If you’re weighing up your bariatric surgery options, it’s likely you’re torn between the gastric band and bypass, due to their popularity and high success rates. We’ve put all the necessary information together to help you decide between the two.

What is it?

Gastric Band

This procedure involves placing an inflatable band around the upper part of the stomach. The band works to create a smaller stomach area, which then restricts the amount of food that is consumed at one time, whilst increasing the amount of time it takes for the stomach to completely empty. This results in the patient achieving a continuous weight loss due to the lack of food intake, as well as a reduced appetite and slower digestion.

Gastric Bypass

This procedure involves stapling of the stomach in order to create a smaller pouch. The majority of the stomach and part of the intestines are then avoided by attaching part of the intestine to the smaller pouch of stomach previously created. This is usually done by stapling, and results in the patient being unable to eat as much food whilst also absorbing less nutrients and calories.

What are the Advantages?

Gastric Band

The gastric band has a number of advantages over its competitor. For example, it is the least invasive bariatric surgery as it requires no stapling, cutting or intestine moving. Gastric bands are also adjustable and reversible, making it ideal for those who don’t wish to have a reduced stomach for the rest of their lives. This procedure also has a very low risk rate.

Gastric Bypass

When a patient undergoes a gastric bypass procedure, they are likely to experience rapid weight loss very soon after the process has taken place. This procedure is minimally invasive when compared to other options and also has a higher average of weight lost compared to the gastric band.

What about Disadvantages?

Gastric Band

Unlike the gastric bypass, patients tend to find they lose weight at a slower rate initially. It’s also vital for patients to attend regular follow ups in order to achieve optimum results. Though it is rare, gastric bands can slip which can result in the procedure having reduced effectiveness.

Gastric Bypass

The gastric bypass procedure requires cutting and stapling of both the stomach and the bowel. This can result in more complications during the procedure, though this is still unlikely. Due to a portion of the bowel being bypassed, it can result in medical complications due to less nutrition being absorbed. This procedure is extremely difficult to reverse and is therefore often avoided, and if you are planning on getting pregnant with a gastric bypass, you will be at a higher risk.

How long will it take me to recover?

Gastric Band

Gastric band procedures can be carried out as day case, though most people tend to choose to have an overnight stay. You can expect to return to normal activities after around a week, and back at work within two.

Gastric Bypass

The gastric bypass procedure will require you to stay in hospital for around two nights, with a recovery time between two and four weeks. Once you have fully recovered, around week 4, you will be able to return to work.

How good are the results?

After the first year of surgery you are likely to lose more weight with the gastric bypass. However, over a longer period of time the weight lost is around the same amount.

Both the gastric band and the gastric bypass have a number of advantages and disadvantages, making the choice a difficult one. Every procedure is down to the patient themselves, but if you are having a hard time weighing up your options, we can help.

You can get in touch with a member of our team by giving us a call on 0808 1280 022 or by visiting our contact page. Picking up the phone is often the hardest part of the process, but it could be the start to a new, healthier you.