Gastric Banding Less Invasive?

Is gastric banding less invasive than gastric bypass? What kinds of drawbacks are there to gastric banding? Can the band be stretched from overeating? 

Doctor Answers 5

Gastric Banding

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Lap Band, Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy are performend via a laparoscopic technique. The laparoscopic technique is a minimally invasive way that a surgeon can perform complex procedures that used to require the conventional large incisions. Gastric Banding is less invasive in the sense that there is no cutting of intestinal contents such as in Gastric Bypass. Therefore there is less "tissue trauma" and so it is thought of as less invasice procedure, BUT this does not mean less complications.

Lap Band has its own set of complications compared to Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy. Typically, Lap Band is an outpatient procedure although your surgeon for specific reasons may elect to observe you overnight in the hospital. The other procedures typically require two additional days.

Houston General Surgeon

Gastric banding is the least invasive surgery BUT...

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Yes, in theory gastric banding is the least invasive weight loss operation; but complications can occur.  This includes leaks, bleeding, and death.  These complications are less common than with other weight loss operations, but they are still reported.  On the other hand, long term complications are more common after gastric banding than with the other procedures.  In fact, reoperation is needed more after gastric banding than after any other weight loss operation.  Reasons include port problems, slippage, and erosion.  Most bothersome is that weight loss is poorer with gastric banding than it is with bypass or sleeve gastrectomy.

Another thing to consider is that even though gastric banding is "reversible," the scar tissue caused by the band is permanent.  This means conversion to another procedure will be more difficult and success rate may even be lower.  These are some of the many reasons why gastric banding is falling out of favor worldwide.

Mark Pleatman, MD
Bloomfield Hills Bariatric Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Gastric Band (Lap-Band) vs. Gastric Bypass

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The Lap-Band does not involve stapling or diversion of the gastrointestinal tract. There are no permanent changes to the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. Lap-Band surgery is minimally invasive and easy to adjust or reverse. Operations that rely on stapling have a higher rate of complication due to problems with poor healing of the stapled area leading to leakage and serious infection. By avoiding large incisions, most patients are able to recover quickly with minimal pain and discomfort. Patients normally leave the clinic or hospital about two hours after their surgery.

Christopher S. Cobourn, MD
Mississauga Bariatric Surgeon

Gastric band less invasive than gastric bypass

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Yes gastric band or Lap-Band is much less invasive than gastric bypass surgery and involves no cutting, stapling, or intestinal rerouting like the gastric bypass.  There are no risks of leaks from any of the staple lines or connections.

Gastric Band

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The Gastric Band is much less invasive than the Gastric Bypass, with the band the anatomy is not changed--no cutting or stapling of the stomach or intestines. It is a purely restrictive procedure, a band is placed around the upper part of the stomach which restricts the amount of food that can be eaten. A benefit of the band is that it can be adjusted--saline can be put in to make the band tighter or looser.

The band is a much safer operation with less complications, although there are some complications related to the band including port problems, dilated stomach pouch, band slippage, and erosion. Most bariatric surgeons offer free informational seminars, I recommend attending one or more to make and informed decision.

William Neal, MD (in memoriam)
Olympia Bariatric Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.