Gastric sleeve surgery, or vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is the most common option nowadays. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the surgeon narrows the stomach into a thin vertical sleeve, about the size and shape of a banana. The remainder of the stomach is removed. This is a merely restrictive operation. The patient’s smaller stomach gets full quickly after eating smaller portions of food, so the patient is satisfied after consuming less calories. Digestion and absorption of nutrients is not impaired and the patient seldom needs any dietary supplements.
Gastric bypass surgery for weight loss is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon divides the stomach into a small upper section and a larger bottom section. The top section of the stomach is where food eaten goes, and since it is connected to the small intestine, the stomach, duodenum and first portion of the jejunum are bypassed and thus cannot absorb nutrients as they usually do. This procedure is both restrictive because the stomach is made smaller, and malabsortive because the bypassed segment of the gastrointestinal tract cannot absorb any nutrients. Patients feel sated although they are eating and absorbing less food. Patients must take vitamins and other nutrients.
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