Gastric Band - How It Compares To Others

We recommend alternatives to gastric banding. It’s estimated that as many as 1/4 of patients who undergo the procedure experience fairly significant complications.


What is a gastric band?

Gastric banding, also known as a laparoscopic gastric band or lap band surgery, is a type of weight loss surgery. A common question for those considering bariatric surgery is “What is gastric banding?”. The gastric banding procedure involves placing an adjustable gastric band around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small stomach pouch above the band and a larger stomach pouch below the band. This restriction helps to reduce the amount of food that can be consumed at one time and creates a feeling of fullness faster, which leads to weight loss. The band can be adjusted to control the rate of weight loss. There is also a variation of the gastric band surgery known as vertical gastric banding which combines elements of both gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy.

How does a gastric band work?

In the early days, the lap band procedure was seen as a breakthrough for bariatric surgeries and seemed to have promising results. The first gastric banding surgery was carried out in the 1970s and had a lot of attention following its result. The issue with the early era gastric lap band was that the bands were poorly made and resulted in high rates of gastric band erosion which caused serious complications as the band could erode through the stomach itself. This issue was due to the fact the bands were not made out of biocompatible material. Continuing on the list of issues, these surgeries did not include adjustable gastric banding, which would mean a high rate of revision surgery was required in order to adjust the band to each individual's weight loss rate. The issues in the early days were vast, including nutritional deficiencies and gastric band slippage.

As the medical world has vastly excelled since those days, so has the safety of the gastric band procedure. Although, even though the severity of these complications has decreased in recent times, we do recommend alternatives such as a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, as the results are much more significant.

  • What is gastric banding?
  • The banding procedure
  • Recovery
  • Candidacy





The gastric lap band continues to have a reputation for low success rates when compared to other procedures as mentioned above. This is one of the spearheading reasons why many gastric band patients are undergoing surgeries for the removal of the gastric band. Below are some of the reasons why we recommend other bariatric alternatives.

  • Vomiting - Unfortunately, this is one of the most common gastric band side effects. Almost 30% of patients experience this side effect, and a good chunk of those patients are vomiting enough to warrant antiemetics to regain control again.
  • Indigestion - Around 25-30% of patients also suffer from indigestion.
  • Acid reflux - Acid reflux is a risk from which 15% of patients suffer.

These three issues with gastric banding surgery are only the most common, the list of other side effects is long, including the following:

  • Blood clots
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Gastric band pain
  • Diahrrea
  • Pneumonia
  • GERD
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiency
  • Incisions leading to infection



These side effects are a few of the many possible risks due to this surgery, but unfortunately, there are issues with the gastric band itself too. Problems with the gastric band, also known as laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), may include discomfort and gastric banding slippage. Additionally, the band may become ineffective over time leading to weight regain, and in some cases, this leads to the removal of the gastric band. Symptoms of gastric band slipping can also be difficult to detect. These issues can cause patients a lot of grief, as not only have they gone through the whole procedure itself, they can then regain weight and suffer the constant visits to the doctor involved with these complications.

Still, with these issues in place, the debate continues in many countries such as the US where thousands of gastric bands are still performed each year. While gastric bands still represent around 4% of the bariatric surgeries currently carried out, these numbers are falling as many choose alternatives, such as gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery. Due to the reasons stated above and the fact that the before and after gastric band results do not show a success rate as high as the alternatives mentioned. No matter which bariatric surgery you choose, always consult with a medical professional to see which surgery will be best for you. Whichever bariatric surgery you decide to take, it is important to remember vigorous lifestyle changes and diet are required to maximize success.




Many often have questions when considering adjustable gastric band surgery, such as “What is lap band surgery?” or “What exactly happens during the procedure?”. These questions will be answered below to give you a full understanding of the surgery.

Gastric band surgeons will make a few small incisions in the abdomen. Through these incisions, the surgeon will then insert the gastric band around the upper part of the stomach. This creates a small stomach pouch above the band and a larger stomach pouch below the band which helps to restrict the amount of food that can be consumed at one time. This restriction leads to a feeling of fullness faster and thus weight loss. The band can be adjusted to control the rate of weight loss, this is done by tightening or loosening the band via a port that is placed just under the skin.

The recovery process after gastric band surgery includes following a strict diet as advised by the surgeons and doctors to ensure proper healing. The diet typically consists of liquids, pureed and soft foods for the first few weeks. The lap band surgery requirements will include regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon, who will check your band's tightness and adjust it accordingly. Patients may also experience some gastric band scars, but these will typically fade over time as a small number of incisions were made. It’s important to follow your medical recommendations post-surgery to create the best outcome for you possible.



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Check Your BMI


Weight2: St Weight: lbs Height: Ft Height: in


BMI Range
Gastriс Sleeve    BMI 30+
Mini Gastric Bypass    BMI 35+
Gastric Bypass    BMI 35+

* This is feedback from our former patients, and such an outcome cannot be guaranteed or promised.

checkMaking the right choice

As mentioned above, the side effects from a lap band can be daunting, serious and in some cases, permanent. This is why it is crucial to see the gastric band reviews and look at the gastric band surgery before and after pictures to ensure you understand what the previous patients of the procedure have to say.

But why choose a surgery that has a higher complication rate and doesn’t produce as good results as other surgeries? I mean, you only have to look at the gastric banding pros and cons to see that the alternatives, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass, produce more efficient results. Alternative bariatric surgeries are on the rise and have been quickly consuming patients who once would choose a gastric band. Below we will go through these alternatives and what they entail.




Sleeve Gastrectomy

$4980 Procedure
  • Airport, hotel, hospital transfer
  • 1 night hotel accommodation
  • 4 day stay at hospital
  • Blood samples & x-rays
  • Gastroscopy
  • 5 year follow up

Mini-Gastric Bypass

$5980 Procedure
  • Airport, hotel, hospital transfer
  • 1 night hotel accommodation
  • 4 day stay at hospital
  • Blood samples & x-rays
  • Gastroscopy
  • 5 year follow up



Upon arrival at our BariatricXS Clinic, you can expect to receive world-class care for the duration of your bariatric surgery. Our facilities boast cutting-edge technology and our team of surgeons are among the best in the world. Our facilities include:

  • Personalized, 24-hour care from our highly trained staff
  • Accommodation for a family member in every private room
  • Flat screen TV and free WiFi in every patient room
  • Modeled after the most advanced clinics in the US

Upon arrival at our clinic, you will have a private meeting with both your bariatric surgeon and anesthetist. A series of tests will then take place to make sure you meet the criteria for the weight loss surgery of your choice. These tests will consist of the following:

  • A gastroscopy using a miniature camera
  • A glucose tolerance test to look for indications of diabetes
  • A complete blood count
  • A complete chemistry panel
  • An ultrasound examination of the abdomen, liver, kidneys, spleen, and gallbladder
  • A series of lung X-rays
  • An electrocardiogram (ECG)

If an unforeseen health issue, such as an ulcer, is found during these tests, the surgery might have to be postponed in order to treat the issue.




A gastric bypass is a weight loss surgery that involves creating a small stomach pouch and rerouting the small intestine to this new pouch. This limits the amount of food that can be consumed and reduces the absorption of calories, leading to significant weight loss. The benefits of gastric bypass include significant weight loss, improvement or the resolution of obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, and a significant improvement in overall quality of life. Post-surgery patients are able to lose 60-80% of excess weight.

On the other hand, gastric banding, also known as gastric lap banding, has a smaller success rate compared to gastric bypass surgery. The gastric band before and after results are typically not as impressive as gastric bypass, which gives gastric bypass the edge in the debate of gastric banding vs gastric bypass.



Sleeve gastrectomy, which involves the removal of 75-80% of the stomach, results in a smaller, tube-like stomach resembling a banana in shape. Though newer than gastric bypass, it's becoming popular as it involves fewer changes to the digestive tract than the bypass. This procedure reduces the patient’s ability to consume a lot of food resulting in successful weight loss results. When comparing lap band versus gastric sleeve, patients experience more positive long-term results from the gastric sleeve with fewer reported side effects. Many people seeking bariatric surgery decide against the lap band after gastric sleeve success stories began to grow in popularity and are hard to ignore.



The mini-gastric bypass, like other bariatric surgeries, limits the amount of food a patient can eat by shrinking the size of their stomach. This procedure is often a first choice for weight loss, but some people who have had their gastric bands removed due to complications choose to have a mini-gastric bypass instead. The procedure is safe and effective, and while it still involves changes to the stomach and intestine, the changes to the intestine are less extensive. This procedure tends to produce more stable blood sugar levels in patients with type II diabetes, and in some cases, may even lead to the complete remission of the disease. It is also fast, safe, and effective with fewer potential side effects compared to gastric banding. Side effects include long-term vitamin deficiency and the risk of anemia in women of childbearing age, but these issues can be managed with the appropriate supplements.



When it comes to the main goal for bariatric patients, studies have shown that weight loss results are more effective in these alternative procedures compared to gastric banding. You only have to look at the lap band before and after results to see that the outcomes are less successful than the gastric bypass, mini bypass, or gastric sleeve. If you’ve asked yourself “why are there no surgeries for gastric banding near me?” It’s because this type of procedure is declining in popularity. Although there are some positive outcomes initially, in many cases results will come to a halt at some point and the patient will likely regain lost weight eventually. So if you’re considering a lap band to lose weight, you should be aware of the chances of failed results in the long-term, as well as the possibility of further procedures to correct any complications.

If you’re still considering the procedure after weighing up the pros and cons of gastric banding, you may be thinking about having your gastric band surgery abroad. However, with the heightened risks associated with gastric band surgery, both short-term and long-term, it would make sense to choose a more traditional bariatric procedure with fewer complications involved and a higher success rate. How much is a gastric band in the US compared to the gastric sleeve at BariatricXS? A gastric band in the US can cost up to a whopping $18,000. Whereas at our clinic in Ecuador, our much safer gastric sleeve surgery is an affordable $4980 which comes with state-of-the-art facilities and excellent medical care, as well as a prestigious location.


What is gastric band surgery?

The procedure of gastric band surgery involves putting an adjustable band around the upper stomach to limit the amount of food intake and promote a sense of fullness. However, the early problematic aspects of this surgery have not been fully resolved and may still result in complications as of the present day.

Is a gastric band reversible?
Is a gastric band safe?
How long can a gastric band last?
What is the recovery process for Gastric Band surgery?

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