Jump to content
×
Are you looking for the BariatricPal Store? Go now!

Advice re Gastric Balloon vs. LapBand Surgery



Recommended Posts

I am in the process of being cleared for bariatric surgery - all that I am now awaiting is the final dietician meeting in a few weeks. I have 90-100 lbs to lose.

I have done a lot of research and am convinced I do not want a permanent surgery, such as the sleeve or bypass. My surgeon is fine with providing the LapBand surgery, which is covered by my insurance.

Now it looks like I'll soon be spending about 6 weeks in another country where I could legally get a gastric balloon - I know is not cleared by the FDA in the USA.

I have done research about the Spatz3 balloon, which can be kept in the stomach for up to a year. (http://www.spatzmedical.com/faq.html)

Does anyone have any knowledge or recommendations on what is preferable?

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you buy a Porsche car, if no mechanic in your area would work on one?

The band, and likely the balloon will have maintenance issues. Make sure you have someone within a reasonable distance that can help you unless you have the resources to travel at a moment's notice...

Do research the possible complications with the band. Even though you don't want something permanent, some of the band complications can be pretty permanent (such as band eroding into the stomach or liver, scar tissue, etc.). I don't know how often those things happen, but we hear about them ALL. THE. TIME. here on the board.

Congrats on deciding to change your life! No matter what you choose to do, I'm rooting for ya!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a lot of surgeons don't even do the band anymore because so many people have had problems with them. And I'd be a little leery of the balloon just because it's so new. Bypass is technically reversible, but they won't do it unless you have some severe medical problems with it, which are rare. If it were me, I'd go with one of the tried and true surgeries (bypass or sleeve), but then, I'm not you, so....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of surgeons in the US do the balloon. I know of three programs in the St. Louis, MO area alone. Insurance does not cover the costs and while my surgeon does them, he doesn't really recommend it because once your balloon time is up, its back to being just you again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just another thought for you. I too did not want a large non reversible surgery. Rejected the idea of a lap band due to the things terms issues I read about. Having lost weight and regained before thought a balloon would not be a permanent "fix" for me so I investigated and then had a gastric plication. Surgery was two yrs ago and I have been very happy with the results. I had my surgery through Bariatric Pal and it cost me no more than a balloon procedure would in the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to thank all of you for your honest responses. A big reason I want a reversible procedure is because I'm vegetarian, but would like to eat a vegan diet, and not be so reliant on Protein. I came across Joel Fuhrman's book (The End of Dieting) and am even more convinced of a plant-based eating plan. Most of all, I know I have to change my relationship to eating.

To Berry78 - Well done on your weight loss, and thank you for the encouragement! I hear what you're saying - I have heard of lapband complications, but compared to the sleeve and bypass, it has the least problems statistically (and there can be problems with ALL procedures). I would be able to get assistance for the gastric balloon whether in the USA or the other country, but I don't know if my insurance in the USA would cover a procedure done in another country, if something went wrong - will ask my surgery team.

To catwoman7 - First of all, congrats on your stellar results! Another doctor also said he'd be wary of a newer procedure, although the gastric balloon has been used for years in other countries. And my surgeon in the USA is phasing out the lapband, although he's done many hundreds of them and had good results.

To MowryRocks - Congratulations on your success! I can get the balloon done in the USA city where I live as well. The thing is I can't afford it here - but my insurance will pay for the lapband, sleeve or bypass.

To Mountaingal - Great work on keeping up your weight loss! I understand that gastric plication is also not covered by insurance, but am encouraged since it is reversible. What are its side-effects?

To sammy246 - thanks for sharing your opinion. What would be your pick? I recently went to a bariatric support group where 90% had the sleeve done, and although all had significant weight loss, they were all battling with keeping it off.

Again, many thanks - I appreciate your help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a word of advise, I had the Lapband because it was "reversable"...what I didn't take into consideration was that id still have to go under the knife to have it removed. Much happier now that it's removed and I have the rny. I am down 50lbs in 3 months

Sent from my SM-G950U using BariatricPal mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had lap band. It slipped and could not go back into place. It eroded and I had to have revision too much scarring. In 2009 I was so scared and elected band. I've not had one complication after bypass and am kicking myself that I didn't do that surgery first. I was miserable w band. Never was restricted if I was too tight I would regurgitate in sleep. Sorry just my story. I went in so often to take Fluid in and out regardless of what you do make sure you choose surgeon near by.

Sent from my XT1254 using BariatricPal mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, rosedagal said:

And my surgeon in the USA is phasing out the lapband, although he's done many hundreds of them and had good results.

At some point you have to wonder, if it's such a great solution, why a surgeon would phase out a procedure that is relatively quick and easy...an absolute cash cow...

I respect your desire for the vegan lifestyle. Since you are still in the deciding phase, take a year to go vegan. You can still eat enough to meet your requirements, you can see how the lifestyle suits you... and if you steer clear of sugar and white flour, you'll find you drop a ton of weight.

A year isn't so long, and by the end of it, you'll likely have a better idea of what you should do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just a word of advise, I had the Lapband because it was "reversable"...what I didn't take into consideration was that id still have to go under the knife to have it removed. Much happier now that it's removed and I have the rny. I am down 50lbs in 3 months

Sent from my SM-G950U using BariatricPal mobile app




Can you share your numbers with me. Age, height and weightloss numbers.

Thank you



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Can you share your numbers with me. Age, height and weightloss numbers.

Thank you




Sure thing. Female, 24, 4'11, sw:270 cw:208. Surgery was 4-5-17.

Sent from my SM-G950U using BariatricPal mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure thing. Female, 24, 4'11, sw:270 cw:208. Surgery was 4-5-17.

Sent from my SM-G950U using BariatricPal mobile app


Thank you. I had a band revision to mgb on April 3. Weightloss has been slow for me though, only 20lbs. I'm 5'0



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×