Lap Band vs Gastric Sleeve

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If you struggle with obesity, there are numerous options to lose weight 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 vs gastric sleeve surgeries will help you to decide which procedure is best for you.



What Is Lap Band (Gastric Band) Surgery?
Lap band surgery is considered to be one of the least invasive weight-loss surgery options. During laparoscopic adjustable gastric band 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.

Lap band vs gastric sleeve: Lap Band graphic

When the band is fitted correctly, it will create a small stomach pouch, which will help lap band patients feel satiated sooner with a smaller amount of food. The band can be adjusted through inflation or deflation 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.

What Is 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. This surgery will essentially remove a large portion of the stomach so it holds less food and limits the amount of food that can be eaten at one time.

Lap band vs gastric sleeve: Gastric Sleeve graphic

During the operation, around 80% of the stomach is removed. The remaining part 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 excess weight loss. In the weeks after surgery, the body will adapt and you’ll feel fuller faster and feel hunger pangs less and less. In both a lap band and gastric sleeve procedures, a healthier diet and increased physical activity are required to see the greatest results on your weight loss journey and improved overall health.

Average results lap band vs gastric sleeve

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 lose greater amounts of weight 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 of lost weight every week on average. Over the long term, this will drop to around one pound every week.

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 between lap band and gastric sleeve

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

Weight loss 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. This is quite normal, and attributable to the rapid loss of body fat. After 6 months, these symptoms nearly always resolve. However, the initial recovery time for both surgeries is relatively quick. Both surgical weight loss patients are held overnight for observation but can go home the next day and resume normal activities.

Lap Band vs Gastric Sleeve: 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 comorbidities such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

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 vs Gastric Sleeve Surgery

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

Pros and Cons of Lap Band Surgery

Pros: 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 removed, giving patients more flexibility if they wish to consume more or less food at any given time.

Cons: 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.

Pros and Cons of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

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

Cons: This surgery cannot be reversed. Once you undergo gastric sleeve surgery, you will live with the results of having a smaller size stomach.

We recommend vitamin, iron, and calcium replacements (typically one chewable tab daily or twice daily in some patients) as a way of preventing nutritional deficiencies.

Final thoughts on lap band vs gastric sleeve surgery

Speak with your bariatric surgeon to determine which surgery is the best long-term 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 here to take an assessment.

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