Lap band surgery and gastric sleeve operations both cause weight loss by restricting the size of the stomach, but when it comes to gastric sleeve qualifications, there are some very important differences patients need to understand.
While gastric bypass surgery has existed in one form or another for more than 50 years, many people are still learning about other weight loss surgery options for the first time. Perhaps that’s why so many people are confused about important differences between lap band and gastric sleeve surgery.
So what do potential patients need to know about gastric sleeve qualifications, especially if they want their insurance company to approve them for treatment?
Understanding the Difference Between Lap Band and Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Let’s start with the similarities between these two types of weight loss surgery. In both operations, a bariatric surgeon changes the size of the stomach so that it will hold less food. This can lead to rapid weight loss and better overall health.
Two Types of Restriction-Based Weight Loss Surgery
In lap band surgery, an adjustable band is wrapped around the top portion of the stomach, leaving only a small section that can hold food. In gastric sleeve surgery, weight loss doctors remove up to 80% of the stomach, creating a smaller, sleeve-shaped stomach.
While the concept and desired end goal is the same, only certain patients will qualify for gastric sleeve surgeries.
Can Weight Loss Surgery Be Reversed?
Most importantly, lap band surgery is reversible, while gastric sleeve surgery is not. Once a portion of the stomach is removed, it can never be replaced. When extreme weight loss is desired, gastric sleeve surgery can also be combined with a gastric bypass. Gastric bypass surgery alone has been shown to provide huge success, including an 80% resolution in diabetes and more than 90% resolution of sleep apnea. Combined with gastric sleeve surgery, the positive effects can be huge.
Gastric Sleeve Qualifications Are More Intensive
Weight loss surgery isn’t just a cosmetic procedure designed to remove excess fat. It’s a serious operation offered by physicians at medical weight loss programs. These surgeries are designed to fight the potentially fatal effects of obesity, which can increase the risk of diabetes 20 times, as well as increase the risk of high blood pressure, gallstones, heart disease, and stroke.
Patients with a Body Mass Index of 30 or higher can be approved for lap band surgery. On the other hand, in order to qualify for gastric sleeve surgery, patients must be diagnosed as “morbidly obese.” To meet these more intensive gastric sleeve qualifications, patients must have a BMI of at least 40 and also suffer from one serious obesity-related health problem.
In both cases, these medical weight loss solutions are recommended for patients whose health is at risk from obesity, but only after other weight loss methods have failed. When patients need to lose large amounts of weight to alleviate serious health conditions, doctors may recommend gastric sleeve surgery rather than the alternatives.
If you still have specific questions about whether you qualify for gastric sleeve surgery, contact weight loss doctors near you. And if you live in the Alabama region, contact our weight loss surgery center ASAP.