The Gastric Sleeve and Lap-Band surgery 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! UrgentMED 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. They designed it 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). In fact, your newer, smaller stomach size will effectively limit the amount of food you’re physically able to eat. After the surgery, you’ll have a restriction of 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). The body absorbs food 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 they put the patients to sleep via a general anesthetic. The surgeon normally does the sleeve gastrectomy with a tiny camera called a laparoscope which he places in your stomach. That allows him 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, he joins the remaining portions of your stomach 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. But 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 surgeant places the Lap-Band around the top portion of the stomach directly below the esophagus. He inserts a small opening for tubing under the skin and attaches 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 he will fill the Lap-Band 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 want to know more about either Gastric Sleeve or Lap-Band surgery, visit UrgentMED 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.