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Decoding Weight Loss Surgeries: Lap-Band vs. Gastric Sleeve

Before and After BMI

August 17, 2023

Decoding Weight Loss Surgeries: Lap-Band vs. Gastric Sleeve

Bariatric Surgery: A Growing Field

Owing to the rapid advancement of bariatric surgery, new avenues to achieve your target weight open up everyday. Procedures like the Gastric Sleeve (Sleeve Gastrectomy) and Lap-Band (Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band) surgery have seen increasing success in sustaining long-term weight loss, reducing surgical risks and improving overall wellbeing. Let’s explore the differences between lap band vs. gastric sleeve.

While both types of weight loss surgeries have their unique benefits and considerations, ultimately, the decision should be made based on your individual needs and priorities. Additionally, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of what each procedure has to offer based on parameters like; weight-loss outcomes, level of risk, and impact on lifestyle. By understanding the differences between Lap-Band and Gastric Sleeve Surgery, you can make an informed decision about which option best suits your priorities on your weight loss journey.

Lap-Band vs. Gastric Sleeve: What’s The Difference?

While the goal of both of both procedures is to reduce the size of the stomach, their methods are different. Gastric Sleeve Surgery involves the permanent removal of a portion of the stomach, resulting in patients losing around 60-65% of their excess weight. On the other hand, Lap-Band Surgery, is a reversible procedure where an adjustable ring is placed around the upper part of the stomach to reduce the size of the stomach pouch resulting in patients losing around 40% of their excess weight.

Lap-Band vs. Gastric Sleeve: Ways Of Working

The Gastric Sleeve surgery is two pronged; first – a part of the stomach is removed laparoscopically to create a smaller stomach (sleeve) pouch. Second – Gut hormones are changed! parts of the stomach cells that produce ghrelin, the hunger hormone, are removed. There is also an increase in GLP-1 which helps with weight loss.  This two-step process helps reduce everyday food intake and general appetite simultaneously. Conversely, Lap-Band surgery is a single-step laparoscopic procedure where an adjustable band is placed on the upper part of the stomach, leaving only a small area available for food. This significantly restricts excessive eating without having to surgically remove a part of the stomach. The band does not have the hormonal effects like the sleeve does.

Lap-Band vs. Gastric Sleeve: Considering All Outcomes

Both procedures are minimally invasive and usually don’t require overnight stay at the hospital. While generally safe, Gastric Sleeve Surgery is a permanent procedure and carries a low overall risk profile, with side effects like:

  • Acid reflux
  • Dumping Syndrome
  • Gastritis
  • Gastric leak
  • Vomiting

Lap-Band Surgeries, while generally safe, have shown lower success rates than gastric sleeve, with patients needing regular follow-up visits for band adjustments, and ultimately, additional weight loss procedures. Other side effects include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Vomiting

Gastric Sleeve vs. Lap-Band: Leading A Different Lifestyle

Both Gastric Sleeve and Lap-Band have a lasting impact on lifestyle, requiring complete commitment to a healthy diet and regular exercise. Since both procedures involve reducing the size of the stomach, other lifestyle modifications include disciplined portion control, taking smaller bites, chewing well, and eating slowly. However, the stomach pouch is much smaller post-op with the Lap-Band (<1 ounce) compared to the Gastric Sleeve (3-4 ounces), making it the more challenging procedure for normal eating habits to adapt to overall.

Gastric Sleeve vs. Lap-Band: Finding The Right Fit

The choice between the two procedures is personal and scientific. Patients must meet certain parameters to qualify for weight loss surgery. Gastric sleeve surgery is recommended to those with a Body Mass Index over 35, and facing more than one weight related health complication, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. While insurance policies cover  these frequently, the estimated cost of the procedure is $10,000 – $15,000 if insurance is not helping out.

Lap-Band is recommended to those with a Body Mass Index over 30, and facing one other weight related health complication such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. While insurance policies cover  these frequently, the estimated cost of the procedure is $12,000 – $15,000 if insurance is not helping out.

Bariatric Surgery at BMI of Texas

In the end, the choice between Gastric Sleeve Surgery and Lap-Band Surgery should be based on how closely the procedure’s outcomes align with your needs, preferences and goals. The truth is that bands are very uncommon now since the sleeve has a better weight loss with similar risk and downtime after. Consult with an experienced healthcare provider to thoroughly evaluate the benefits and considerations of each procedure, and determine what will set you on a path towards a healthier future.