Gastric Bypass vs Lap-Band (Gastric Banding)

Let’s take a look at gastric bypass vs lap-band surgery. Ever since Lap-Band was approved by the FDA, its popularity has been on the rise till the mid-2000s. Since that time Gastric Bypass has been increasingly studied and purported as the “gold standard,” in bariatrics.

Notable Difference

Gastric bypass typically produces twice the weight loss compared to gastric banding. One year after surgery gastric banding produced 36% excess weight loss, and gastric bypass produced 65% excess weight loss.

Another notable difference is the risks of complications and side effects. The gastric bypass will put patients at a greater likelihood of side effects, complications, and risks – but, gastric banding requires frequent physician visits to maintain proper band tightness.

Gastric Bypass vs Lap-Band: Table Comparison

Surgery TypeGastric Banding
lap-band surgery
RNY Gastric BypassRNY Gastric Bypass
Method of Weight LossRestrictive

  • Stomach is Restricted via Implant
Restrictive & Malabsorptive

  • New Stomach Created
  • Alters Digestion
Stomach AlterationsStomach size reduced

  • 70-85% of the stomach is removed.
New Stomach is Created: Stoma.

  • The stomach is bypassed, with a new smaller stomach (stoma) created with intestines.
Changes to IntestineNo ChangeCut and Bypassed

  • The stoma is connected and rerouted to avoid a large portion of intestines. This reduces absorption of nutrients and calories.
Operating Time
  • 1 hours
  • 2 hours
Average Hospital Stay
  • 1 days
  • 2 to 3 days
Time off Work
  • One week
  • 2 to 3 weeks
Recovery Time
  • 4-6 weeks
  • 3 months
  • Reversible Procedure
  • Adjustable to facilitate weight loss
  • Simple procedure
  • High Expected Weight Loss, Comparable to Duodenal Switch.
  • Gastric Bypass has been performed hundreds of thousands of times. Thus, side effects and complications are known.
  • Lowest Expected Weight Loss of all Bariatric Surgeries
  • Stomach Blockage Could Happen
  • Requires Many Physician Visits
  • Major and complicated surgery with associated risks.
  • Leakage, Bleeding, Vomiting all occur.
  • Daily Supplements and Vitamins are Required.
  • Dumping Syndrome is Common.
Surgery Description
  • The Lap-Band is an adjustable silicone ring that is placed around the top part of the stomach creating a small (1-2 ounce or 15-30cc) pouch. Gastric Banding moderately restricts the volume and type of foods the patient can consume.
  • Small pouch (about 1/20-30cc) Pouch is connected to the small intestine where food and digestive juices are separated for the first 3 to 5 feet. The RNY significantly restricts the volume of food that can be eaten.
Realistic Expectations
  • Patients can expect to lose 60% of their excess weight.
  • This procedure requires the most effort of all the processes to be successful.
  • Patient must be committed to healthy eating habits and exercise.
  • Provides mild malabsorption of nutrients
  • Patients can expect to lose 70% of excess weight.
  • Less qualified (patients who loseDoudenal Switch.
Post Surgery Dietary Info:
  • Patients must eat three meals per day consisting of less than 1000 calories per day during weight loss.
  • Patients will need to avoid certain foods that can become “stuck” such as bread, rice, nuts, dense meats that may cause pain and vomiting.
  • Patients must not drink fluids with meals.
  • Patients must eat three small meals a day.
  • Patients must avoid sugar and fats to prevent Dumping Syndrome.
  • Patients must take vitamin and protein supplements to avoid deficiency (Multivitamin, Calcium, Vitamin B12, and Iron for menstruating women)
Candidate Efficacy
  • Gastric banding is most useful for patients that are more disciplined in following a strict diet and will commit to an exercise program.
  • Gastric Bypass is useful for patients with a BMI of 35-55 and those with a “sweet tooth.”

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric Bypass Surgery is the most popular weight loss surgery in the United States. Gastric Bypass uses restrictive and malabsorptive methods to provide high expected weight loss, allowing patients to lose up to 70% of their weight and keep it off for ten years or longer.

Gastric Bypass Surgery Facts

  • Studies have shown that gastric bypass surgery helps patients lose more weight than Lap-Band surgery.
  • Gastric Bypass Surgery is a more effective treatment towards diabetes than lap-band. (In a recent study, 89% of people with type 2 diabetes who underwent gastric bypass surgery went into remission, and 57% were still in remission after five years )
  • Gastric Bypass is a very powerful weight loss surgery; that alters a person’s digestive tract to increase weight-loss.

Gastric Banding Surgery

Gastric Banding Surgery, or Lap-Band, is a restrictive weight loss procedure that uses an implant to achieve weight loss. Gastric banding produces weight loss comparable to gastric sleeve surgery and is available to a wider set of candidates than gastric bypass.

What are the main differences between Lap-Band and Gastric Bypass? How do these bariatric surgeries compare? Having weight-loss surgery is a costly decision that affects your waistline and your wallet.

Both operations are heavily used in by bariatric surgeons today, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Below are the quick facts about each surgery and what type of patient may be best for it.

Lap Band Surgery Facts

  • In the short-term, there are fewer complications and risks with Lap-Band Surgery.
  • One study suggests that Gastric Banding is cheaper, in the long run, verse Gastric Bypass ( The average number of hospital visits fell 25% over a four-year period in the banding group while increasing 15% in the bypass group. By year four, the banding patients were spending more than $4,000 on their care while bypass patients spent more than $9,000.)
  • Lap-Band Surgery is less invasive than Gastric Bypass.
  • Gastric Banding (Lap-Band Surgery) is also less costly.

Which Bariatric Surgery is Best for Me?

When it comes to which is best as far as gastric bypass vs lap-band, here’s what we recommend. Typically if you’re morbidly overweight, Gastric Bypass surgery is for you. Patients with less severe BMIs typically choose Lap-Band Surgery. But it isn’t that simple. If patients have co-morbidities, especially type 2 diabetes, they are often urged to consider gastric bypass surgery more than lap-band surgery. With type 2 diabetes, there is evidence that suggests gastric bypass is more apt to treat the disease than lap-band surgery.

Average Weight-Loss: Gastric Bypass vs Lap-Band

Gastric Bypass: Most weight-loss within six months of the operation. Typically 1.5 years to 2 years are the height of weight-loss, and then it begins to plateau.  Most patients can expect 70% of their excess weight loss.

Lap-Band: Patients who’ve undergone Lap-Band surgery can expect to lose 60% of their excess weight. The weight loss is typically slow and steady for the first 3 to 4 years and then reaches the plateau.

We hope that this information on gastric bypass vs lap-band surgery has helped you. If you have any further questions, you are welcome to contact us at any time.

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