The gastric bypass is the grandfather of all weight-loss operations. It was first performed over 50 years ago, and is still considered the gold standard by most bariatric surgeons. With this operation we create a small stomach pouch, about the size of a large egg, and then bypass the stomach and first part of the intestine. This limits how much food a person can eat at one time, and the food that is eaten is not fully absorbed, so you don’t get as many calories out of a given amount of food. Most patients will lose about 70 percent of their excess weight, and it usually cures most of the associated medical problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
The sleeve gastrectomy is a relatively new operation where we remove about 75 percent of the stomach, leaving a long, narrow stomach tube about the size and shape of a small banana. By downsizing the stomach, people fill up much more quickly, and the appetite is decreased. Patients typically lose over half of their excess weight, becoming much healthier in the process.