Lap Band Vs Gastric Bypass - Which Weight Loss Surgery Is Right For You?
First of all, what's the difference between these two types of surgery?
Gatric lap band surgery involves using a synthetic band to restrict the stomach's ability to digest food quickly.
Gastric bypass surgery involves altering the physical structure of the stomach, separating it into two "pouches" and then reconnecting the small intestine.
Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of these two procedures.
Lap Band vs Gastric Bypass: Physical Differences
One advantage lap band surgery has over gastric bypass surgery is the fact that it requires no cutting or permanent physical altering of the body. This means Lap Band surgery can be reversed much more easily than a gastric bypass.
In gastric bypass surgery, the surgeon cuts and staples the stomach, as well as re-routing the small intestine so it joins to both stomach pouches. Reversing this requires more surgical procedures and can't be guaranteed to work. A lap band can be removed relatively easily with little or no long term side effects (although patients tend to regain weight after having it removed).
Lap Band vs Gastric Bypass: Effectiveness
A major advantage of gastric bypass surgery over a lap band procedure is the more immediate weight loss that is often seen. Gastric bypass patients generally outperform lthose who have lap bands in the first 3 to 5 years, in terms of the amount of weight lost.
After that time, the results are fairly similar - and some gastric bypass patients will even regain weight after this time.
Gastric bypass will likely be more effective if you need to lose weight immediately for health reasons. If your weight is a big problem but not such an immediate threat to your life and health, a lap band could provide a better solution to your long term weight control.
Lap Band vs Gastric Bypass: Safety Differences
Lap Band surgery is hands-down the safer option. The differences between the procedures mean fewer complications are likely during the lap band surgery. After surgery, lap bands are less likely to cause nutrient absorption problems.
Lap band surgery also doesn't carry bariatric surgery risks such as Dumping Syndrome, which can be extremely painful and unpleasant, and it has a lower short- and long-term mortality rate than bypass surgery.
Lap Bands are also easier to adjust, whereas to make changes after a gastric bypass requires more surgery which opens up more risks for potential complications.
This is one of the biggest factors in the lap band vs gastric bypass debate. The cost of lap band surgery is less than the cost of a gastric bypass because it's a relatively simple procedure which also tends to need a shorter recovery period and a shorter stay in hospital.
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