The Difference Between Gastric Bypass and Gastric Banding

When you’re interested in bariatric surgery to help you achieve a healthy weight, you need to consider the many options now available in Houston, TX. As an experienced bariatric surgeon, Christopher Reilly, MD, FACS performs several types of the most popular bariatric surgeries, including gastric bypass and gastric banding.

To make the most informed decision about the best surgery for you, Dr. Reilly offers some insight into the similarities and differences between the two.

An overview of gastric banding

Gastric banding is also known as gastric band or Lap-Band® surgery. This procedure focuses on reducing the size of your stomach by placing a band around it. The band fits around the upper part of your stomach, creating a small pouch that will hold the food you eat.

This pouch is considerably smaller than the normal size of your stomach and limits how much you can eat before you feel full. The band is adjustable if you need to make changes in how fast or slow food moves through to your stomach.

Dr. Reilly performs gastric banding as a laparoscopic procedure, which requires only small incisions. He places a slender laparoscope into the incision to place the band. A camera attached to the instrument provides real-time images of your stomach area to ensure the correct positioning of the band around your upper stomach.

The two-step process of gastric bypass surgery

Gastric bypass surgery also focuses on reducing the size of your stomach to a much smaller pouch. Dr. Reilly creates a pouch in the upper part of your stomach using laparoscopic techniques.

In addition to resizing the stomach, gastric bypass surgery involves rerouting a portion of your small intestine and reconnecting it your stomach. This reduces the route of food travels during digestion to limit the calories your body absorbs.

Gastric bypass surgery helps you lose weight by limiting how much food you can eat and how many calories your body takes in when you eat.

Considerations for gastric banding and bypass

While both gastric banding and gastric bypass procedures are effective for weight loss and safe for those in general good health, banding is less invasive than a bypass as it doesn’t require the resection of the intestines.

Gastric banding also is a reversible procedure, and the band can be adjusted as needed. With a gastric bypass, you can have it reversed, but the procedure is much more invasive and can increase your risk for complications.

Following gastric banding and gastric bypass procedures, you will need to make significant changes to your diet and lifestyle. This involves changes to your diet – not only how much you eat, but what you eat becomes more important.

You also need to engage in exercise daily to maintain your health and to support weight loss. This can initially be difficult immediately after surgery but it’s necessary for your recovery from either surgery, and for your long-term weight loss success.

A side benefit of laparoscopic bariatric surgery is that you can expect to recover faster than you would with traditional open surgery. The smaller incisions also minimize your risk for scarring, infection, and excessive bleeding.

Now that you understand the differences between gastric banding and gastric bypass, you can schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Reilly to discuss which surgery is best for you. He reviews your medical history, current weight, and your weight loss goals to determine if banding or bypass will help you achieve your goals safely.

Book a consultation at West Houston Surgical Associates today by calling the office or through the online booking feature. 

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