Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery Dominates the Field of Weight Loss Surgery

In a previous post from 2013 entitled “The Rise of the Gastric Sleeve,” I predicted that 2013 would be the year the gastric sleeve operation would surpass the gastric bypass operation and the gastric banding (LAP-BAND®) operation to become the most frequently performed operation for weight loss in the United States.

During 2013, the sleeve gastrectomy operation had become the most common operation in my weight loss surgery practice in Orange County, California, and the preliminary numbers suggested that national gastric sleeve popularity was not far behind.

I commented in 2013 that the rapid rise in popularity of the gastric sleeve operation was impressive. Over a 5 year period of time, from 2009 through 2013, the gastric sleeve operation went from close to 0% of weight loss operations nationally, to 46% of weight loss operations nationally.

Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery in the United States

What has happened since 2013 has been even more impressive. The gastric sleeve operation has increased from approximately 46% of all weight loss operations (first time non revision operations) in the United States, to approximately 73% of all weight loss operations.

Sleeve gastrectomy surgery is the most popular weight loss surgery in the United States

The data for the above table was derived from a number of sources, including the ASMBS, BOLD, ASC/MBSAQIP, National Inpatient Sample data, and outpatient estimations.

Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery in Orange County, California

In my Orange County weight loss surgery practice, the sleeve gastrectomy operation has continued to grow in popularity since 2013. As shown in the table below, the sleeve gastrectomy operation in 2017 accounted for approximately 90% of all first time weight loss operations in my practice.

Sleeve gastrectomy is the most popular weight loss operation in Orange County, California

Why Does Sleeve Gastrectomy Dominate?

The goal of weight loss surgery over its 65 year history has always been to achieve good weight loss with low risk and less invasiveness. Particular focus has always been on low risk and less invasiveness.

The reason the stomach stapling operation became popular in the 1990’s, and the LAP-BAND operation became popular in the 2000’s, was because these operations were considered less invasive and lower risk than gastric bypass. The reason the duodenal switch operation has never become popular in the United States, even though it results in better average weight loss than gastric bypass, is because it is more invasive and higher risk.

In my experience patients very much value lower risk and less invasiveness. When faced with the choice of more risk and more invasiveness and likely better weight loss, or less risk and less invasiveness and likely less weight loss, patients usually choose less invasiveness and less risk.

The problem with past operations like the gastric stapling operation and the gastric banding operation, despite less invasiveness and less risk, was that longer term outcomes (weight loss results, complication rates), beyond 2-3 years proved to be poor.

The reason why the gastric sleeve operation dominates the field of weight loss surgery, and shows no sign of slowing down, is because it is less invasive and lower risk than the alternative operations (gastric bypass, duodenal switch), and because longer term patient outcomes are proving to be good.

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David Oliak, M.D.

Dr. Oliak is a board-certified, fellowship-trained surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive (laparoscopic and robotic) weight loss surgery. He has been in practice in Orange County, California, since 2002, has completed more than 3000 weight loss operations, and has a track record of excellent patient outcomes.*

Dr. David Oliak is the founder of the Oliak Center for Weight Loss. He started the Oliak Center because he wanted to provide weight loss surgery done right. His commitment has always been to provide the kind of care that he himself would want to receive. Dr. Oliak is affiliated with only the best bariatric hospitals and surgery centers in Los Angeles County and Orange County.

* Individual patient results vary. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

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