Gastric Sleeve and PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is an endocrine system condition that affects childbearing-age women worldwide. The common symptoms of PCOS include:

  • Enlarged ovaries with clusters of cysts
  • Abnormal menstrual periods
  • Infertility
  • Excess androgen and male hair growth
  • Obesity
  • High insulin resistance (potentially leading to diabetes)

While it’s uncertain what exactly causes PCOS, there is a strong connection between this condition and obesity.

PCOS and Obesity

Roughly two thirds of women with PCOS are obese. Whether one causes the other is unclear, but what is clear is that the two do seem to be related.

Specifically, women with PCOS who lose weight actually experience improvements in their symptoms, such as reduced ovarian volume and greater fertility. Given the positive impact that weight loss has in this situation, one of the treatment methods available is bariatric surgery, including sleeve gastrectomy.

Interaction Between Gastric Sleeve and PCOS

Studies have found a positive relationship between bariatric surgeries such as gastric sleeve and PCOS.

Impact of gastric sleeve surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery reduces the stomach to a small sleeve, which helps reduce food intake. That in turn can support a weight loss plan involving diet and exercise. While it may not provide quite the same level of weight loss as gastric bypass surgery, it still provides significant results, and is a simpler procedure.

With the greater weight loss comes improved insulin sensitivity as well, which is important since insulin resistance is another of PCOS’s symptoms.

PCOS and gastric sleeve surgery

Some PCOS and gastric sleeve success stories are found in the data from one of Cleveland Clinic’s studies back in 2016. The study found that women with PCOS who underwent bariatric surgery commonly reported the following changes:

  • Reduced weight and BMI
  • Reduced ovarian volume
  • Slightly lower androgen levels

In addition, fewer PCOS patients reported irregular menstrual cycles post-operation, going from 84% before to 40% after.

Is Gastric Sleeve Right for You?

If you’re experiencing PCOS and you’ve tried losing weight without success, you may benefit from gastric sleeve surgery. This surgery is generally reserved for individuals who:

  • Are morbidly obese (BMI over 40).
  • Are obese (BMI over 35) with a related health condition.
  • Are willing to make significant lifestyle changes after surgery to support weight loss.

If you meet the above criteria, gastric sleeve surgery may help with your PCOS. To determine whether you’re eligible, you’ll need to talk to a qualified bariatric surgeon. Dr. Malladi can help determine if bariatric surgery is the right choice for you.