GASTRIC SLEEVE VS LAP BAND

LET US HELP YOU DECIDE WHICH PROCEDURE IS BEST FOR YOU

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GASTRIC SLEEVE VS LAP BAND

Patients often ask our team at West Medical about Gastric Sleeve vs. Lap Band. That makes sense because these two procedures, as well as the older gastric bypass, tend to be addressed in the media as if they were all the same operation. That’s clearly not the case and we hope the following descriptions will make the respective features of these procedures plain.

LAP BAND

“Lap Band” is actually a brand name for a set of surgeries that involve the use of a silicone band to basically tie-off most of the stomach. The procedure reduces the appetite because shrinking the capacity of the stomach makes overeating highly uncomfortable.

The band itself is both adjustable and removable, an aspect of the operation that many patients have found reassuring. However, the flip side is that a Lap Band is not just one procedure. A number of adjustments are typically required in order for the patient to get the maximum benefit. Moreover, the number of mostly relatively minor – but significant – complications associated with the procedure has tended to increase over the years. Also, while banding has produced outstanding results for many, a growing number of patients who felt they can do better have explored getting their procedure revised into something more powerful.

GASTRIC SLEEVE

The gastric sleeve has become the most popular procedure even though it is somewhat more invasive than Lap Bands and is not reversible. This is because the procedure is highly effective and far less radical compared to the gastric bypass, once the gold standard in bariatric medicine. While the bypass reorganizes the digestive tract, the gastric sleeve works by simply removing about 85% of the stomach. What remains resembles a sleeve-like pouch.

The procedure has proven to be extremely helpful in limiting the nagging feelings of appetite that sooner or later sabotage the large majority of attempts to defeat severe obesity. Increasingly, doctors believe sleeve procedures have proven to be more effective than banding because removing a large portion of the stomach also removes the part of the digestive system which produces most of the body’s hunger-inducing hormones. The result is that patients are discouraged from overeating not only due to the fact that it has become uncomfortable but because they are also experiencing less of the hungry feelings that might cause them to overeat in the first place.

As sleeve procedures have become more prominent, the data on their benefits have become clearer along with the reduced number of complications. Lap Band-to-sleeve conversions have become increasingly popular for this reason.

KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GASTRIC SLEEVE AND LAP BAND

COST COMPARISON

According to RealSelf.com, the average cost of both procedures is similar:

However, these are just averages. In some cases, a gastric sleeve surgery can cost as much as $22,000 whereas Lap Band surgery rarely exceeds $18,000 and may sometimes be a great deal less than the average amounts above. Of course, patients with insurance (see below) may sometimes have a relatively minimal out-of-pocket cost. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to give more precise estimates because of the large number of variables.

RECOVERY DIFFERENCES

Just as the procedures are different, so are the recovery processes.

Following gastric sleeve surgery, patients may need to stay in out-patient recovery for up to 24 hours as a precaution to ensure that there are no serious complications. After returning home, patients can expect to spend two to four weeks in recovery.

Conversely, Lap Band patients can typically go home immediately after the procedure with the assistance of a loved one. They are generally able to return to work within a week.

That being said, Lap Band surgery requires periodic adjustments to ensure proper placement. As each follow-up procedure will involve its own recovery period, the combined downtime may end up being longer in comparison to gastric sleeve recovery.

DIETARY DIFFERENCES

Gastric sleeves and Lap Bands are inherently different but both aim to dramatically reduce the capacity of the stomach. This means that patients who obtain either surgery won’t be able to eat anything like the same amount of food per meal as before. On the other hand, gastric sleeve patients may be motivated to be more careful in their choice of foods compared to Lap Band patients. The very unpleasant side-effect known as dumping syndrome is not present with banding procedures. Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass patients, however, are vulnerable. To avoid the issue, patients should avoid foods and drinks that are high in carbs while giving preferential treatment to proteins and non-fibrous vegetables and fruits. While there’s nothing good about experiencing dumping syndrome, attacks end fairly quickly and it does at least pose a strong disincentive to patients who might be tempted to overeat. Yes, Lap Band patients are not prone to the syndrome but it’s an arguably mixed blessing.

LAP BAND SURGERY

For Lap Band surgery, incisions are made that permit the gastric band device to be attached to the patient’s stomach. Though no portion of the stomach is removed, the available area inside it becomes much smaller, making overeating uncomfortable. While the surgery can be reversed if necessary, the device’s placement is meant to be permanent.

INSURANCE COVERAGE

Insurance companies may cover all or a portion of the costs associated with the surgery. The exact breakdown will vary depending on the patient, their insurance plan, and the specifics of the surgery.

If you are unsure of whether, or to what degree, your insurance covers Lap Band or gastric sleeve surgery, we have a dedicated web page to help you find out more about your situation. Use the email form or the phone number to get in touch with our helpful and friendly team members.

PROCEDURAL DIFFERENCES

While both procedures are laparoscopically performed through the use of tiny cameras, the surgeries differ a great deal.

GASTRIC SLEEVE SURGERY

Incisions are made that allow for the removal of most of the patient’s stomach. The remaining portion of the stomach is reconfigured into a pouch-like shape. The result is that overeating becomes uncomfortable. There is also a significant reduction in the production of ghrelin, a hormone associated with feelings of hunger.

PPO INSURANCE PROVIDERS

Gastric Sleeve surgery is covered by most PPO insurance providers! Click below to verify your PPO insurance covers it.

MAKE AN INFORMED CHOICE

Every patient is different and dealing with severe obesity is a highly individual matter. To find out which procedure works best for you, the first step is to get in touch with the West Medical team. To get started, just call us at the phone number above or reach out to us through our contact page

WORKING WITH WEST MEDICAL

At West Medical, it’s more than just giving you the medical attention you require that we emphasize; it’s making sure you’re completely taken care of. We understand that health care decisions can be difficult and may sometimes feel overwhelming, but we are always ready to help patients make good choices and enjoy the best possible outcomes.

NEXT STEP

At West Medical, our physicians are dedicated to individualized treatment, ensuring that your specific needs are met. To learn more about gastric sleeve in Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Inland Empire, as well as other weight loss options, call us at (855) 690-0565 and schedule your consultation today!


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