Lap Band vs. Gastric Bypass

Lap Band (Adjustable Gastric Band)

A Lighter Me does not recommend the lap band procedure. A gastric sleeve operation is more affordable and often provides better results.

Overview

Adjustable gastric band surgery is done laparoscopically. It is considered one of the least invasive weight loss surgeries. During the procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions in the upper abdomen and then places a soft silicone ring with an expandable balloon around the top of the stomach. The silicone ring, or band, creates a small stomach pouch, which causes the patient to feel full after eating only a small amount of food. The band is adjustable; fluid can be added to or removed from the balloon through a port that is placed under the skin. The reduction in the intake of food, due to the patient feeling fuller more quickly, can result in significant weight loss.

Patient Eligibility

Individuals who have certain stomach or intestinal disorders, take aspirin frequently, or are addicted to alcohol or drugs are not eligible for this procedure. This procedure is only performed on individuals who are 18 or older.

Average Weight Loss Results

Weight loss results vary widely based on patient motivation and compliance. On average, most patients lose approximately 40 to 60 percent of their excess body weight after this procedure. Initially, most patients can expect to lose about 2 or 3 pounds per week, and then their weight loss will drop to about one pound per week. Adjustments to the band can be made if necessary.

Recovery Time

Most people are able to return to work one week after the procedure, and they can resume normal activities after 6 weeks.

Common Side Effects

This procedure has a moderate risk of long-term complications. Between 15 and 60 percent of patients end up needing to have the procedure completed again due to implant malposition, erosion, frequent vomiting, or lack of weight loss. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, constipation, indigestion, ulceration at the band site, dehydration, and weight regain.

Cost

The cost of this procedure varies, but on average it costs approximately $3,500 with insurance and $15,000 without insurance.

References:
https://www.medicinenet.com/lap_band_surgery_gastric_banding/article.htm#who_are_candidates_for_the_lap_band_system
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/gastroenterology/laparoscopic_adjustable_gastric_banding_135,63

Gastric Bypass (Roux-En-Y)

A Lighter Me helps patients receive affordable, quality gastric bypass surgery in Mexico. Speak with one of our coordinators about a gastric bypass surgery.

Overview

Gastric bypass surgery is sometimes completed laparoscopically. It typically takes several hours. During the procedure, the surgeon will staple off the upper section of the stomach so it is just a small pouch, about the size of an egg. This pouch is then attached to a part of the small intestine called the Roux limb. This forms a “Y” shape, which is why this procedure is often referred to as Roux-en-Y. This not only reduces the amount of food the patient can consume, it also forces the food to bypass the rest of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. After the procedure, the amount of fat and calories that is absorbed from food is reduced and so is the amount of vitamins and minerals. Dramatic weight loss is common after this procedure, and it can also help to reduce or eliminate other health-related problems, such as heartburn, reflux, and other conditions that are common in overweight individuals.

Patient Eligibility

The ideal candidate will have a BMI over 40 or a BMI between 35 and 40 and a weight-related health condition, such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes.

Average Weight Loss Results

The amount of weight loss depends upon the patient’s adherence to diet and lifestyle changes, but on average, people will lose about 100 pounds after gastric bypass surgery. Weight loss typically happens fairly quickly. One year after the surgery, weight loss stops and a patient’s weight stabilizes. At this time, it is very important to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits in order to not regain the weight that was lost.

Recovery Time

Patients are often required to stay in the hospital for a day or two after surgery. An all-liquid diet is required during the first week or two; soft foods are then slowly added into the patient’s diet, and within a month of surgery, regular food can be consumed. Normal activities can also typically be resumed at this time.

Common Side Effects

Patients may experience body aches, dry skin, mood changes, temporary hair thinning, tiredness, and feeling cold during the first year following surgery. This is due to the rapid weight loss. Once the weight loss stops, these symptoms usually go away.

Cost

Some insurances will cover part of the cost of gastric bypass surgery. In the US costs range anywhere between $8,000 and $27,000 without insurance.

References:
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/gastroenterology/roux-en-y_gastric_bypass_weight-loss_surgery_135,65