Weigh-Ins are on MONDAYS - Updated July 3, 2017

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why I Chose the Band

Lately, people have been asking me why I chose to get a Lap Band and not the gastric bypass like their friend, cousin, coworker, neighbor, etc.

I try to explain to them that when someone chooses to get weight loss surgery, it is a very personal reason of why and which type surgery is chosen.  No matter what weight loss method, plan, or surgery we choose, ultimately we're all trying to get to the same destination of improved health and weight loss.

One of the primary reasons that I chose to get a band was that I felt that it was a much safer surgery than other choices that were available to me at that time.

During my own decision making process, I remember thinking....
  • Which surgery is right for me?
  • Which surgery potentially carries more risk?
  • Which procedure is permanent?
  • Which procedure can be adjusted?
  • What if medical science and technology change one day?
  • Which surgeries are reversible?
But at the end of the day, safety was and still is very important to me.  Here's what I've learned:
  • The Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding procedure is less invasive than the sleeve or gastric bypass procedures because it involves no re-routing or partial removal of internal organs (1).
  • Banding has a favorable long-term safety profile compared to gastric bypass (2).
  • Banding has 3 times fewer total complications than the sleeve (3) procedure.
  • Banding has 5 times fewer serious complications than the gastric bypass procedure (4).
  • Banding has been shown to have a shorter operative time, shorter hospital stay and shorter time to return to work than gastric bypass (5).
I remember when I was pre-op, I was very overwhelmed trying to consider all the pros and cons of each surgery.

I always recommend that we, as patients, ask LOTS of questions during the pre-op process to determine the best surgery for each of us.  Each weight loss surgery is not "one size fits all" and we have to do our research.

1. Needleman. Surg Clin N Am. 2008;88:991-1007. O’Brien. J Laparoendosc Adv Surg. 2003;13:265-270.
2. Parikh. J Am Coll Surg. 2006;202:252-261.
3. DeMaria EJ, Pate V, Warthen M, Winegar DA. Baseline data from American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery-designated Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence using the Bariatric Outcomes
4. DeMaria EJ, Pate V, Warthen M, Winegar DA. Baseline data from American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery-designated Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence using the Bariatric Outcomes
5. Chapman. Surgery. 2004;135:326-351, Fisher. Obes Surg. 2004;14:67-72, Parikh. J Am Coll Surg. 2006;202:252-261. HLTH/2947/11/APC61SC11


  1. I agree, I was for the saftey, and I liked that it didn't cut anything and is reversable if need be. I'm happy I chose the band, but each person is different and needs different things.

  2. very well said. It's nicec to know that most people think about there decisions like this

  3. I totally agreed with your reasonings (which is why I have a band. go figure). Do I get jealous when I think of all the people in my class that got the bypass and will probably lose weight way faster than me? yes. But I know I made the right choice for me, and in the end that's what matters most.

  4. AnonymousJuly 28, 2011

    I remember in my pre-op appointment with the surgeon he told me that he thought I was a good canidate for Gastic Bypass. I kept coming back to the the idea that the band is reversible and has less potential complications.
    I find now that I like making my body learn these healthy habits in order to lose. Everyone is different but I know the band was the right choice for me. I am gald I did not allow him to change my decision.

  5. I agree - your reasons are also mine....I have a friend who just got the sleeve procedure, and my first thought [once I understood what it actually WAS] was "OMG, they remove some of your STOMACH?? WTH!!!!" And weirdly, I also started wondering if maybe I should be thinking about that instead of the band...for about 5 mins. Then I realized that I'm doing what's right for me, and he's doing what's right for him. Everyone is different, and makes the decision for different reasons. Great post!

  6. When I first told my mother I was having this surgery, she asked me why I chose the band. She had gastric bypass in 2002. I told her that it weirded me out to have my plumbing rerouted and also I couldn't live in a world without icecream. (she gets severe dumping with ice cream). She told me that the thought of having something implanted in her weirded her out so that's why she chose gastric by-pass. I was told by several people that I'd have better results with bypass... but I still think I'll have better long lasting results with the band because of the adjustability.

  7. Safety is the same reason I am chosing the band!

  8. Those were a lot of my reasons too. I really didn't want my insides being re-routed. Plus the Lap-Band is the safest if you are wanting to have children and that was my main deciding factor.

  9. Great article ...Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.

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