Weight loss: bypass vs. banding surgery

November 5, 2016

With obesity becoming a healthcare issue for many individuals, choosing the best way to lose weight is a crucial decision. Amongst all the available options, gastric bypass and gastric banding surgery have proven to be most favourable. However, one obesity surgery will work for one individual, the same cannot be said for another. All the influential factors will be taken into consideration when opting for a weight loss surgery that would provide the best results.

Given below are the differences between both surgeries and how it would provide the optimum results.

Gastric band surgery

The gastric band surgery works on the restriction approach. Through this medical procedure, an inflatable band is placed on the upper part of the stomach, creating a smaller pouch. An access port is attached below the layer of the skin that adjusts the tightness of the band. This restricts the food amount that is consumed in a single meal. It also increases the time taken for the stomach to empty out, thus contributing to the ‘full’ feeling after a meal. Thus, weight loss occurs due to the restriction of food intake, reduced appetite and slow digestion.

The advantages of gastric band surgery include:

  1. A low mortality rate
  2. Minimal invasive surgical approach
  3. No requirement for stomach stapling, cutting or intestinal re-routing.
  4. Easy adjustments
  5. The surgical procedure can be easily reversed with no side effects
  6. Low risks of complication during or after the surgery
  7. Low risk of nutritional deficiencies.

Risks involved in the procedure:

  1. The effectiveness of the surgery will take time to occur
  2. Band erosion or slippage, which can affect the effectiveness of the surgery
  3. Nausea or vomiting.

Recovery time:

  1. As it requires minimum adjustments, the hospital stay is normally less than a day.
  2. Normal activity can be resumed within a weeks’ time
  3. Full surgical recovery will occur within 2 weeks.

Gastric bypass surgery

The gastric bypass surgery involves a combination of restrictive and malabsorption features. The stomach is stapled to create a smaller pouch, restricting the food intake to the stomach. In the next step, a large part of the stomach and intestine is bypassed by attaching the revised stomach pouch directly to the intestine. As a result, excessive nutrients and calories are not absorbed by the stomach.

Advantages of the gastric bypass surgery:

  1. Initial weight loss is swift
  2. Requires a minimally invasive procedure

Risks involved in the procedure:

  1. High risks of the cuts or staples of the stomach and intestines coming apart.
  2. Leakage from the staple lines.
  3. Low chance of reversibility
  4. Reduction in the absorption of essential nutrients

Recovery time:

  1. As it requires an extensive procedure, a hospital stay can last between 2 to 4 days, depending on the individual’s biological profile
  2. Normal activity can be resumed with 2 to 3 weeks
  3. Full surgical recovery will occur within a month’s time

Individuals who are undergoing a weight loss surgery will have concerns about each procedure. Thus, it would be in your best interest to approach a doctor or a specialist to know more about gastric band surgery or gastric bypass surgery to know more.