The Rise of the Gastric Sleeve

The gastric sleeve operation has gone from <10% of weight loss operations performed in the U.S. to the majority of operations performed in just 3-4 years. The rapidity of this increase in gastric sleeve popularity is extraordinary.

Let’s look at the data. There are three graphs below from three different sources that demonstrate the rise of the sleeve gastrectomy in the U.S.

The first chart below depicts data collected by a research company for a large healthcare corporation. This data shows that the sleeve became the most popular operation in 2013. This data also shows a significant decrease in popularity of the LAP-BAND® over the past 3 years, and a steady popularity of the gastric bypass over the past three years.



The next chart below shows data from the American College of Surgeons Bariatric Surgery Center Network (ACS BSCN), comprising 27,628 patients. This data does not include data from 2013, so I estimated 2013 data with dashed lines. This chart shows similar trends as the first chart – rising popularity of the sleeve, diminishing popularity of the band, and stable to slightly diminishing popularity of the bypass.



Compared to the first chart, this chart reports the popularity of the bypass to be higher, and the popularity of the band lower. The likely reason for this discrepancy is the fact that the ACS BSCN data is predominantly from academic medical centers, which in general have tended to favor the bypass over the band.

The final chart below shows my private practice data from Orange County California. Again, the trends are the same. The sleeve gastrectomy has risen rapidly in popularity to become the most commonly performed weight loss operation in 2013, the band has decreased substantially in popularity over the last several years, and the bypass has remained about the same in popularity.



My conclusion from this data is that the sleeve gastrectomy over a very short period of time has become the favorite weight loss operation in the United States.

The obvious next topic of discussion is why the sleeve gastrectomy has become the favorite weight loss operation. The quick answer, which I will discuss more fully in a future post, is that doctors and patients alike believe that the sleeve gastrectomy provides a better combination of benefits and risks than either the LAP-BAND® or the gastric bypass.

Read more about Dr. Oliak and his Orange County weight loss surgery program at


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