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What are the Differences between Lap band, Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Balloon Surgery?

Over the years, there is a sudden accretion in obese individuals. Obesity has become one of the major health issues in today's scenario and its need to be controlled is giving a pace to the surgeries.

A bariatric surgery is done in order to control the excess of fat. It is suggested when the BMI of the person is above 35 and all their attempts to shed down the extra fat have been failed. If you're not sure what your BMI is, there are calculators available online but it should be noted that they are not 100% accurate. A number of techniques are put forward out of which lap band surgery, gastric sleeve and gastric balloon surgeries have gained a considerable eclat. Being the same motive to control the obesity they differ in their procedure.


Lap band surgery:

A lap band is an adjustable band made of silicone which is placed around the upper part of the stomach to curtail food intake. A small port is placed along with the band under the skin of stomach for adjusting the tightness of the band.


The procedure involves making 3-5 small incisions of 1 mm in length. A small camera attached to a tube is inserted from one incision for viewing the procedure on screen. The surgical instruments and band are introduced from others. The lap band id placed around the upper part of stomach with suture. The port is also placed in the wall of the abdomen for adjusting the tightness of the band.

The band curtails the amount of food entering the stomach and delays stomach emptying time. Thus a feeling of satiety is sent to the brain and consequently weight is lost.


Gastric sleeve surgery:

Gastric sleeve surgery or Sleeve gastrostomy involves the diminution of stomach size via surgical procedure. Around 25% of stomach is removed along the greater curvature. This surgery permanently reduces the size of stomach. The size reduction reduces the food intake leading to weight loss.

The process involves a longitudinal resection of the stomach from antrum, pylorus and fundus. A small camera is also inserted so as to view the procedure on screen. More than half of the stomach is taken down leaving a thin vertical sleeve. Surgical staples are used for closing the stomach. As the stomach size is reduced the person will feel full more quickly. Initially a pain in the belly is experienced for a week and complete recovery takes around 6 to 8 weeks.

Surgery is considered when the BMI is above 40.


Gastric balloon surgery:

A gastric balloon has the same motive to help a person feel full for longer period of time and reduce the food intake. However this is not actually a surgical procedure and takes 20-30 minutes of time.

During the procedure a balloon is inserted into the stomach via mouth by an endoscope. The balloon is filled with saline solution after insertion. The saline solution partially fills the stomach leaving less space for food or drink. It is a temporary weight loss program and the balloon is removed after 6 months.

Sometimes the patients are unable to tolerate the balloon and hence removal is suggested.

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