Oftentimes, common weight loss measures such as diet and exercises do not work for some people, as they do for others. In such cases, weight loss surgeries remain the only solution. Bariatric surgery is the most popular and highly sought after weight loss surgery. It is performed using two techniques, the first is gastric sleeve, while the other is lap band technique. Each of these techniques has its own advantages and disadvantages. The purpose of this article is to highlight the benefits and risks of the two surgeries by comparing them against various parameters.
Gastric Sleeve Versus Lap Band
The difference in surgery technique is the first parameter to be considered, while comparing both surgery techniques. Gastric sleeve surgery involves removing about 60-80% of stomach, leaving only a small functional tube. Unlike gastric bypass surgery, there is no re-routing or cutting of small intestine, and the pyloric valve or the outlet of the stomach is also kept intact. Lap band surgery involves placing an adjustable silicon band on the top portion of the stomach, which controls the intake of food. Gastric sleeve surgery is invasive and more complicated than lap band.
Both the surgeries follow a restrictive approach for attaining weight loss. As both of them reduce the size of the stomach, the amount of food that can be allowed inside is also restricted. Besides, gastric sleeve also reduces hunger pangs, while lap band creates satiety even after consuming a small portion of food. The hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for stimulating hunger is present in the upper portion of the stomach. Since, the gastric sleeve surgery removes this part, there is no longer any sensation of hunger. As a result, the person is likely to eat less.
Weight Loss Attained
Fast and drastic weight loss can be achieved after gastric sleeve surgery. The person loses about 60-70% of excess weight in just two years after the surgery. Whereas, weight loss with lap band surgery is slow, but steady. The person is able to lose about 40 - 50% of excess weight in the first year itself. However, after that the rate of weight loss stabilizes at 55% for at least next 5 years. If you are interested in quick weight loss, then gastric sleeve may be your option.
Gastric sleeve surgery being an invasive one, needs a recovery time of about 6 weeks. On the other hand, lap band surgery recovery time is very less, and you can begin working within a week after the operation. Gastric sleeve requires you to stay in the hospital for at least 2-3 days, whereas, lap band procedure only demands an overnight stay at the hospital. However, since lap band surgery involves implanting a device in the body, you will need to undergo follow-up procedures for readjustment of the band.
Both the surgeries involve some risks that are unique to the specific type of surgery. Lap band surgery risks include, incidences of band slipping or band erosion. This can be corrected with the help of a readjustment operation. Infections, bleeding, leakage, are some common risks associated with gastric sleeve procedure. There are also incidences of malnutrition following gastric sleeve surgery.
The biggest benefit of lap band surgery is that, it is completely reversible. Besides, it is also quick with little recovery time. Gastric sleeve is often considered for patients who do not qualify for lap band surgery. Gastric sleeve can also be further converted to gastric bypass surgery. Lap band surgery cost is in the range of USD 14,000 to USD 18,000, whereas gastric sleeve surgery can be performed in around USD 10,000.
If you are wondering, which surgical technique to choose, you might get an answer by weighing the benefits against the risk involved.