Just like any area of medicine, different bariatric procedures may be right for different people depending on a variety of medical variables. While, on average, the benefits of all bariatric procedures far outweigh the risks, some people are drawn to the lap band vs. the sleeve because of the fact that it has the lowest post-surgical mortality rate. Yet, many people do not properly weigh the fact that the lap band procedure has a much higher reoperation rate due to certain complications like band slippage or erosion. Also, because the gastric sleeve patients typically lose weight quicker, many lap band patients will elect band to sleeve surgery in order to lose weight quicker.
One of the reasons that the two procedures yield different results is that they manage hunger in different ways. While they both work to limit the capacity of the stomach in different ways, the gastric sleeve procedure has hormonal advantages that the lap band does not. When the stomach is empty, it releases a hormone called ghrelin into the bloodstream that travels to the brain and makes us crave food. Because a part of the stomach that releases this hormone is removed during the gastric sleeve procedure, sleeve gastrectomy patients often get fewer or less strong hunger cravings. This is just one of the reasons why a lap band revision surgery with Dr. Michael Feiz is a great way to jump start your weight loss if it has been stalled by a lap band that isn’t as effective as you would have hoped.