Gastric Sleeve vs. Lap-Band Surgery

Both gastric sleeve surgery and lap-band surgery use restrictive techniques to provide weight loss. Both are similar regarding expected weight loss and complication rates, but they do have significant differences. So let’s take a look at gastric sleeve vs. lap-band and really see what those differences and similarities are.

Notable Difference – Gastric Sleeve vs. Lap-Band

The main difference between these bariatric surgeries is whether or not the operation is reversible. Gastric sleeve is a permanent weight loss surgery, unlike gastric banding. However, resection of the gastric fundus greatly reduces the plasma ghrelin production after gastric sleeve but not after gastric banding. This hormonal change in sleeve surgery contributes to superior weight loss compared to lap-band.

Gastric sleeve is a starting surgery that many patients opt for because it gives the option to switch to duodenal switch or gastric bypass surgery.

Gastric Sleeve vs. Lap Band Table Comparison

Gastric Sleeve

Gastric Banding

Method of Weight LossRestrictive

  • Reduces Stomach Size and Hunger Hormone Ghrelin
Stomach size reduced

  • Small stomach created via implant.
Stomach AlterationsStomach size reduced

  • 70-85% of the stomach is removed.
Stomach size reduced

  • Small stomach created via implant.
Changes to IntestineNo ChangeNo Change
Operating Time
  • 1 Hour
  • 2 hours
Average Hospital Stay
  • 1 Day
  • 2 to 3 days
Time off Work
  • 2 weeks
  • One week
Recovery Time
  • 3 weeks
  • 4-6 weeks
  • No intestinal changes: Fewer complications and side effects, including dumping syndrome
  • Hunger depression because of the reduction in Ghrelin production
  • Lifetime Approach to Obesity
  • Simple procedure
  • Reversible Procedure
  • Adjustable to facilitate weight loss
  • Simple procedure
  • Newer surgery with long-term results somewhat unknown
  • Stomach Could Enlarge
  • Requires More Nutritional Supplements and Vitamins – Not as much as gastric bypass
  • Lowest Expected Weight Loss of all Bariatric Surgeries
  • Stomach Blockage Could Happen
  • Requires Many Physician Visits
Surgery DescriptionLong narrow vertical pouch (about 2-3 oz or 60-100cc). Same shape as the duodenal switch pouch but smaller. No intestinal bypass. The VG significantly restricts the volume of food that can be eaten. There is a no malabsorption of nutrients or dumping.The Lap-Band is an adjustable silicone ring placed around the stomach’s top part, creating a small (1-2 ounce or 15-30cc) pouch. It moderately restricts the volume of foods the patient can consume. The Band delays the emptying of the pouch and creates the sensation of satiety. No malabsorption.
Realistic Expectations
  • Patients can expect to lose 60%-70% of excess weight in about two years.
  • Long-term results not available at this time.
  • Easily converted to Duodenal Switch or Gastric Bypass if needed.
  • Patients can expect to lose 60% of their excess weight.
  • This procedure requires the most effort of all the systems to be successful.
  • Patient must be committed to healthy eating habits and exercise.
Post Surgery Dietary Info:
  • Patient must eat three meals a day containing 600-800 calories per day (recommended for the first 24 months) and about 1000-1200 after that.
  • There is no dumping or diarrhea.
  • During weight loss, patients must eat three meals per day, consisting of less than 1000 calories per day.
  • Patients must 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.
Candidate Efficacy
  • VSG is useful for high-risk or very high BMI patients (BMI > 60kg/m2) patients as a “first-stage” procedure. There is a much lower complication rate than the RNY Gastric Bypass or Duodenal Switch due to no intestinal bypass performed.
  • Gastric banding is most useful for patients that are more disciplined in following a strict diet and will commit to an exercise program.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG) is also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). Gastric sleeve surgery can be performed minimally invasive and provides a lifetime approach to weight loss. Gastric sleeve patients commonly opt to revise the surgery to duodenal switch and any gastric bypass.

Gastric Banding Surgery

Gastric Banding Surgery is also known under the brand names: Lap-Band and REALIZE band. Often performed laparoscopically, gastric banding is a common procedure requiring a commitment to lose weight and many physician visits.

We hope that this cross-comparison of gastric sleeve versus lap-band (gastric banding) surgery has proved helpful for you. If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us anytime.

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