Comparing LAP-BAND® vs. Gastric Bypass


While gastric band and gastric bypass surgeries can accomplish virtually the same weight loss goals, they differ in terms of effectiveness, cost, and lifestyle adjustments. Dr. Liza María Pompa González at LIMARP® in Tijuana, MX, can help determine which procedure - LAP-BAND® vs. gastric bypass - can yield the weight loss and health benefits you are striving to achieve.

A Look at Gastric Band Surgery

Gastric band surgery involves surgically placing a tube around the stomach. There is no cutting or rearrangement of the digestive tract. A skin port is also inserted into the abdomen beneath the skin. Through this port the surgeon fills the tube. When the tube is inflated, the stomach is constricted to a smaller size. The more filling inserted, the tighter the constriction. Gastric band systems require periodic adjustments to maintain desired weight loss. LAP-BAND and REALIZE® are two types of gastric band systems, both offered at LIMARP.

A Look at Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery has a two pronged approach in achieving weight loss. The surgeon removes part of the patient’s stomach, and the remaining portion is connected to the middle part of the small intestine. A smaller stomach leaves less room for food and what food you do eat bypasses part of the small intestine so that you absorb fewer calories.

Key Comparisons

Below is information highlighting the key differences between these two procedures.

  • Weight loss methods: Both procedures make you feel full sooner. Additionally, bypass reduces mineral and fat absorption.

  • Weight loss and health improvement: Since gastric bypass involves reducing the stomach size and inhibiting the uptake of fat-based calories, this procedure delivers greater short- and long-term weight loss with faster results for an edge in delivering more potential health benefits.

  • Candidates: Both surgeries require patients have 40+ BMI, or 30+ BMI with weight-related health problems

  • Time in surgery: A LAP-BAND or REALIZE procedure is less complicated, and has a shorter operating time with a shorter hospital stay.

  • Recovery: Discomfort, time off from work, and total recovery time are about the same for each surgery.

  • Potential complications and side effects: Many complications and side effects, such as nausea and body changes, are the same. Bypass has a higher risk of short-term complications, and dumping syndrome. Gastric band patients face higher risk of long-term complications related to the skin port, such as dislodgement, or to the band such as erosion, leakage or slippage.

  • Life after the procedure: Both surgeries require patients follow certain dietary guidelines. Additionally, LAP-BAND® and REALIZE require initial and ongoing adjustments that involve filling up the tube by a qualified provider. Gastric bypass requires patients to take supplements for the rest of their lives to counter nutritional deficiencies caused by malabsorption.

  • Cost: Due to the greater surgical skill required to perform the procedure, gastric bypass is more expensive.

Learn Which Procedure is Right for You

Both LAP-BAND and gastric bypass surgeries can be positive, life-changing experiences that help you realize improved physical and mental health. Dr. Pompa has the experience to identify the surgery most suitable for your situation. Learn more by calling us toll-free from the US at (866) 585-3298, or leaving us a message online.

Toll Free from USA (866) 585-3298