Lap Band vs. Stomach Folding

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

Stomach Folding

A Lighter Me does not recommend the stomach folding surgery. For a better option, speak with one of our coordinators about a gastric sleeve surgery.

Overview

Stomach folding, also known as gastric plication, is a relatively new procedure that is considered experimental and is performed laparoscopically. It is a minimally invasive surgery, and it usually takes just about an hour to complete. During the procedure, the surgeon makes five small incisions in the abdomen in order to reach the stomach. The surgeon then folds the stomach into a smaller, more compact size, typically reducing its volume by about 70 percent. Depending on the size of the stomach of the patient, the surgeon will do one or two folds, and the folds will be held with non-absorbable sutures. This surgery is potentially reversible, so if the stomach needs to be returned to its original size for any reason, that will most likely be possible. With a smaller stomach, patients typically feel fuller faster, and they often have a decrease in appetite as well. This surgery does not usually result in any severe food restrictions. With surgery and lifestyle changes, many patients are able to reduce or eliminate their need for blood pressure, diabetes, and depression medications.

Patient Eligibility

In order to be eligible for this surgery, individuals must have a BMI of at least 27. The ideal candidate will have a BMI of 40 or more, or they will have a BMI over 35 with at least one weight-related health problem.

Average Weight Loss Results

Patients can typically lose 2 pounds per week after the completion of this procedure. In total, most patients lose between 40 and 60 percent of their excess body weight within a year.

Recovery Time

Patients often must stay in the hospital for a day or two after the surgery, but within a week, they can usually return to work. Full recovery takes about 4 weeks. The first 2 weeks after surgery, the patient is required to consume an all liquid diet. The patient will then be able to add in thicker liquids, yogurt, and fruit. Eventually, regular foods can be consumed, but most people are only able to eat up to four spoonfuls of food per meal.

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects are nausea and vomiting, but oral medication can be given to minimize these effects. Even without medication, these side effects typically disappear within a week.

Cost

The average cost of stomach folding is approximately $10,000 to $15,000. Insurance does not typically cover this procedure.

References:
https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2012-03-09-stomach-origami.aspx