Comparing Lap Band Vs. Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Feb 15, 2024

If you have reached a level where your healthcare specialists are considering weight loss surgery options, lap band, and sleeve gastrectomy might be the two buzzwords right now. Both options result in weight loss by restricting the size of your stomach; however, the qualification criteria for lap band vs. gastric sleeve surgery are different. Let’s delve into more details.

How Can You Differentiate Lap Band and Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

When we talk about lap band vs. gastric sleeve surgery, both are meant to help you lose weight; however, they have major differences in terms of method and qualification criteria.

Lap Band Surgery

  • Method: Lap band surgery is also referred to as laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. It is named so because the surgery is done by placing an inflatable band around the upper portion of the stomach. This, in turn, restricts the amount of food that you may be able to consume. As a result, digestion is in control because of a smaller upper pouch and a larger lower pouch.
  • Qualification Criteria: If you have a BMI (Body Mass Index) value of 30 or higher, approval for a Lap band surgery is possible.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

  • Method: In this surgery, almost 75% of the stomach is removed, leaving a banana-shaped sleeve behind the stomach. The good news is that this procedure does not involve implanting a device or rerouting the intestines.
  • Qualification Criteria: You must have a diagnosis of “morbidly obese” to qualify for sleeve gastrectomy.

Other Differences

  • Weight Loss: Gastric sleeve vs. lap band surgery offers enhanced 2-year total weight loss.
  • Level of Invasiveness: Gastric sleeve surgery is more invasive vs. lap band.
  • Nutritional Absorption Effect: A lap band surgery shows fewer changes in nutrition absorption, while sleeve gastrectomy does not affect it at all.

The Benefits of Lap-Band Surgery over Sleeve Gastrectomy

  1. Adjustability
    As mentioned earlier, lap band surgery is adjustable since it allows tightening or loosening of the band, which controls the amount of food the stomach will hold. On the other hand, gastric sleeve surgery is irreversible.
  2. Level of Invasiveness
    During this surgery, doctors do not cut or staple the stomach. This is why a lap band vs gastric sleeve is a less invasive surgery.
  3. Less Complication In The Long Run
    This surgery does not involve intestinal bypass, making it reversible when needed and helping avoid long-term complications related to this aspect.
  4. Outpatient Surgery
    A lap band surgery is mostly an outpatient procedure, allowing patients to go home within 24 hours of the surgery.

Lap Band Vs. Gastric Sleeve Surgery, Which Is Reversible?

The good part about lap band surgery is that it is reversible, while gastric sleeve surgery is not. This is because once a part of your stomach is removed, replacement is not possible.

When you want to achieve extreme weight loss, there is a chance of combining gastric sleeve surgery with a gastric bypass. The latter on its own is very successful, including an 80% positive change in diabetes and more than 90% resolution of sleep apnea.

Closing Note

Do you have more questions regarding which surgery you can qualify for? Feel free to consult Dr. Mustafa H. Alibhai, a board-certified general surgeon at our facility, who has a fellowship from Bariatric Medical Institute (San Antonio, TX) at Nova Bariatrics and Minimally Invasive Surgery. Dial (469) 639-0953 to talk to us.

Dr. Mustafa H. Alibhai

Dr. Alibhai, a board-certified general surgeon, passionately leads Nova Bariatrics and Minimally Invasive Surgery. Formerly an Assistant Professor at McGovern Medical School, he’s a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. His academic journey includes a Bachelor’s from Southern Methodist University, Medical School at UT Southwestern, and residencies at UT Southwestern. Specializing further, he completed Bariatric and Robotic Fellowships, advancing surgical techniques with a focus on patient well-being.



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