Sleeve Gastrectomy vs. Lap Band  Weight loss surgery has come a long way. Sometimes patients are not aware that they have options when it comes to their weight loss journey. Today, there are several options on the market when choosing which surgical weight loss procedure works best for you — two of these options being a sleeve gastrectomy (sometimes referred to as a vertical sleeve gastrectomy) and a Lap Band. While both bear the ultimate benefit of weight loss, they differ in procedure, reversibility, adjustability, safety, results and risks. Depending on your starting weight and desired weight loss, it may impact which option is preferred. For patients that are confused as to what will work best for them, The Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence offers minimally invasive alternatives for both procedure and is staffed by knowledgeable and highly-skilled doctors who can assist you in making the right choice.

The Procedural Difference in Sleeve Gastrectomy vs. Lap Band

Sleeve Gastrectomy vs. Lap Band? Sleeve gastrectomy (or gastric sleeve) is a restrictive procedure where the stomach is reduced to approximately the size of a banana. The sleeve gastrectomy is permanent. The smaller stomach restricts or limits the amount of food you can eat but allows for normal digestion and absorption of nutrients. The larger part of the stomach is removed. The surgery is done laparoscopically, thus minimizing the scarring and leading to a faster recovery time. Originally performed as a two-part procedure and for patients with a BMI of 60 and higher; once a patient achieves a certain weight level through a gastric sleeve, a gastric bypass can then be performed.

For this procedure, an adjustable gastric band is placed around the upper part of the stomach. This creates a smaller stomach pouch, which restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at one time and helps the patient to feel full sooner. As a result, patients achieve sustained weight-loss by limiting food intake and reducing appetite while allowing for the normal absorption of nutrients.


During a simple doctor’s visit, a Lap Band can be adjusted non-surgically to affect weight loss results. The alternative sleeve gastrectomy does not present the same adjustability option.


The gastric sleeve procedure cannot be reversed because you are removing a part of the stomach. With the Lap Band, your stomach can be reversed and your stomach can return to its original size.


The sleeve gastrectomy does not use any banding, therefore there are no foreign bodies used. However, the Lap Band has been FDA approved since 2001.


The gastric sleeve is very effective as a first stage method for patients with higher BMI’s of over 55. The Lap Band, on the other hand, offers a significant and consistent loss in weight and body mass.

The Choice: Sleeve Gastrectomy vs. Lap Band

Ultimately the choice is up to you and your doctor but all of these factors should be considered and discussed with your surgeon. Based on your current weight, risk level and weight loss goals–one procedure may be more appropriate. The best advice: Talk to one of our trained general surgeons at the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. They can educate you on your various surgical weight loss options and guide you to optimal results.

To Learn More About the Sleeve Gastrectomy or Lap Band Procedure

Contact our board-certified doctors at the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence in Beverly Hills to schedule an initial consultation at (888) 391-0182. Not only can our trained bariatric staff educate you, but we can lead you to your weight loss goals.