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Lap Band Bariatric Surgery vs Gastric Sleeve: What is the Right Option for Me?

Posted on July 1, 2014 at 11:56 PM by Todd Eibes, MD

lap band bariatric surgeryWhen deciding on a weight loss surgery, many people compare the pros and cons of lap band bariatric surgery with the relatively newer procedure called laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. When comparing the two bariatric procedures, you should ask yourself what is best for you and your situation.

The lap band surgery is a purely restrictive surgery where a small, adjustable band is placed around the upper stomach to limit portion size and to try to give the patient a feeling of fullness between meals. Once the band is in place, it is possible for the bariatric surgeon to adjust it at any time by inflation or deflation. There is also the option of band removal.

However, the lap band produces the least amount of weight loss out of the common bariatric surgeries and often does not suppress a patient’s appetite enough. Especially for those with limited exercise abilities, as well as those not experiencing the optimal level of appetite suppression, this type of bariatric surgery is problematic.

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve bariatric surgery, results a greater weight loss in obese patients. The procedure involves the removal of ¾ of the stomach, creating a small, sleeve shape comparable in size to a very thin banana. This is a permanent procedure that cannot be reversed, but one that provides a growing number of obese patients with life-saving benefits. Sleeve gastrectomy procedures are effective and safe for almost all patients, with very few exceptions and long term complications.

Here is how the two procedures compare in terms of pros and cons:

Lap Band Bariatric Surgery Pros:

  • No stapling or cutting of stomach muscles.
  • Stomach size restriction can be adjusted up or down.
  • The gastric band can be removed.
  • Mostly done as an outpatient surgery.

Lap Band Bariatric Surgery Cons:

  • Higher re-operation and complication rate over time.
  • Frequent visits for band adjustment.
  • The resolution of medical issues depends on the amount of weight lost.
  • Increased risks with subsequent bariatric surgeries.

Gastric Sleeve Pros:

  • No intestinal bypass, avoiding long-term complications related to it
  • No foreign body or requirement for frequent adjustments

Gastric Sleeve Cons:

  • Procedure is not reversible.
  • Not suitable for patients with very severe reflux.

For these reasons, Dr. Todd Eibes and Iowa Weight Loss Specialists believe that the gastric sleeve bypass is the best choice for most patients. “I have performed over 500 lap band bariatric surgeries as well as over 500 gastric sleeve bypass surgeries,” said Dr. Eibes, “and both the results and the actual surgical/post surgical experience is much better for the patients who have chosen the gastric bypass.”

As you consider the various types of bariatric surgery, keep in mind that weight loss surgery is only a tool to help you lose weight. It is important to discuss all of your options with your surgeon, and at Iowa Weight Loss Specialists Dr. Todd Eibes and his team are dedicated to making sure you have all the facts to determine the best method for you.

If you’re interested in learning more about:

  • Dr. Todd Eibes
  • Iowa Weight Loss Specialists
  • Our West Des Moines location
  • Our weekly informational class
  • Weight loss surgery financing
  • Or would like to schedule a consultation

Please call 515-327-2000 or email us.

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