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Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass: What’s the Difference?

bariatric surgery

Two commonly preformed weight-loss surgery procedures are the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and the sleeve gastrectomy. Gary Korus, MD, FACS, bariatric surgeon at Penn Medicine, discusses the differences between these procedures.

Roux-en – Y gastric bypass

This laparoscopic procedure restricts food intake and shortens the digestive track by creating a small gastric pouch from the upper portion of the stomach. The intestine is surgically connected to this pouch, creating a small opening for food to pass through. The remaining larger portion of the stomach and part of the intestines are bypassed. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure limits the amount of food consumed and reduces the calories and nutrients absorbed from food.“The gastric bypass had been around for more than 25 years. Most people keep most of their weight off long-term,” says Dr. Korus. “It is also the only procedure that gives you feedback if you eat things you shouldn’t such as concentrated sweets.”

Sleeve gastrectomy

During a sleeve gastrectomy, a sleeve-shaped tube is created from a small portion of the stomach and the majority of the stomach is removed. Food passes through the new stomach tube directly into the intestines. Nutrients and calories are absorbed from food normally, but patients feel full sooner and longer. Sleeve gastrectomy is performed laparoscopically and can be a permanent surgical solution to manage weight. Dr. Korus notes, “The gastric sleeve or sleeve gastrectomy provides an alternative for the patient that restricts what they eat without altering the route the food or beverages takes through the G.I. tract.” 

Which procedure is better for me?

How do you know which option is best for you? “The decision about what procedure is best for you can be made with your surgeon,” says Dr Korus. “Factors including your medical condition, medications, previous surgeries and dieting history will play a role in this decision.”

Lose weight at Penn Medicine

Penn can help you lose weight. 

Learn about medical weight loss in Philadelphia, and the Penn Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Program at a free information session about weight-loss surgery in Philadelphia. 

There, you will hear about your weight-loss surgery options, and how Penn can help you lose weight and get healthy for good. 

About this Blog

Learn about bariatric surgery and get the support you need to continue on your weight-loss journey. We offer workouts, recipes and tips from Bariatric Surgery program team members, and stories from patients like you.

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