What is the Safest Form of Weight Loss Surgery in 2024

The safest form of weight loss surgery is a matter of ongoing research and medical opinion. However, based on the available information, Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) is often considered one of the safest weight loss surgeries.

It involves removing a large portion of the stomach, which reduces its size and helps in weight loss. VSG is generally considered safe and effective for long-term weight loss.

It is important to note that all surgeries, including weight loss surgeries, carry some level of risk. Therefore, it is essential to discuss the potential risks and benefits with a healthcare provider before making a decision.

safest form of weight loss surgery
safe weight loss surgery

When considering the safety of weight loss surgery, it’s important to take into account various factors such as effectiveness, risks, recovery time, and cost. Each type of weight loss surgery has its own set of benefits and risks, and the most suitable option for an individual depends on their specific health condition and other factors. It’s crucial to have a thorough discussion with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate and safe weight loss surgery option based on individual circumstances.

After considering the pros and cons of various weight loss surgeries, it appears that Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is the safest option. This procedure reduces the size of your stomach, leading to reduced food intake. However, like any surgery, there are potential side effects and complications to be aware of.

What is the Safest Form of Weight Loss Surgery

In a significant study conducted in 2018, researchers compared the safety and effectiveness of different bariatric surgeries in a large group of over 65,000 individuals. The findings revealed that among the three commonly performed surgical weight loss procedures, gastric sleeve surgery emerged as the safest option, carrying the lowest risk of side effects.

Losing weight through surgery, also known as weight loss or bariatric surgery, is a helpful option for people dealing with obesity. Although all surgeries involve some level of risk, there are less invasive alternatives to consider. In the United States, the most common types of weight loss surgery are gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and gastric band procedures.

A study from 2018 revealed that among these three procedures, gastric sleeve surgery stands out as the safest, boasting the lowest risk of side effects. The research found that within 30 days after surgery, the rates of side effects were 5% for gastric bypass, 2.9% for gastric band, and 2.6% for gastric sleeve surgery.

It’s crucial to understand that, despite its safety and effectiveness, gastric sleeve surgery, like any medical procedure, carries both risks and benefits. Consulting with a doctor is the best way to determine which surgery type is the most suitable option for individual circumstances.

Also Read – How to Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery, Proven Steps of 2024

What are the Risks and Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, is a weight loss procedure that involves removing a significant portion of the stomach, leaving a narrow “sleeve.” This surgery is recommended for individuals with clinically severe obesity to achieve effective weight loss and improve various health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and acid reflux.


  • Effective Weight Loss: Gastric sleeve surgery results in substantial weight loss, typically ranging from 50 to 90 pounds.
  • Health Improvement: The procedure can improve or even eliminate obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and acid reflux.
  • Simpler Procedure: While offering excellent weight loss benefits, gastric sleeve surgery is less complex than some other weight loss surgeries.

Risks and Considerations:

  • Common Complications: The surgery carries typical risks associated with major procedures, including bleeding, infection, and blood clots in the legs.
  • Specific Complications: Other potential complications include a leak in the staple line, abscess formation, gastric stenosis, nutrient deficiencies, mediastinal pouch migration, and the development or worsening of gastroesophageal reflux diseases.
  • Low Risk of Death: The risk of death due to surgery is very low in the first year after the procedure, comparable to other major surgeries.
  • Not for Everyone: Gastric sleeve surgery is not recommended for individuals who abuse substances or are unwilling to commit to lifelong changes in diet and exercise.
  • Lifelong Supplements: Patients are required to take multivitamin supplements indefinitely, and some may need additional iron or calcium supplements.

It’s crucial for individuals considering gastric sleeve surgery to carefully weigh the potential benefits against the risks and to consult with healthcare professionals to determine if it is a suitable option based on their specific health conditions and lifestyle.

How Long does it Take to Recover from Weight Loss Surgery

Recovery time after weight loss surgery varies depending on the type of surgery and the individual’s health. Here are some effective and general guidelines for recovery:

  • Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB): Patients typically return to work in 2-3 days and can resume most activities in about a week.
  • Gastric bypass surgery: Patients are usually discharged from the hospital in 2-3 days and can return to work in 4-6 weeks. Driving is possible in 2-3 weeks, and heavy lifting or exercise is possible in 4-6 weeks.
  • Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG): Recovery time is similar to that of gastric bypass surgery, with patients returning to work in 4-6 weeks and driving in 2-3 weeks.
  • Bariatric surgery (general): Most people can return to work in 4-6 weeks and driving in 2-3 weeks.

It is essential to follow your surgeon’s specific instructions for post-operative care to ensure a smooth recovery. Keep in mind that individual experiences may vary, and it is crucial to listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard during the recovery process.

What Lifestyle Changes are Recommended After Weight Loss Surgery

After weight loss surgery, it is essential to make lifestyle changes to ensure the long-term success of the procedure. Recommended lifestyle changes include:

  • Drinking more water: Staying hydrated is crucial for overall health and recovery.
  • Cooking nutritious meals at home: Preparing meals yourself allows you to control the ingredients and portion sizes.
  • Taking stairs or walking: Opt for stairs instead of escalators or elevators, and walk as much as possible instead of driving.
  • Eating smaller, healthier meals: Consuming smaller portions and focusing on nutrient-dense foods can help with digestion and overall health.
  • Eating slowly: Taking time to chew and savor your food can help with digestion and prevent overeating.
  • Avoiding high-fat, high-sugar foods: Limit the consumption of processed and high-sugar foods to maintain a healthy diet.
  • Exercising regularly: Engage in physical activities, such as walking, swimming, or biking, to help with recovery, weight maintenance, and overall health.
  • Strength training: Incorporate strength training exercises, like lifting weights or doing push-ups, to build and maintain muscle and strong bones.

So, it is essential to attend support groups and seek professional help when needed. These groups can provide emotional support, motivation, and valuable information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle after weight loss surgery.

What is the Recovery Time for Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Recovering from gastric sleeve surgery can vary, but here’s a general timeline to give you an idea:

  • Incisions Healing: It usually takes about 2-3 weeks for the small cuts made during surgery to heal.
  • Stomach Staple Line Healing: The staple line on your stomach typically takes about 6-8 weeks to heal.
  • Time Off Work: Most people need to take 2 to 4 weeks off from work, depending on the nature of their job.
  • Getting Back to Exercise: After a month, you can usually start easing back into your regular exercise routine.
  • Full Recovery: While many people are on the path to full recovery after a month, it might take up to 6 weeks for some.
  • Medications and Supplements: You may need to take certain medications and supplements for the long term.
  • Dietary Guidelines: Following strict dietary guidelines is crucial for proper healing of the stomach.
  • Activity During Recovery: It’s recommended to take short walks and stay hydrated during your recovery from sleeve gastrectomy.

So, everyone’s recovery is unique, so it’s essential to follow your doctor’s advice and attend follow-up appointments for the best outcome.

How does Gastric Sleeve Surgery Compare to other Bariatric Surgeries

Gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass surgery are two common types of bariatric surgery that can help with weight loss. Gastric sleeve surgery involves removing a portion of the stomach, while gastric bypass surgery creates a small gastric pouch and reroutes the small bowel.

Both surgeries can result in significant weight loss within 1-2 years following surgery, but there are differences between the two. Gastric bypass surgery is more invasive than gastric sleeve surgery due to the rerouting of the small bowel, and it may be a better option for individuals struggling with some obesity-related conditions or if excess weight affects their ability to move or get around. Gastric sleeve surgery is a less invasive procedure and features a slightly faster recovery period, but it may take longer for weight loss to occur compared to gastric bypass surgery.

Ultimately, the decision between the two surgeries depends on individual factors and should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider.

How Much Does Gastric Sleeve Surgery Cost

The cost of gastric sleeve surgery can vary depending on various factors such as location, hospital, and individual medical needs. In the United States, the average cost of gastric sleeve surgery is around $19,000, but it can range from $17,000 to $26,000.

Another piece of information mentions that the average cost is $9,350, but it can vary depending on factors such as anesthetic, surgeon fees, and recovery time.

A 2017 study found that the mean price for bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve, was $14,389 with prices ranging from $7,000 to $33,000. The cost can be influenced by insurance coverage, with many insurance plans covering weight-loss surgery costs.

Can I Get Insurance for Bariatric Surgery

Yes, it is possible to get insurance coverage for bariatric surgery. Most major insurance plans cover weight loss surgery, although the individual policies differ in their requirements and criteria.

Insurance companies that cover bariatric surgery have varying requirements, and some may require medical records documenting that you have medical problems caused by your weight or participation in a supervised weight loss program within a certain period. If your insurance company does not cover or approve weight loss surgery, you can switch to another insurance carrier during open enrollment or pay cash for your weight loss surgery without insurance.

Also Read – Types of weight loss surgery, best stomach surgery

What are the Long-Term Effects of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

The long-term effects of gastric sleeve surgery can include both positive and negative outcomes. On the positive side, sleeve gastrectomy can lead to significant and sustained weight loss, often around 60% or more of excess weight within two years, and can improve or resolve conditions related to being overweight, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and obstructive sleep apnea.

However, there are also potential long-term risks and complications, including gastrointestinal obstruction, hernias, gastroesophageal reflux, low blood sugar, malnutrition, vomiting, ulcers, and bowel obstruction.

Additionally, rapid weight loss and malabsorption of nutrients can lead to reductions in bone mineral density, which might result in osteoporosis.

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is the Safest form of Weight Loss surgery

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Weight Loss Surgery
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Weight Loss Surgery

Actually, Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) is the safest form of weight loss surgery that involves a structured procedure to control food intake. During the surgery, approximately 80 to 85 percent of the stomach is removed, and the remaining portion (20 to 30 percent) is carefully stitched together.


  • The surgery employs Laparoscopic techniques, using small instruments inserted through multiple tiny incisions in the upper belly.
  • Resulting from the surgery, the stomach is reshaped into a narrow tube resembling the size and shape of a banana.


VSG induces hormonal changes that contribute to weight loss and can also have positive effects on conditions like high blood pressure or heart disease associated with obesity.

Patient Criteria:

Typically, the surgery is recommended after initial weight loss through lifestyle modifications, including changes in diet and exercise.

Long-Term Commitment:

  • Adopting a healthier lifestyle post-surgery involves making sustained adjustments.
  • Follow-up programs are essential, involving tracking diet and behavior to ensure ongoing health and well-being.

So, it’s important for individuals considering this surgery to be aware of both the benefits and potential risks. So, before doing the safest form of weight loss surgery discuss them with a healthcare professional.

Meet Flora Lambeth, an experienced freelance journalist with a rich portfolio featured in renowned publications such as Women’s Health, Men’s Health, and Woman’s Day. With a passion for infusing humanity into her writing, Flora excels in crafting authentic profiles and narratives. Her expertise lies in covering topics related to Health and Fitness.

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