Difference Between Lap Band & Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Difference Between Lap Band & Gastric Sleeve Surgery

What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery

The sleeve gastrectomy, often called the gastric sleeve, is a procedure developed as a “competitor” to the older gastric bypass.

The way it works is that the surgeon removes a large portion of the stomach and reshapes it, stapling it back together in the shape of a small tube. This creates a “gastric sleeve” that extends from the esophagus to the intestine. The procedure is permanent and irreversible.

It is a lower cost procedure than the gastric bypass while providing very similar results.

What Is Lap-Band Surgery?

The Lap-Band is a brand of adjustable gastric band. It goes around the stomach and cinches off a portion of the stomach. This way, the stomach is unable to hold as much food as it used to.

It’s an adjustable band that is “inflated” or “deflated” by injecting a saline solution via a port installed on the abdomen.

This procedure is notable for being both temporary and reversible. Most Lap-Band patients do not keep the band in for a lifetime: instead, they typically have it removed after a period of time.

Differences Between Lap-Band and Gastric Sleeve

The Lap-Band and gastric sleeve are often confused for each other, likely because they entered the vernacular at around the same time. However, they’re very different procedures and should not be mistaken for one another.

The first major difference between the Lap-Band and the gastric sleeve is that the Lap-Band is a reversible and temporary procedure. If you wish to have your Lap-Band taken out, you can do so. The gastric sleeve procedure is NOT reversible and it is a permanent weight loss intervention, although revision surgery is possible.

The second major difference between the procedures is how they’re done. The Lap-Band is a procedure that uses an adjustable gastric band device to constrict the stomach and prevent it from being able to consume as much food. The gastric sleeve procedure actually reshapes the stomach using surgical means.


Although the Lap-Band is a reversible procedure that seems to have a lower cost, we at West Texas Bariatrics highly recommend that morbidly obese patients seek gastric sleeve surgery instead. If your BMI is below 35, we still recommend that patients focus on diet and exercise and seek weight loss support instead of going for Lap-Band surgery.

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