Open Accessibility Menu

Understanding Your Surgery Options

When it comes to choosing which bariatric procedure is right for you, you’re not alone. Your care team will help with this important decision based on a number of personal factors, including weight, general health, other health conditions, National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines, and personal preferences.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

According to the American Society of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery and the NIH, gastric bypass is considered one of the best procedures for weight-loss surgery. It is the second most frequently performed weight-loss procedure in the United States. Patients who undergo gastric bypass lose an average of 50% to 70% of their excess body weight and keep most of it off long term.

This procedure combines restrictive eating with malabsorption, in which food is delayed in mixing with bile and pancreatic juices to help aid in the absorption of nutrients. The result is an early sense of fullness, combined with a sense of satisfaction that reduces the desire to eat.

In this procedure, a small stomach pouch is created. The rest of the stomach is not removed from the body but is completely stapled shut from the stomach pouch. The food leaves the newly formed stomach pouch and flows into the lower portion of the small intestine, thus bypassing this first part of the small intestine. This is done by cutting the small intestine open and connecting the second section with the newly formed stomach pouch. The first section is then attached to the lower portion of the small intestine (creating the “Y”in the Roux-en-Y name).

roux-en-y gastric bypass

Sleeve Gastrectomy

The vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure (also known as the “gastric sleeve”) is the most common weight-loss surgery procedure. The reason for this procedure’s popularity is the fact that the digestive system stays largely intact, and its high success rate. Like gastric bypass, gastric sleeve patients lose an average of 50% to 70% of their excess body weight and keep most of it off long term.

During the gastric sleeve procedure, the surgeon staples and removes the outer three-fourths of the stomach, leaving a smaller, banana-shaped or sleeve-shaped stomach. This technique shrinks the capacity of the stomach.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

How do I qualify for weight loss surgery?

To qualify for weight loss surgery, you must meet the following guidelines:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must have a BMI > 35 kg/m2 regardless of presence, absence, or severity of other medical conditions
  • Must have a BMI of 30-34.9 kg/m2 with at least one obesity related medical condition including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and others

Which surgery is right for you?

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Length of Surgery

90 - 120 minutes 20 - 60 minutes

Changes to Digestive System

Digestive system is rerouted and shortened. Food moves through body much quicker. Lower two thirds of stomach is removed, leaving a smaller, banana shaped stomach.

Biggest Risk

Patients can have respiratory problems, leaking, hernias, bowel obstructions, ulcers, intolerance to certain foods, and nutritional deficiencies. Patients can have increased risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The stomach can leak, narrow to further restrict its size, and you may develop hernias.


Hospital Stay

1 - 2 days 1 day or outpatient

Recovery Time

2 - 3 weeks 2 - 3 weeks

Recommended Time Off

2 weeks 2 weeks


Average Weekly Loss Rate

3 - 4 lbs. 2 - 3 lbs.

Average Excess Weight Loss

50 - 70 % 50 - 70 %