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Trying to decide which weight loss surgery is right for you? Lap-Band or Gastric Sleeve? This article compares and contrasts the lap band procedure with the gastric sleeve surgery.

Lap-Band Surgery
The weight loss procedure commonly referred to as the Lap-Band is medically known as the Adjustable Gastric Banding System. Lap Band, Lap-Band, or LAP BAND are all simply a brand name trademark for the FDA approved product by Allergan, Inc., an 18 billion dollar medical company.

With the lap band surgery, the upper part of the patientís stomach (like where the esophagus meets the stomach) is surrounded by a band that will restrict the stomach and make the patient feel full sooner when eating. The band has a port that is implemented just underneath the skin near the abdomen. This port is used to fill the lap band to various levels with a saline solution by the patientís doctor, at different times, based on desired quantities of food consumption to be allowed during that phase. This device often needs servicing and the port can slip, flip, or tilt on an angle and is unfortunately not always reliable. These situations can be frustrating when trying to determine the reason for unexpected or minimal weight loss results after the operation. The port site is also susceptible to infection. In many cases, patients must undergo additional procedures known as ďport revision surgeryĒ. In addition to those things, you should also be aware that many people who have a lap band experience large quantities of fluid that will come up and out of their nose while sleeping, waking them up in the night. The good news is lap band surgery is reversible. Which may lead you to finally getting a gastric sleeve instead, anyway. Back when the lap band was a new procedure, it was an alternative to the bypass. The sleeve surgery was not popular at the time.

Gastric Sleeve Gastrectomy
The gastric sleeve is a surgery that involves permanently removing a large portion of the stomach to make it smaller, so you feel fuller faster, and also to remove the tissue that releases the hunger hormone. This reduced size of the stomach will prevent the patient from overeating. Weight loss is rapid and the potential for weight gain in the future is permanently hindered unless the patient forces and stretches the stomach back larger again. However, even if the stomach stretches, the good news that patient should be aware of is the majority of the portions of the stomach that produce Ghrelin are removed during the gastric sleeve surgery. Ghrelin is the natural but undesirable hormone that produces hunger and also decreases the bodyís ability to burn fat, as well as slows the metabolism. What that means is the patient will not have an increased appetite, because the appetite is suppressed being that Ghrelin is not prevalent. And the patientís metabolism is increased after the gastric sleeve surgery, now the patient has a fantastic combination of desirable changes that lead to reliable and rapid weight loss and overall feeling more active and confident.

So as you can see, the gastric sleeve surgery addresses three main concerns when rapid and substantial weight loss is desired.

  1. The stomach is smaller and the patient feels fuller, faster.
  2. The hormone that makes the patient crave food is reduced.
  3. The patientís metabolism is increased.

The name gastric sleeve comes from the shape of the stomach after the surgery. The bean shape of the stomach is reduced to be more tubular, like a sleeve, because the bottom of the stomach is snipped off and discarded. The surgery only requires a few small incisions on the outside of the body and instruments and cameras are inserted for a few minutes by the surgeon to see inside while the procedure is taking place.

In many circumstances, the gastric sleeve surgery is generally superior to alternative bariatric surgery, such as the lap band. One such circumstance, for example, is if the patient is unable to return as often as required for the follow up visits that are required with the lap band procedure.

You should always consult a medical professional who is aware of your personal health condition to recommend and discuss your options. Please use this information as a guide only as a broad overview of the differences between the gastric sleeve surgery versus the lap band procedure.
Please explore the other areas of GastricSleeve.com and be sure to register and participate in our gastric sleeve forum to speak with other people just like yourself. When evaluating your options, be sure to consider the gastric sleeve doctors that are featured on GastricSleeve.com, as they are choice professionals that you should consider for your gastric sleeve surgery.

Some notable threads in our community forum, where you can read about discussions and testimonials from previous lap band patients who converted to the gastric sleeve are as follows:

We strive to continuously update this list. If you see a thread or a post in our forum you think we should link to from this page, please contact us so we can add it.