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Lap Band Surgery vs. Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Learn the pros and cons of lap band surgery versus gastric sleeve surgery in this Howcast video about bariatric surgery to treat obesity.


We're going to talk a little bit about gastric banding or lap band versus gastric bypass.

Both are surgical treatments for obesity. Both surgeries are restrictive, meaning that your stomach is made smaller or a device is used, in the case of the lap band, to make your brain think your stomach is smaller so you get full faster. The main difference between the two, is that the gastric bypass has a component which we call malabsorption. And what that means is that not every calorie that you eat actually gets absorbed into your bloodstream. And I'll explain that in a minute.

The lap band is a device that is made out of silicone that sits around the top part of your stomach. There's a balloon there and the balloon is connected by a tubing to a port that is secured to your muscle underneath your skin. And then after surgery, a month or so later, you'll go and see your surgeon and they'll tighten your band. They do that by injecting saline into the port. Saline is salt water. And that water will travel through the tubing and inflate the balloon at the top of your stomach. What this does is that it enables you to eat less and it makes you get full faster.

The weight loss that can be expected after the gastric band is about 50 percent of your excess body weight, meaning that if you have a hundred pounds to lose to be a healthy weight, with the band you'll probably lose about 50 pounds over about two years. And this comes out to be about one to two pounds per week.

The gastric bypass is also a surgery that we do. Both surgeries, by the way, are done with the small incisions, or laparoscopically. The gastric bypass involves making your stomach into a smaller pouch. So, we do actually cut your stomach. And we also cut and reroute your intestines. This way when you eat food, it's digested, but the nutrients aren't actually absorbed right away. So, this leads to an additional component of weight loss.

The weight loss after gastric bypass is actually greater on average than that after the band, and it's about three to four pounds per week for the first year or year and a half.

I hope this answered some of your questions about gastric band versus gastric bypass.

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