Tuesday September 30, 2014
Weight Loss Surgery Improves Health
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center reported that "surgery improves health outcomes for patients with morbid obesity as compared to nonsurgical treatment."

Lap-Band vs. Gastric Bypass Surgery

The most common type of weight loss surgery is gastric bypass surgery with over 30 years of use and impressive weight loss results. On the other hand, lap band surgery is a newer and less invasive procedure that is growing in popularity due to it's comparable long term weight loss with less risk.

Many patients are interested in comparing gastric bypass surgery and lap band surgery. This chart can help give you a general overview of these two popular weight loss procedures, but it should not take the place of a consultation with your doctor to discuss your health and determine which procedure is the best fit for you.

Procedure Lap-Band Surgery Gastric Bypass
  Lap-Band Gastric Bypass
Approach to Weight Loss Restrictive
  • Limits amount of food that can be eaten
  • Slows digestion
  • Creates satiety
Restrictive-Malabsorptive
  • Limits amount of food that can be eaten
  • Reduces absorption
  • Dumping Syndrome
Anatomy Changes Stomach
  • Small (1-2 oz) stomach pouch created by placing an adjustable silicone band around top part of stomach
Stomach and Intestines
  • Stomach divided into an upper small (1 oz) pouch and a lower larger remnant pouch
  • Small intestine cut and rerouted
Dietary Guidelines
  • 800 calories per day for first 2-3 years, then 1000-1200 calories per day
  • eat protein-rich foods
  • certain fibrous, dry, or doughy foods can get stuck if eaten
  • high carbohydrate and high calorie intake will defeat weight loss attempts
  • drink 6-8 cups of water a day between meals
  • avoid carbonated drinks
  • 800 calories per day for first 1-2 years, then 1000-1200 calories per day
  • eat protein-rich foods
  • avoid intake of sugar and fats or Dumping Syndrome occurs
  • high carbohydrate and high calorie intake will defeat weight loss attempts
  • drink 6-8 cups of water per day between meals
  • avoid carbonated drinks
Eating Habits
  • eat 3 small meals a day
  • avoid snacking
  • no drinking with meals
  • eat slowly and chew food thoroughly
  • eat small amounts
  • avoid snacking
  • no drinking with meals
  • eat and drink slowly
  • chew food thoroughly
Nutritional Supplements
  • Multivitamin
  • Calcium
  • Multivitamin
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Iron
Operating Time
  • 1 hour
  • 2 hours
Hospital Stay
  • less than 24 hrs - overnight
  • 2-3 days
Time off Work
  • 1 week
  • 2 - 3 weeks
Recovery Time
  • 2 weeks
  • 9 - 12 weeks
Surgery Disadvantages
  • General surgical risks including infection
  • Possibility of band slippage, band erosion, or port problems
  • Requires more patient effort for weight loss
  • Stoma obstruction
  • Band needs fills and adjustments by doctor
  • Complex operation
  • Surgical risks including infection, leaks, and blood clots
  • Ulcers
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Reflux
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Dumping Syndrome
Surgery Mortality Rates
  • 1 in 2000
  • 1 in 200
Surgery Advantages
  • Simple and relatively safe procedure
  • Reversible
  • Adjustable
  • No removing or altering any part of the stomach or intestines
  • Short hospital stay
  • Quick recovery period
  • Low malnutrition risk
  • Low rate of major complications
  • Rapid weight loss in first 6 months
  • Greatly controls amount of food that can be eaten
  • Dumping Syndrome controls intake of sweets
  • Limits amount of calories absorbed by the body
Average Weight Loss
  • Slow and steady weight loss
  • Settles at final weight 3-4 years after surgery
  • 40-50% weight loss after 1 year
  • 55% weight loss after 5 years
  • Rapid weight loss first 6 months
  • Settles at final weight about 18-24 months after surgery
  • 70% weight loss after 1 year
  • 60% weight loss after 5 years
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Consumer Guide to WLS

Weight Loss Surgery

Choosing a Procedure

Individuals looking into weight loss surgery have several options from which to choose. It is important for prospective patients to discuss the various options with their bariatric surgeon in order to determine which procedure is the most appropriate for their personal situation.

The most popular types of weight loss surgery are gastric bypass, gastric banding, gastric sleeve, and duodenal switch. There is not a perfect procedure, rather each procedure has its own set of advantages, drawbacks, and risks that must be considered.

Surgery Benefits

Weight loss surgery helps patients lose a significant amount of weight and gives them an opportunity to lead a healthier, longer, happier, and more active life.

  • Obesity is associated with over 300,000 deaths each year in the United States. Weight loss surgery shows an 89% reduction in five year mortality.