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What is the Difference Between Lap Band Surgery and a Gastric Sleeve?

Due to the fast growing rates of obesity in our society, there have been a number of different types of weight loss surgeries developed to help people lose weight and live longer. When deciding which weight loss surgery is best for you, it is important to compare each surgery. Two such weight loss surgeries are laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB), also called lap band surgery or gastric banding, and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, (LSG) also called gastric sleeve surgery.

Lap Band Surgery

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding is a type of weight loss surgery that involves inserting an access port under the skin. The access port is attached to a gastric band that has an inflatable balloon. The lap band is attached around the upper part of the stomach which forms a small gastric pouch. The balloon is filled with saline solution. Using the access port, the surgeon will fill the balloon with saline solution. The filled balloon reduces the size of the stomach. The saline can be withdrawn or filled to modify food intake. The patient will feel full with smaller amounts of food. Lap band surgery is the only reversible weight loss surgery. The entire procedure takes about an hour and is performed as an outpatient procedure. There is very little scarring. Lap band is a minimally invasive weight loss procedure.

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG)

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG), gastric sleeve surgery, is a procedure that is normally performed on patients who are too obese to have an other types of weight loss procedures or who do not meet the criteria to have lap band surgery. Gastric sleeve surgery is performed on people so they can reach a safe weight to have a more invasive surgery. The surgeon makes small incisions and inserts a viewing tube that is equipped with a laparoscope (small camera) to see inside the incisions in order to remove part of the stomach. The remaining tube-shaped stomach is closed with staples. It is normally followed by a gastric bypass after the patient has lost a considerable amount of weight.

The second surgery normally takes place within 12 to 18 months after the gastric sleeve surgery. A gastric sleeve decreases the size of the stomach by removing 60% to 80% of the stomach. After removal, there is just a thin tube that is remaining. The portion of stomach along the greater curvature is the part that is removed and contains the portion that produces Ghrelin which is the hormone that stimulates hunger. The result is reduced hunger and it limits the amount of food that can be eaten. With a gastric sleeve, there are few food intolerances and a low risk of malnutrition.

When choosing a weight loss surgery, it is important to make sure that you are well informed. It is essential that you do your research and consult with a weight loss surgeon to determine if you are a candidate and if you have any specific health issues. By being informed about your weight loss surgery options, you will know that the choice you make will be the best choice for your situation.

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