Lap Band vs Gastric Bypass

When comparing the Lap Band vs. Gastric Bypass there are many things to consider. Gastric bypass is a more complex two step procedure vs. the lap band a less complex one step procedure. Risk of complications and degree of results vary with each procedure. Consider carefully what you want and expect from your choice.

Gastric Bypass Surgery ,the most popular being roux-en-y gastric bypass has been around for many years and is today the most widely performed bariatric weight loss surgery being done in the United States with more then 200,000 performed annually. It is considered the gold standard of bariatric surgeries.

Lap Band surgery, or gastric banding has been around for a few years. The Lap Band was first approved by the FDA for use in the U S in 2001. Lap Band is a trademark for the gastric band manufactured by Allegran Inc. There are other gastric bands used in gastric banding surgery, like the Realize band for example.

Gastric banding is a bariatric weight loss surgery that has grown in popularity a lot over the last few years due in a large part to the tremendous marketing effort of Allegran. They are promoting their product , the Lap Band. The band they want used in gastric banding surgeries. So when comparing the lap band vs. gastric bypass it is important to remember that the lap band is a product being promoted for a certain type of surgery and gastric bypass is simply the surgical procedure.

Gastric Bypass surgery, roux en y gastric bypass in particular has gained popularity because of the long term success rate associated with it and because of the publicity over the years involving celebrities like Carnie Wilson, Al Roker and Star Jones.

Gastric Bypass is a combination surgery. It offers a restrictive procedure along with a malabsorbtive one. First the stomach is dramatically reduced by making a tiny “pouch “ at the top of the stomach . This is done by cutting and stapling it away from the rest of the stomach. This about 1 ounce pouch restricts the amount of food you are able to eat. Then your small intestine is cut and rerouted to significantly reduce the amount of calories your body can absorb.

Gastric bypass and laparoscopic gastric bypass is a complex surgery . Like all surgical procedures certain risks are involved and the more complex the procedure the more risk involved during and after the surgery. The more experienced the surgeon , generally the less complications occur. This should be considered when deciding what option is right for you and choosing your bariatric surgeon.


60-80% excess weight loss

Co-morbidities reduced or resolved

May be cure for diabetes


Risk of nutritional deficiencies

Life long vitamin supplementation

Not easily reversed


Gastric bypass may be most effective when comparing lap band vs gastric by pass.


Lap Band surgery is strictly a restrictive procedure. A gastric band is placed around the top portion of the stomach making it much smaller, able to hold about an ounce initially. A port is attached to it. This port lies under the skin and allows the band to be adjusted. The Lap band can be adjusted, made smaller or larger , by either inflating or deflating it with fluid through the port. When the band is inflated (tightened) the pouch empties more slowly and you feel less hungry. Therefore you eat less and you loose weight.

Laparoscopic gastric banding is a relatively simple procedure. Especially when you are comparing the lap band vs. gastric bypass. However with any surgery certain risks and complications can occur during and after the surgery. Long term complications do seem more likely with gastric banding usually due to band slippage or erosion. All risks need to be considered when making a weight loss surgery decision, including choosing an experienced surgeon.


Adjustable band for optimal results

Surgery is reversible

No surgical cutting or re-routing


Frequent doctor visits for band adjustment

Band slippage and erosion

40-50% excess weight loss first year

Lap Band success stories to read when comparing the lap band vs gastric bypass.

Gastric Bypass and the Lap Band  weight loss surgeries are two widely used, popular weight loss procedures. Consider each one carefully when making a decision for your health and well being.

Video discussion on lap band vs gastric bypass.

When comparing the Lap Band vs Gastric Bypass there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Your ultimate decision is a personal one. One that needs to be researched by you and discussed with a qualified, experienced bariatric surgeon. Your doctor should be able to perform either surgery and discuss with you the advantages of one over the other for your unique situation. The amount of weight you want to loose should be considered. Any obesity health related issues are very important to consider when making your decision. If you have diabetes for instance this is an important consideration. Because often times a person with diabetes has their blood glucose levels under control within days after gastric bypass In fact it may be considered a ”cure” for diabetes. A very important consideration when deciding about lap band vs gastric bypass? Your personal eating habits, likes and dislikes should be thought about as well. Your commitment to the entire process before, and after surgery is an important consideration when determining which surgery might be right for you.

In my own personal decision when I compared the Lap Band vs. Gastric Bypass surgery. I decided roux-en-y gastric bypass was right for me. After discussing my options with my surgeon he and I believe it was the best choice for me. I decided if I was going to have weight loss surgery I wanted to loose the most amount of weight I could and I also wanted to loose it as quickly as possible. I believe gastric bypass does that better then the lap band. I also felt like the dumping syndrome was to my advantage. I knew I had a sweet tooth, that’s part of the reason I was in the shape I was in anyway. If there was a reaction I would have to sweets that would make me sick and therefore not eat them. Then that was a better choice for me. I had several co morbidities, including borderline diabetes. That was just one more reason I felt gastric bypass was the right weight loss surgery for me.

I’m happy with my decision. I believe gastric bypass surgery was the best choice me. I’m already living a healthier, happier life.