can lead to later complications and deficiencies.
2) I had a pouch with my band, it is not natural, and the RNY gives the same pouch. My body hated the band pouch, and the RNY was not going to be any different.
3) I did not want a blind stomach that could not be easily scoped, but could still develop ulcers and cancer.
4) I wanted no medication or food restrictions.
5) Only 30% of RNY patients dump on sugar, it's not really a guarantee. If I want to eat a cookie, I don't want to suffer negative, self-induced consequences if I happen to be in that 30%.
6) I know several people in real life that have had major regain with RNY. Also, the complications that come 3-8 years later are just scary in my opinion.
7) I like the fact that my stomach is a normal stomach with function, just smaller in size.

I hope this helps.


    Senior Member

  • Posts: 62
  • Joined: May 2010
  • Location: AL
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
Posted June 16, 2010 - 6:26 PM

Tifftykins forgot to mention the mortality rate of RNY, I have read and had confirmed by my surgeon that it is around 2%. That is two out of a hundred surgeries go bad. With the sleeve the mortality rate is .003% That is an very large difference. I went with the sleeve because of this and the other things Tiffykins commented on.

Have you asked your Dr. "have you had any deaths associated with RNY surgery?" " What was the most major complication associated with RNY you have had?" Ask the same things about VSG. Also ask how many VSGs have you done?

Statistics can and often are manipulated by the person wanting to prove a point. ie.. It does not matter if he has never had a death associated with RNY if you are the first.

I don't want to scare you, but the fact is there are more deaths and complications associated with RNY than Drs will let on. It is your life, so ask him/her. Then make a decision from all the facts you have been given.

Edited by jerryvic, June 16, 2010 - 6:30 PM.


    Guru in Training

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  • Joined: Jun 2009
  • Location: UK
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Posted June 16, 2010 - 7:39 PM

Another point worth mentioning is that gastrectomies, i.e. for stomach cancers etc., have been performed for years with relatively few complications in later years.


    Guru in Training

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Posted June 16, 2010 - 8:48 PM

I'm not going to repeat everything that Tiff already posted. If your surgeon is telling you that you are more likely to have complications from VSG than bypass surgery, his statement could be based on his own experience with RNY and lack of experience with VSG.

However, his statement to you is not supported by the medical research that is readily available. I had a surgeon that I interviewed at a Bariatric Center of Excellence tell me that other doctors doing VSG's in Florida didn't know what they were doing, and that he didn't perform "that surgery". I did more research, and then I found another Florida surgeon who has an excellent reputation and 25 years of experience doing bariatric surgeries. This surgeon's son had a VSG. For a doctor who has 25 years experience doing weight loss surgeries to tell me that his son had a VSG, that speaks volumes about which surgery is the better choice.

I chose the sleeve because it is the weight loss surgery with the lowest risk of complications.


    Expert Member

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Posted June 20, 2010 - 9:36 AM

All I'm going to say is, as a nurse who has taken care of plenty of bypass patients, I'd rather die of morbid obesity than have a bypass. That's what I think of the surgery and it's track record of complications.


    Bariatric Guru

  • Posts: 496
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  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted June 20, 2010 - 1:53 PM

Well, this happened to my friend also. But it turned out it was more of an insurance issue b/c he knew her insurance would not cover the sleeve. She loves her doctor and went with his opinion and so far is doing great. Her friend had the bypass and she is also doing great, although lost a little more than she would like to have. She is a size 2. I have a relative that had the bypass 6 years ago and she can no longer absorb Iron so there is a concern of bleed out. She is looking at having hers reversed. If you read on line there are plenty of celebs looking at having their bypass reversed.

For me I wanted caloric restriction just by food volume, not by malabsorbtion. I would never have had the bypass b/c I have a very long life to live and didn't want to be dependent upon more and more surgeries to modify and so forth. The sleeve appeared to be a one stop shop in comparison to the bypass and the band.

Also, the stomach pouch made during the bypass is made from the stretchy part of the stomach, right. The sleeve is made from the tougher muscle that does not stretch easily. So that makes some common sense.

I know there are still doctors that prefer the bypass, I'm just not sure for the patients it is the best bang for the buck. It would be very sad to lose all the weight to turn around and have to have another surgery.......I think the sleeve is the safer bet. I didn't know about the mortality rates after surgery being different. But I think long term that might be true as well.

I would get a second opinion and maybe this is a clue this is not the right doctor. How many sleeves has your doctor done? My doctor had only done like 23. OMG I didn't know at the time that was a problem, but believe me, now I know. They say to get a doctor that has done a lot so you are not his guinea pig. But my surgery did go just fine.


    Intermediate Member

  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: Mar 2011
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: CA
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted March 3, 2011 - 5:56 AM

I'm so impressed with your weight loss!!! I want to do the same. Can you tell me how many calories were you consuming per day to lose 100 pounds in 4 months?


    Expert Member

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  • Location: TX
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Posted March 4, 2011 - 11:46 PM

I agree with Tiffykins & Katt, sounds like you have doctor not yet completely comfortable performing VSG's. This is your body, and your life, even if you are restricted with insurance issues you can ALWAYS get a second opinion. I changed doctors, on the bright side, most the hoops I had jumped (phych evaluation, sleep apnea testing, ect.) was done and I just had to request copies for the new doctor. Take your time, research wls doctor's in your area or if you are going through insurance, talk to your insurance rep to get help finding a doctor you feel comfortable with.
Don't get discouraged, just consider yourself and experienced patient, make a list of questions and keep going until you find a doctor you feel comfotable with or a doctor who CLEARLY explains why for YOU a different WLS procedure would be better.
Hope this helps,

Posted March 5, 2011 - 9:27 PM

Interesting that your surgeon is pushing you toward the bypass. A recent study out of Japan showed that severe diabetics may benefit more from the bypass and have resolution of their diabetes but that study was a "mini gastric bypass" which is very commonly done in the U.S. and the patient population was a bit different. At the International Sleeve Gastrectomy Summit this year, it was discussed whether patients with severe GERD should have sleeves and many thought that gastric bypass would serve them better. There was no consensus on that and I don't push my patients in any direction.

As long as a patient is well informed of the pluses and minuses, I believe it's their choice. Now if you take a lot of NSAIDs for arthritis, then I would stay away from the bypass. Most of us like the sleeve because it can always be converted to a gastric bypass or duodenal switch if needed. Thank goodness most don't need that.

Just talk to your surgeon about your worries. Why does he/she think bypass would benefit you better? And remember, this is your decision and your body.

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