Asset 10

Gastric Sleeve Vs Gastric Band – What’s The Difference

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What's the difference?

What is the difference between a gastric sleeve and a gastric band? It’s a very common question that we get asked a lot. The purpose of both weight loss procedures is the same, to help the patient lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. But, there are big differences in the surgeries and it’s important that if you qualify for both, gastric sleeve and gastric band that you understand how they work.

Gastric sleeve vs gastric band - what's the difference?

What Are The Benefits Of A Gastric Sleeve

Weight Loss

The main reason most patients will choose gastric sleeve surgery is down to the weight loss expected with the procedure. Studies show that patients with a gastric sleeve lose around 60-70% of excess weight over a 2 year period.

Reduced Appetite

The gastric sleeve procedure doesn’t just remove 80% of the stomach but also takes away the hunger hormone – ghrelin. This helps patients with cravings for food and reduces their appetites so it’s easier for patients to eat small amounts.

A Number of Health Benefits

Along with getting the number on the scale down, the gastric sleeve is excellent for helping with health problems. Conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, raised blood pressure, sleep apnoea, infertility and PCOS, as well as mental wellbeing, have all been proven to be significantly reduced or completely resolved after having the gastric sleeve.

Gastric sleeve vs gastric band - what's the difference?

What Are The Risks Of A Gastric Sleeve

As with any surgery, there are operative and long-term complications and risks associated with gastric sleeve obesity surgery but with experienced hands, the procedure is very safe and the risks associated with the surgery are relatively small. The operation itself is technically very simple as it does not involve any cutting or joining of the bowel, unlike some other weight loss procedures such as the gastric bypass, and this is reflected in its low rate of early complications of 3 – 5% (3:100 to 5:100) and in the low mortality rate of 0.1 – 0.5% (1 in 1000 to 5 in 1000).

Gastric sleeve risks include:

  • Haemorrhage (bleeding) 
  • Leaks from staple lines leading to infection 
  • Adverse reactions to anaesthesia and/or medication 
  • Blood clots (Deep vein thrombosis in the legs / Pulmonary embolus on the lungs) 
  • Longer-term, potential nutritional deficiency 
  • Marginal ulcer 
  • Narrowing of the stomach


Gastric Sleeve Success Story

Frances is two years post-op and 9 stone down. It was the birth of her first grandchild that was the turning point for her to get weight loss surgery. She’s now ticking her way through a bucket list full of activities she never dreamt of doing before gastric sleeve surgery.

Gastric sleeve vs gastric band - what's the difference?

What Are The Benefits Of A Gastric Band

Lowest Risk

The gastric band procedure has the lowest risk of all weight loss procedures. It is minimally invasive and unlike the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, there is no permanent alteration done to your body. Although, the gastric band is meant to be a permanent solution it can be reversed.

Lower BMI requirement

For patients that desperately want weight loss surgery after a history of battling obesity and yo-yo dieting the gastric band could be the most suitable solution. Privately the BMI required for the gastric band is 30 which means patients who are at the lower end of the obese BMI bracket can qualify for weight loss surgery with the band.  

A Number of Health Benefits

Just like the gastric sleeve the gastric band also has a major impact on a variety of obesity-related health conditions. Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux, sleep apnoea as well as joint pain and self-esteem have all been shown to have improved after a gastric band 

Gastric sleeve vs gastric band - what's the difference?

What Are The Risks Of A Gastric Band

These are recognised complications that are easily treated by an experienced band surgeon. The short AND long terms complications with sleeve and bypass are usually far more severe and the outcomes are unknown. 

We like to be transparent with our effectiveness in the operating theatre. That’s why we proudly publish our stats. Here’s a breakdown of Healthier Weight complication rates, based on a study of 2,246 gastric band patients over 9 years.

  • Operative mortality – 0% (this means no-one died)
  • In-hospital returns to theatre – 0 (no-one returned to theatre whilst in hospital)
  • Rate of all complications requiring re-operation – 4.2% (over 9 years)
  • Slippage or pouch dilatation re-operation rate – 1.5% (over 9 years)
  • Band removal rate – 0.5% (over 9 years)


Gastric Band Success Story

Chloe came to Healthier Weight for gastric band surgery in 2018 after deciding to take control of her weight and get her life back. Since surgery, she has lost 8 stone and is more confident than ever.


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