Gastric Sleeve Plication vs. Gastric Bypass
There are a lot of options for weight loss surgery, and if you’re just starting to research what’s out there, it can be overwhelming. The Gastric Sleeve Plication (GSP) is a relatively new procedure that’s often used as an alternative to the more well-known gastric bypass surgery. Most people have heard of gastric bypass, and may have also hear murmurings of the many side effects. The GSP achieves comparable results to gastric bypass, but it can also “bypass” many of those hazards that can range from annoying to very dangerous.
Surprisingly, the whole procedure takes less than one hour and there’s absolutely no cutting, stapling or slicing of the stomach at all. To begin, the stomach’s curvature is separated into greater omentum and vessels via a calibration tube. At this point, the first layer of stitches are put into place, followed by two more layers—this creates the actual sleeve plication. Unlike gastric bypass, stitches are used in place of staples. In the end, it basically looks like a stomach is stitched right up the middle, creating two smaller side by side stomachs.
What to Expect
Just because the Gastric Sleeve Plication is different than gastric bypass doesn’t mean it’s without potential side effects. Some patients may experience vomiting or nausea, excess saliva or acid reflux. However, if these post-op symptoms do occur, they will subside as the patient heals. Most people are released from care after 24 hours, and if you’re an out of towner, it’s best to plan to stick nearby for two days just in case.
As for the perks of Gastric Sleeve Plication? It’s minimally invasive, which is a big benefit for those who fear surgery or don’t have the time for a big recovery. However, patients still enjoy massive weight loss similar to gastric bypass or gastric sleeve, so you’re not giving up results for minimal downtime. There’s no “dumping” or foreign prosthetics involved, and you’ll never need an adjustment like gastric band patients sometimes require. Erosion and slipping are also off the table, meaning you won’t be spending precious time and money down the road.
Making the Right Choice
Some experts say that the downside is that it may not be reversible—however, most patients who opt for weight loss surgeries don’t seek a reversal anyway. The Gastric Sleeve Plication may not convert to a different weight loss surgery very well. Remember that weight loss surgeries are only effective when patients practice an overall lifestyle improvement change. There’s no magic cure that lasts forever, and diet and exercise are paramount.
To this end, there may be no long-term results if a patient doesn’t change unhealthy eating habits or a sedentary lifestyle. Just like all other types of weight loss surgery, the weight can come back if a holistic change isn’t made. On the other hand, for those committed to living a healthier life, the GSP can be a great additional tool that’s less dangerous and offers a much quicker recovery time.
Jason Knapfel writes for Northwest Weight Loss Surgery in Everett, Washington.