LAP-BAND® System

Gastric Bypass


A restrictive procedure, during which an inflatable 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 increases the time it takes for the stomach to empty. As a result, a patient achieves sustained weight loss by limiting food intake, reducing appetite, and slowing digestion. A combination procedure that uses both restrictive and malabsorptive elements. First the stomach is stapled to make a smaller pouch. Then most of the stomach and part of the intestines are bypassed by attaching (usually stapling) a part of the intestine to the small stomach pouch. As a result, a patient cannot eat as much and absorbs fewer nutrients and calories.


• Lowest mortality rate1
• Least invasive surgical approach
• No stomach stapling or cutting, or intestinal re-routing
• Adjustable
• Reversible
• Lowest operative complication rate
• Low malnutrition risk
• Rapid initial weight loss
• Minimally invasive approach is common
• Longer clinical experience in the U.S. ss reported than with purely restrictive procedures


• Slower initial weight loss
• Regular follow-up critical for optimal results
• Requires an implanted medical device
• In some cases, effectiveness can be reduced due to band slippage
• In some cases, the access port may leak and require minor revisional surgery
• Cutting and stapling of stomach and bowel are required
• More operative complications
• Portion of digestive tract is bypassed, reducing absorption of essential nutrients
• Medical complications due to nutritional deficiencies
• “Dumping syndrome2” can occur
• Non-adjustable
• Extremely difficult to reverse
• Higher mortality rate


Although during the first year after surgery, weight loss with the gastric bypass is greater than with the LAP-BAND® System, surgeons report that at 5 years many LAP-BAND and gastric bypass patients achieve comparable weight loss (55% for LAP-BAND and 59% for Gastric Bypass).3


Mortality rate: 0.05%
Total complications: 9%
Major complications: 0.2%
Most common include:
• Standard risks associated with major surgery
• Nausea and vomiting
• Band slippage (minor revisional surgery)
• Band erosion (minor revisional surgery)
Access port problems (minor revisional surgery)
Mortality rate: 0.5-2%
Total complications: 23%
Major complications: 2.1%
Most common include:
• Standard risks associated with major surgery
• Nausea and vomiting
• Separation of stapled areas (major revisional surgery)
• Leaks from staple lines (major revisional surgery)
• Nutritional deficiencies

Costs and Insurance

Generally speaking, both procedures will be covered by insurance, but check with your employer or your surgeons office for specific information about your policy. Costs of LAP-BAND® surgery and Gastric Bypass surgery will vary depending upon the site where the surgery occurs (in-patient or out-patient), the type of bypass procedure (laparoscopic or open) and how long you are required to stay in the hospital. One survey of cash prices for both procedures showed the average charge for a LAP-BAND procedure of $17,500 while the average charge for a laparoscopic gastric bypass was $22,500. The survey did not find any program that offered a cash price for open gastric bypass.

Recovery Timeline5

• Hospital stay is usually less than 24 hours
• Most patients return to normal activity within 1 week
• Full surgical recovery usually occurs within about 2 weeks
With a laparoscopic approach:
• Hospital stay is usually 48-72 hours
• Many patients return to normal activity within 2.5 weeks
• Full surgical recovery usually occurs within about 3 weeks