Obesity is now being recognized as a severe physical and mental issue that’s continuing to plague so many Americans despite various efforts made by the government and public health organizations to increase awareness.
According to the, CDC, nearly two in five Americans suffer from obesity, which has also given rise to obesity-related diseases like type-2 diabetes and heart ailments.
As you go through the motions of life, it’s not always easy to keep a strict eye on what you are eating and whether or not your body is getting enough exercise. In some cases, even one weight-loss surgery may not be enough to manage your weight.
If your first gastric lap band surgery failed to result in a significant weight loss, or if the Lap Band led to some health complications, it may be time to consider a lap band to gastric sleeve conversion.
Up until a few years ago, gastric lap band surgery was the most popular type of weight loss procedure. A lap band is an adjustable band made of silicone, and it goes around the top-portion of your stomach to restrict the amount of food you can consume.
In some rare cases, the lap band patients find themselves experiencing frequent digestive issues like vomiting or acid reflux. This usually happens because the lap band either loosens or slips out of place over time. It’s also possible that you may have regained the lost weight after 5-10 years following lap band surgery.
Regardless of the reason, if you are considering a lap band to gastric sleeve conversion, this post will help you learn all about either procedure.
Lap Band vs. Gastric Sleeve: Pros and Cons
If you’ve gone through a lap band surgery, and the band is not working anymore or you are suffering from some side-effects, a revision surgery might be the best option for you. A conversion to gastric sleeve will help fix the issues caused by the lap band, and also help you shed the weight much faster.
RELATED ARTICLE: All You Need to Know About Revision Weight Loss Surgery
A gastric sleeve is a minimally-invasive procedure, compared to other bariatric surgeries. And the best part is, it doesn’t require the same upkeep as the lap band either; you won’t need to visit the surgeon every few months to get your band adjusted if you sign up for a gastric sleeve.
Lap Band: During this surgery, the bariatric surgeon ties off most of your stomach, leaving only a very tiny portion. As a result, when or if you overeat, you’ll feel so uncomfortable and sick that you will hopefully do your best to avoid it.
So, your brain should create a negative association with excessive eating, helping you to eat smaller portions throughout the week and year.
Pros of Lap Band:
- A lap band surgery is reversible.
- It can be adjusted over time to suit your changing lifestyle.
Cons of Lap Band:
- Weight loss with a lap band takes more time, compared to gastric sleeve.
- You’ll need to undergo additional procedures for band adjustments.
The rate of risks and complications is higher than other bariatric surgeries; the band may leak or slip, leading to serious medical issues.
READ ALSO: What is Lap Band Removal Surgery?
Gastric Sleeve: Also known as sleeve gastrectomy, it reduces the size of your stomach by 70-85%. Unlike the lap band surgery, gastric sleeve doesn’t change the function of your digestive tract.
But the main reason why gastric sleeve is one of the most effective bariatric procedures today is because it reduces the production of hunger-causing hormone ghrelin significantly. Since you will stop feeling hungry as much as you normally do, you will stop overeating which includes consuming unhealthy snacks as well.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ: Is A Gastric Sleeve Worth It?
Pros of Gastric Sleeve:
- It is the most effective bariatric procedure for majority of obese and morbidly obese patients who are at higher risk for complications during the surgery.
- It causes you to lose weight faster than any other bariatric solution.
- It is minimally invasive and is generally performed laparoscopically.
- It drastically reduces your appetite and discourages overeating.
- It only changes the size of your stomach – not the way how your digestive system works.
Cons of Gastric Sleeve:
- A gastric sleeve surgery is irreversible.
- If you still continue to overeat after the surgery, you may experience the ‘dumping syndrome’, which can be a serious condition.
RELATED ARTICLE: Pros And Cons of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Which is Better: A Lap Band or Gastric Sleeve?
Considering all the pros and cons of both surgeries, it is clear to see why most patients prefer the gastric sleeve.
- For starters, with the rising healthcare costs, not everyone can afford to go to the doctor to get their lap band adjusted every couple of months. You have to get the lap band adjustment regularly otherwise it will result in vomiting, acid reflux, and other problems.
- And with every adjustment surgery, you’ll have to spend some time recuperating at home as well.
- If you’re like most people, who has a job, family, and other responsibilities, choosing a lap band may not be the most prudent choice.
This is why we recommend a gastric sleeve or lap band to gastric sleeve conversion and not the lap band; it’s much more suitable for the modern, busy individual.
Still wondering which is better, lap band or gastric sleeve? Our bariatric specialists at Jet Medical Tourism will be more than happy to give you a thorough medical evaluation for a more precise picture.
Obtaining a Gastric Sleeve after a Lap Band Failure
We always do our best to communicate the risks, whenever a patient requests a gastric lap band surgery. Of course, not every patient will experience problems, but when they do, they should be able to recognize the signs.
A lap band failure can simply mean that the patient did not lose any weight after the surgery, or they didn’t lose enough weight.
But sometimes, it can also mean that they start experiencing the side-effects of the lap band after their operation. The most common symptoms of this are indigestion, vomiting, and acid reflux. But in some severe cases of lap band failure, the patient can go through the following issues:
- Leakage from the band
- Band slippage
- Problems with bowel movement
- Blood clots
- Hiatal hernia
- Esophageal dilation
- Perforated bowel
If you don’t follow the diet changes recommended by the doctor after your lap band surgery, it will result in a number of complications. If you overeat, it will cause food to travel back to your esophagus, leading to nausea and vomiting. Not pleasant!
Or, if you don’t go in for regular fills to keep your band functioning properly, this will also result in some of the medical issues listed above that lead to lap band failure.
Whatever might have been the reason for the failure of your band, you can undo the complications and resume your weight-loss journey by choosing a gastric sleeve procedure. A sleeve gastrectomy comes with fewer side-effects and risks compared to the gastric lap band.
Also, as mentioned earlier, gastric sleeve is not as invasive as other bariatric surgeries; there is no cutting required. The doctor will only need to remove the band and place a set of stitches on the top part of the stomach.
CHECK THIS OUT: How Does Gastric Sleeve Work
This will result in a smaller stomach and thus, reduced appetite. You’ll naturally feel fuller faster when you eat after your lap band to gastric sleeve surgery.
Lap Band to Gastric Sleeve Conversion Process
To change a lap band to a gastric sleeve, the surgeon will remove the band first and then proceed with the gastric sleeve surgery. All of this is performed laparoscopically, i.e., via a tiny camera that’s inserted inside to give a clear view to the surgeon.
During the sleeve gastrectomy, about 80% of your stomach will be removed. The rest of it will be stapled off to form the size and shape of a banana or a ‘sleeve’.
Due to the substantially diminished capacity of your stomach, you’ll lose weight faster than you can imagine. Most patients lose 40-50% of the extra weight within 3-4 months after undergoing a gastric sleeve surgery. Also, the amount of hunger-causing hormone, ghrelin, will be reduced so much that you won’t feel the hunger as frequently and as intensely as you did before. In other words, say goodbye to your cravings!
Lap Band Revision to Gastric Sleeve Cost
In the US, the average cost of lap band to gastric sleeve conversion is about $15,000 to $30,000, depending on how severe your lap band failure complications are. Make sure you talk to your insurance company to see if they will pay for the lap band removal and/or gastric sleeve surgery.
The majority of insurers don’t cover any type of weight loss surgery. Some health insurance companies only cover one bariatric procedure, so while they may pay for your lap band, it’s highly unlikely that they will cover its removal as well.
This is why most patients prefer to cross the border to receive bariatric medical care.
In Mexico, a lap band to gastric sleeve revision surgery only costs about $4,000 to $5,000, helping patients save thousands of dollars.
Is Signing Up for a Lap Band Removal and Sleeve at the Same Time Smart: Yes or No?
Absolutely yes! Our weight loss surgeons do this all the time. Your lap band can be removed and converted to a gastric sleeve or any other bariatric solution of your choice. We try to do both lap band removal and sleeve at the same time to save the patient from additional expenses for hospitalization, anesthesia, etc. It’s a sagacious decision.
However, it’s crucial to note that there are always exceptions. If your lap band has done some extensive damage to your stomach, it might be better to enable your stomach to heal first. It’s better to consult with an expert bariatric surgeon to explore your options.
Lap Band to Gastric Sleeve Success
The long-term success rate of lap band to gastric sleeve success is excellent. Our patients at Jet Medical Tourism are provided state-of-the-art medical care and expertise, which guarantees a healthy recovery. Where you choose to have this procedure is a paramount decision.
If the medical team is first-rate and the surgeons are award-winning pioneers in their industry, like what we have on board, it leaves very little room for failure.
Have more questions about lap band to gastric sleeve conversion? Feel free to call us at 1-855-506-6188 or leave us a message here.