Gastric sleeve vs. Lap Band

When you have to make a choice about gastric sleeve vs lap band, choosing which type of bariatric surgery is right for you can be a difficult decision. At Jet Medical Tourism®… we understand this. It is our goal to provide you with education regarding the different types of bariatric surgeries.

This information can assist you in evaluating your choices so you can decide the most appropriate surgical treatment option best suited to your personal situation.

What is gastric sleeve surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is the most widely chosen form of weight loss surgery today. The procedure is relatively less invasive and entails a shorter recovery period and low risk. You can expect safe and predictable weight loss results as long as you work with a skilled and experienced bariatric surgeon.

  • Surgical procedure: Gastric sleeve surgery is mostly performed as a laparoscopic procedure, which minimizes subsequent scarring and makes the surgery more precise. The surgeon will create five to six tiny incisions in the abdomen to remove about 80% of the original stomach tissue, leaving behind a small, sleeve-shaped pouch.
  • How it works: VSG is a restrictive procedure, which means, it will limit your stomach’s capacity to hold food. As a result, you will eat smaller meal portions and feel full faster. At the same time, gastric sleeve will lower the production of hunger hormones in your body. You will feel hungry less often, and it will aid your weight loss process.

What is Lap band surgery?

Lap band surgery is the least invasive among all major weight loss surgery procedures. However, in recent years, many surgeons do not recommend this procedure because of its higher rates of weight loss failure and weight regain. At your initial consultation, you should ask your surgeon about gastric sleeve vs. lap band in order to make an informed choice.

  • Surgical Procedure: Lap band does not involve removal of the original stomach tissue. The surgeon will place a gastric band around the top part of your stomach. The band is connected with a tube accessible through a port inserted beneath the abdominal skin. Then the band is inflated to the desired degree to constrict around the stomach and create a small pouch.
  • How it works: Lap band surgery works on the similar restrictive principle as VSG. It will reduce your capacity to eat and help you meet your weight loss goals. The difference between gastric sleeve vs. lap band is that in this case the silicone band is adjustable or even removable at a later stage. However, lap band may not help in terms of hormonal weight loss.

READ: Lap band complications

What is the difference between lap band and gastric sleeve?

Patients often wonder how to differentiate between gastric sleeve vs. lap band when they are ready to go ahead with a bariatric surgery. It is best to follow your weight loss surgeon’s advice on this matter. In most cases, however, surgeons will recommend gastric sleeve because of its numerous advantages. In comparison, lap band surgery has a number of limitations.

Lap band vs. gastric sleeve eligibility

To be eligible for gastric sleeve surgery, your body mass index (BMI) should be at least 40. If you have one or more obesity-related co-morbidities, you will qualify for gastric sleeve surgery at BMI of 35 or higher. In case of lap band surgery, while these standard eligibility guidelines will apply, surgeons may recommend this surgery only in exceptional cases where the patient is unfit or unwilling to undergo a gastric sleeve.

Cost of lap band vs. gastric sleeve

Lap band costs are likely to be slightly lower than that of gastric sleeve. In the US or Canada, a gastric sleeve surgery may cost up to $20,000 or more in some areas, while a la p band may cost up to $15,000 on average. If you are looking for affordable options, you can compare the costs of gastric sleeve vs. lap band in Mexico. Gastric sleeve may cost up to $7,000, while a lap band may cost up to $5,500 in Mexico.

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Lap band vs. gastric sleeve recovery

After a gastric sleeve surgery, you can expect to have a downtime of about one week. You should stay confined to your home or hotel at this time and allow the wounds to heal safely. Lap band, on the other hand, will have a downtime of only two to three days because it’s a minimally invasive procedure. Side effects and post-op discomfort could be slightly higher in case of gastric sleeve. Full recovery is faster in case of lap band.

CHECK THIS: What is the recovery time for gastric sleeve surgery?

Lap band vs. gastric sleeve results

Success rate of gastric sleeve surgery is one of the highest among all types of bariatric surgery. You may be able to lose up to 75% of your excess weight at 12. Many patients achieve their ideal body weight at 18 to 24 months. Lap band surgery, on the other hand, has a less than stellar track record with regard to weight loss results. Many patients fail to achieve adequate weight loss or regain weight quickly after their lap band surgery.
Differences Between Gastric Sleeve versus Lap Band.

READ: Gastric sleeve results: Expected weight loss after VSG surgery

Lap band vs gastric sleeve: Comparison

Two popular weight loss surgeries for you to consider are laparoscopic gastric banding, and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, commonly referred to as gastric sleeve surgery. According to a study by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, patients who had gastric sleeve surgery vs gastric band experienced a +30% decrease in their body mass index (BMI) after 12 months.

The following chart is a side-by-side comparison of gastric banding and gastric sleeve that briefly summarizes the differences between these two surgeries.

Gastric sleeve vs. lap band pros cons

It’s paramount to objectively look at the pros and cons of both lap band and gastric sleeve before you make a final choice. During your pre-op consultation, you should request your surgeon to list out the lap band vs. gastric sleeve pros and cons for you. Each individual case is different, so a consultation with the bariatric surgeon is vital for this decision.

Gastric Sleeve Pros

  • Medically proven and widely recommended by bariatric surgeons
  • High success rate in terms of long-term weight loss
  • Helps resolve or reduce co-morbidity symptoms
  • Moderately invasive and involves no intestinal changes

Gastric Sleeve Cons

  • The surgery is irreversible and involves permanent tissue removal
  • May not be appropriate for patients with very severe obesity
  • Significant post-operative recovery process is involved
  • Side effects and complications may occur in a few patients

RELATED READ:Pros and cons of gastric sleeve surgery

Lap Band Pros

  • Minimally invasive procedure with short surgery time
  • The procedure can be fully reversed at any time in future
  • Lowest risk of side effects during early post-op phase
  • Minimal post-op discomfort and fast recovery

Lap Band Cons

  • High incidence of weight loss failure and weight regain
  • Frequent problems with band adjustment may occur
  • Damage to stomach tissue due to band erosion over time
  • High rate of revision surgery for conversion to gastric sleeve

READ: Lap band complications

Which is safer lap band or sleeve?

Lap band surgery may appear safer at first because it involves no removal of the stomach tissue, no rerouting of the intestines or no other invasive procedures. However, over time, complications related to the gastric band may cause trouble for many patients. If weight loss results are inadequate or co-morbidities do not resolve, the indirect health risks are high.

When you consider gastric sleeve vs. lap band, gastric sleeve is certainly more invasive and irreversible by design. The short-term side effects and long-term risk of complications with gastric sleeve may also be relatively higher for some patients. However, the weight loss benefits to your health and longevity will far outweigh the risks if you choose gastric sleeve.

Final words on gastric sleeve vs. lap band

When you are considering a life-altering procedure such as weight loss surgery, it is understandable if you feel uncertain or confused about the right choice of procedure. Get ready to consult with a trusted bariatric surgeon who will educate you about the exact lap band vs. gastric sleeve differences relevant to your condition, and help you make a correct and confident decision.

Compare Differences Between Types of Bariatric Surgery

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