What is The Difference between a Gastric Band and a Gastric Balloon?

Innovation in weight loss surgery has led to the development of procedures like a gastric balloon and the gastric band (also known as Lap Band). Both options are effective and allow patients to reverse the procedure. However, these are two very different procedures.

Understanding the differences can help patients make informed decisions about their weight loss journey. But before getting into the major differences between the gastric balloon and the gastric band, it’s important to know them individually.

What is Gastric Banding?

Adjustable gastric banding is a bariatric surgery that helps you lose weight. Surgeons place an inflatable band in your stomach that takes up a small area. This creates a pouch in the upper area of your abdomen.

The procedure limits the stomach’s capacity to hold food. Usually, gastric banding follows laparoscopic surgery, the least intrusive gastric surgery. However, this surgical procedure causes certain complications that take some time to recover fully.

Also, some patients aren’t eligible for a laparoscopic procedure and have to undergo a surgical incision to place the gastric band. 

What is a Gastric Balloon?

In the gastric balloon procedure, the physician places a balloon inside the stomach via the esophagus. Once the balloon reaches the stomach, they inflate it, so it takes up space. With less available space in your stomach, you consume less food. After the procedure, you stay full on smaller portions of food.

While it might sound similar to the gastric band, it doesn’t require invasive surgery. The doctor will place a soft but durable balloon in the stomach via the mouth. The entire process takes place through an endoscope, helping you avoid major surgical procedures.

Many patients wonder what to expect after getting gastric balloon surgery. In most cases, they don’t have to wait a long time before resuming normal activities because recovery takes as little as a few days. However, some patients might need more rest to avoid complications.

The gastric balloon is one of the best alternatives to lap band surgery. The gastric balloon option is worth considering if you want to choose a weight loss option that does not require invasive surgery. 

Major Differences between Gastric Balloon and Gastric Band

While both options allow you to manage your diet and speed up your weight loss journey, there are some significant differences. Doctors recommend that patients understand both options to make an informed decision.


The main difference between both is that the gastric balloon doesn’t require surgery, while the gastric band does.

If you undergo the gastric balloon procedure, it will take the doctor less than 30 minutes to place the balloon in your stomach. Your stay at the hospital will only last a few hours, there’s no scarring, and you won’t need general anesthesia.

On the other hand, the gastric band will require surgeons to make an incision. The procedure is 1 to 2 hours long, and you’ll have to stay in the hospital for 8 to 12 hours post-surgery. Moreover, the surgical incisions around your abdomen can leave small scars.

Side Effects

While the gastric band is generally safe, there are a few risks that come with it. There are chances of anesthesia complications or surgical site infection following surgery. Long-term side effects include displacement, in which case patients require a surgical procedure to remove the band.

Though the gastric balloon does not require undergoing a surgical procedure, it also comes with some side effects. While your body adapts to the balloon, you may experience nausea for a few days. In the long term, there is a risk of balloon displacement and rupturing.


Besides limiting your food intake, the gastric balloon also requires changing your eating habits. For starters, you’ll have to cut back on portion sizes and the kind of foods you eat. Though the balloon does not stop you from eating, you need to start being picky about what you eat.

On the other hand, the gastric band is the size of a golf ball and occupies a small area in your stomach. Despite its size, it can help reduce food intake significantly, making it suitable for patients trying to eat only half the calories.

Time Frame

The gastric band is a long-term solution that significantly changes your stomach’s anatomy. In addition, you’ll have to schedule visits to your doctor so they can inflate the band. Your physician will pass a needle through the abdomen and into the band’s port to add or vacate the saline solution.

The gastric balloon has a short time frame, so many consider it a temporary procedure. You won’t experience any permanent changes in your stomach’s anatomy, and you have to remove it after every 6 to 12 months. But it’s important that you continue eating smaller portions after getting the balloon removed. Otherwise, you risk losing all the progress you made.

Gastric Balloon vs. Gastric Band: Which One Should You Choose?

Now, it’s time for the main question: should you choose a gastric balloon or a gastric band? Both of these options are very effective and safe, so it all comes down to personal preference. Understand the difference between these options, assess their risks, and determine which one will offer the results you’re looking for. If you want a more permanent solution, the gastric band will last longer and only needs regular maintenance. But if you want a temporary option to fix your eating habits, the gastric balloon is better.

Of course, preexisting conditions and weight loss goals also affect a patient’s decision, which makes it important to seek professional help. Experts at the ALO Bariatrics can help you get a gastric balloon in Mexico. Our professionals have years of experience and can guide you through the procedure to ensure satisfying results.

Source link

Home  Articles  Disclaimer  Contact Us