The Gastric Sleeve and Lap-Band surgeries are two serious types of bariatric weight loss procedures for the morbidly obese. Patients interested in undergoing one of these two procedures sometimes get stumped by all of the different considerations. They don’t know which surgery to choose and leave overwhelmed and unable to move forward. If this includes you, don’t worry! The UrgentMED Network is here to help.
What are your weight loss options? Here’s our guide on Gastric Sleeve versus Lap-Band surgery.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery
A Gastric Sleeve (aka “sleeve gastrectomy”) is a restrictive bariatric surgery designed to help patients lose weight. The procedure restricts the amount of food you can eat via reducing the size of your stomach.
In a Gastric Sleeve surgery, a large portion of your stomach is removed leaving you a new, smaller stomach which is about the size of a banana (1/10th the size of your original stomach). Your newer, smaller stomach size will effectively limit the amount of food you’re physically able to eat. After the surgery, you’ll be restricted to eating a number of small meals throughout the day (3-5 recommended per day). Another one of the surgery’s major benefits is that it will increase your feeling of fullness (i.e. it will make you feel fuller for longer). Food is absorbed normally after the procedure because, unlike a gastric bypass, during a Gastric Sleeve surgery, your intestines and the digestive system still function as usual. The surgery also removes the part of your stomach that makes a hormone that boosts your appetite, ensuring that the new size of your stomach is properly matched to feelings of hunger.
How Gastric Sleeve Surgeries Are Performed
Prior to undergoing a Gastric Sleeve surgery patients are put to sleep via a general anesthetic. A sleeve gastrectomy is normally done using a tiny camera called a laparoscope that is placed in your stomach and allows your surgeon to see inside your stomach. Your surgeon will make several incisions on your abdomen in order to remove a large portion of your stomach. Finally, the remaining portions of your stomach are joined together with surgical staples. The procedure takes anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes in total.
Most candidates stay in the hospital for 2 to 3 days after surgery, and begin normal activities within 3 to 5 weeks. If the surgeon has to make a larger cut given the size of the patient, or if the patient has other medical conditions, healing takes longer.
Lap-Band surgery (aka the “gastric band procedure”) is another restrictive weight loss option for morbidly obese patients. It relies on, as the name suggests, the Lap-Band, a trademarked surgical device made by Allergan. Next, to gastric bypass surgery, the Lap-Band procedure is the second most popular bariatric surgery in the United States.
How Lap-Band Surgeries Are Performed
During surgery, the Lap-Band is placed around the top portion of the stomach directly below the esophagus. A small opening for tubing is inserted under the skin and attached to the band. This involves the surgeon making 3 to 5 small incisions, each about one inch in length. The other incisions allow for the use of surgical instruments and placement of the band. The doctor will adjust the tightness of the band after surgery. Then the Lap-Band is filled with a saline solution that acts to restrict the overall size of your stomach. Food consumed/digested afterward will sit above this restricted area of the stomach, which will give you the feeling of being full much quicker. The food slowly makes its way into the rest of the stomach and goes through the normal digestion process.
Have You Made the Decision to Have Gastric Sleeve or Lap-Band Surgery? Visit UrgentMED Today
If you are interested in either Gastric Sleeve or Lap-Band surgery, visit The UrgentMED Network and consult with one of our weight loss specialists today! Our 18 medical walk-in clinics, located around Southern California, are part of a network designed to offer affordable rates for treatments, surgeries, and exams, whether you have insurance or not. Visit us today.