To Sleeve or Not Sleeve? – Weight Loss Surgery


Dr. Joseph Podany – General Surgeon
New Hope Weight Loss Clinic

Being a Fellow of the American Board of Abdominal Surgery and a General and Bariatric Surgeon, people come to me with the perception that surgery is a risky decision that should be avoided at all costs. But when it comes to treating obesity, the benefits far outweigh the negative long term effects obesity places on an individual. Obesity has a major effect on a person’s quality of life such as immobility, high blood pressure leading to heart disease, and diabetes. With both the LapBand and Gastric Sleeve procedures, there are risks involved, but these procedures are both performed laparoscopically, which means the incisions are fewer and much smaller than in past techniques with abdominal surgeries.


Some additional advantages of these procedures include: They both promote weight loss through restricting the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. The process of the digestion system is not altered and will continue to function normally.  There are differences that can help make the choice between LapBand vs. Gastric Sleeve. First, the cost on average for a LapBand procedure is around $16,000 while the Gastric Sleeve is around $12,600. Another thing to consider is the LapBand is reversible and adjustable. While on the other hand, the Gastric Sleeve is a permanent alteration to the stomach, which means part of it is removed completely. With that removal the hormones that produce the feeling of hunger are reduced as well.  While both have success rates of approximately 40% weight loss after two years, the LapBand does initially have a slower weight loss rate than the Sleeve.


To get started on the process the patient would need to schedule a consult appointment with their physician/surgeon. Then, they would want to contact their insurance about payment options and coverage. Note, some facilities offer cash price discounts which could result in a quicker pre-surgical process. At the consult appointment, they will review the patient’s health history and assess their eligibility for surgery. They will also go through a mental and physical health assessment. A goal setting session with the nurse and registered dietitian may be required as well. Every surgeon and facility has a slightly different approach to the weight loss surgery process but the end result speaks volumes to the impact and increased quality of the patient’s health and life.

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