The Difference between Lap-band Surgery and Gastric Sleeve Surgery

If you struggle with obesity, there are numerous weight loss options for you to consider. Two of the most popular – sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve) surgery and adjustable gastric band (lap band) surgery are highly effective at helping patients lose significant weight. Understanding the difference between lap-band surgery and gastric sleeve surgery will help you to decide which procedure is best for you.


What Is Lap-Band (Gastric-Band) Surgery?


Gastric Band Surgery


Lap-band surgery is considered to be one of the least invasive weight-loss options. During surgery, surgeons make small incisions in the upper abdomen before inserting a silicone ring with an expandable balloon around the upper section of the stomach.


When the band is fitted correctly, it will create a small stomach pouch, which will help the patient to feel satiated sooner with a smaller amount of food.


The band can be adjusted to allow patients to increase or decrease the amount of food they can eat at any given time. In addition, the procedure is reversible because the band can be removed through additional surgery.


Average results


Weight Loss Surgery


On average, patients will initially lose 40% to 60% of their excess body weight after undergoing lap-band surgery. That said, these results vary widely depending on the motivation and compliance of the patient in question.


For example, patients who follow the advice of their bariatric surgeon, maintain a balanced and healthy diet and exercise regularly will generally see better results than a patient who reverts to old habits.


Patients who commit to making the correct lifestyle choices can expect to lose anywhere from two to three pounds every week on average. Over the long-term, this will drop to around one pound every week.


Side effects

As with any bariatric procedure, patients may experience a range of side effects and/or complications following lap-band surgery. On average, 15 – 60% of patients require revisional bariatric surgery due to complications such as frequent vomiting, implant malposition, erosion, or lack of weight loss.


The most common side effects include:


  • Indigestion

  • Nausea

  • Regaining weight

  • Ulcers (near the waistband)

  • Dehydration

  • Vomiting


Who is eligible?


To be eligible for lap-band surgery, a patient must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 30 or higher and suffer from a comorbidity such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure.



What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?


Gastric Sleeve Surgery


Like lap-band surgery, gastric sleeve surgery is performed laparoscopically. Unlike lap-band surgery, however, the effects of gastric sleeve surgery are irreversible.


During the operation, around 80% of the stomach is removed. The remaining section of the stomach is formed into a tube-like shape about the size and shape of a banana.


With 80% of their stomach removed, gastric sleeve patients can only consume a limited amount of food at any given time. Patients may also experience hormonal changes that may help with additional weight loss.


Average results


Weight Loss Results


On average, patients who undergo gastric sleeve surgery may lose up to 60% of their total body weight. In some instances, this number may be even higher up to two years post-surgery. That said, the patient must be willing to commit themselves to make significant lifestyle changes such as eating healthy and exercising.


Side effects


Gastric sleeve surgery can take its toll on the body. For a six-month period following surgery, you may experience hair thinning, fatigue, changes in mood and feeling cold.


Who is eligible?


To be eligible for gastric sleeve surgery, you must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or if you have a BMI of 30 or higher and have a serious weight-related health issue such as high blood pressure, severe sleep apnea, or type 2 diabetes.

Pros and Cons of Lap-band and Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Weight Loss Results


No single surgery is right for every patient. You need to consider the pros and cons of each choice before coming to a decision.


Lap Band Surgery




Lap-band surgery is reversible. Unlike other types of bariatric surgery, doctors don’t have to remove the intestines to induce weight loss. Furthermore, the band can be taken out, giving patients more flexibility if they wish to consume more or less food at any given time.




The band itself may wear out or may slip out of place, meaning you’ll need revisional bariatric surgery to fix the issue. Another con is that lap-band surgery is not as effective as other types of bariatric surgery.


Gastric Sleeve Surgery




Gastric sleeve surgery induces more significant and rapid weight loss than comparative weight loss surgeries. Another major pro is that gastric sleeve surgery doesn’t require a bypass or re-routing of the food stream.




This surgery cannot be reversed. Once you undergo gastric sleeve surgery, you will forever live with the results.


For instance, your body may no longer have the ability to absorb certain types of vitamins and minerals. As a result, you will have to take vitamin supplements for the rest of your life to make up for any deficiencies you may experience.


Final thoughts

Weight Loss Surgery


Speak with your bariatric surgeon to determine which surgery is the best option for you. While both lap-band surgery and gastric sleeve surgery are highly effective options, you need to give serious thought to the pros and cons of each choice before coming to a final decision.


Knowing which surgery is right for you can be challenging. Demystify the process by reaching out to Olde Del Mar Surgical. Under the caring hands of Dr. Sunil Bhoyrul and his team, you’ll have the guidance you need to make a sound decision.

Contact us today for more information or click below to schedule your consultation.






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