Gastric Band VS. Gastric Sleeve.

How different are they? Are they the same thing? Which one will work better?

These are the questions we often get from patients looking into weight loss surgery. The simple and quickest way to answer: Both of these procedures are similar in concept, to provide patient with a smaller stomach pouch to cut down food portion intake and lose weight. However, each procedure different in a number of ways:

1. Procedure

The gastric sleeve laparoscopic procedure removes up to 80% of your stomach to create a narrow tube like pouch. Your surgeon staples the pouch and permanently removes the other portion of your stomach. Average surgery time is about 1-2 hours. Your anatomy is permanently changed. 

The LAP-BAND outpatient laparoscopic procedure places a removable and adjustable silicon band around the top of your stomach, creating a small pouch, connected to a small and discrete port above your abdominal muscle. Adding or removing saline, through the port, will adjust the grip of your band to better fit your weight loss plan. Average surgery time is about 1 hour.  Your anatomy is not permanently changed.

2. Recovery

The gastric sleeve procedure is a permanent weight loss surgery.  Revisions are possible as well as conversions if the patient begins to re-gain weight. Recommended time off work is about 2-3 weeks, depending on type of work, and  recovery ranges from 3-5 weeks.

The LAP-BAND is a fully reversible procedure.  A patient can have another procedure but a patient can have the lap band system removed with no changes to the anatomy. Time off work can be less than a week, depending on type of work, and recovery ranges from 1-2 weeks.

For personalized information on LAP-BAND surgery click here and ORBERA click here. 

3. Diet

The diet for both LAP-BAND and gastric sleeve asks for a calorie intake of 1100-1800 calories per day depending on your starting weight and your dietitian’s recommendations for your weight loss plan.. Your surgeon and dietitian should work with you on determining a weight goal that is achievable based on actual results of weight loss surgery, your age, your ability to make changes, your level of activity and your lifestyle. A weight loss procedure will not make your weight magically disappear.  Once you have reached your goal weight, the calorie count is stabilized based on your surgeon and dietitian’s recommendations.  You want to avoid high fat and high calorie foods, carbonated drinks, processed foods, foods that are difficult to digest and sugary food and drinks. Most weight loss specialist recommend reduced  starchy food, these are items like bread, past, rice, chips, etc. You will be encouraged to drink a lot of water or low calorie liquids. Your dietitian will encourage good sources of protein,  in solid form, not just shakes. Think to “over chew” each bite, post bariatric surgery your meal portions and bite size must be smaller than before. A well-chewed bite will assure no discomfort or possible complications.

4. Supplements

Both treatment often require the same vitamin/supplement intake. One or two daily multivitamin and a daily calcium supplement. Gastric Sleeve patients are recommended to take vitamin B12 because of the alterations to your digestive track.

5. Cons

The gastric sleeve is a permanent amputation of up to 80% of your stomach, so complications are  higher potentially and the procedure is  irreversible. Other surgical risks include possible blood clots, bleeding and infections. Possible leakage at suture/staple edge.  Gastric sleeve is not reversible and if weight  regain occurs, it requires additional surgery or another procedure such as a gastric bypass. 

The Lap-band procedure requires monthly follow-ups for a full year post surgery to assure positive weight loss progress or possible adjustments.   The complication rate is low and the actual complications are less severe.   Consistent work with your dietitian and weight loss team is required to assure new healthy eating habits are in place and old habits are avoided.

It’s important to know and understand that either weight loss surgery  a tool to help you lose weight. A healthy relationship with food  and a strong support system will  be necessary tools to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

With our LAP-BAND system, you will have a team of medical professionals that will aid you every step of your journey and accommodate your needs to increase your chances of reaching your goals.

Learn more about our LAP-BAND system by attending our FREE info seminar on September 13th, led by Doctor McEwen or give us a call at 317-621-2500 or email:

Want more inspiration? Follow our socials for a closer look at life with the LAP-BAND® team!

DO YOU HAVE BARIATRIC coverage for Lap Band, Gastric Bypass, & Gastric Sleeve?

Do you have bariatric insurance coverage for Lap Band, Gastric Bypass, and Gastric Sleeve?

It’s important to understand employers can opt-out of certain procedure coverage, like weight-loss surgery, for their employees’ insurance policies. Opting-out these specialty procedures saves the company money on their premiums. However, if your policy excludes weight loss surgery, some insurance companies strongly believe that these types of surgeries are medically necessary and employees may be able to appeal their exclusion.

Email us if you would like us to check for your Lap Band Insurance Coverage.

Below you will find some EMPLOYERS that cover the Lap Band for patients who are looking at a less invasive procedure to help improve your wellness.

Eli Lilly and Company
Edward Jones
State Of Indiana
Department of Defense (DFAS)
Indiana University
Community Health Network
VA- Veteran’s Admin
Marion General Hospital 
Index Corp 
SMC Corporation of America
Batesville Casket Company

Standard insurance carriers that cover bariatrics that are not dependent on your employer:

HIP 2.0
To learn more about our LAP-BAND system by attending our FREE info seminar on September 13th, led by Doctor McEwen or give us a call at 317-621-2500 or email:

Want more inspiration? Follow our socials for a closer look at life with the LAP-BAND® team!

LAP-BAND Dinner: Cauliflower Crust Pizza.

Pizza dinner’s post LAP-BAND surgery will NOT be a thing of the past. This Cauliflower Crust Pizza recipe uses LAP-BAND approved ingredients that will make dinners nights flavorful!
½ large shredded cauliflower
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 large egg
½ cup romano or parmesan cheese
½ cup marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a pizza pan or rimless baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until reduced to rice-size crumbles. Transfer to a large nonstick skillet and add 1 tablespoon oil. Heat over medium-high, stir frequently, until the cauliflower begins to soften slightly (but don’t let it brown), 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool for at least 10 minutes.
Add egg, Romano cheese and oregano to the cooled cauliflower; mix until mixture can be pinched and will hold together. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, shaping into an even 10-inch round. Drizzle the remaining 1 teaspoon oil over the top, marinara sauce, and shredded mozzarella cheese (you may also add other toppings like peppers, mushrooms, etc.).
Bake the pizza for about 10 to 14 minutes, until nicely browned all over, 8 to 14 minutes more. Scatter basil over the top. Cut into wedges and serve.
You don’t have to kiss Pizza Nights goodbye! Make and share this new recipe, we want to hear all about your Cauliflower Crust Pizza making experience!
To learn more about Dr. McEwen and Community Surgery Center Hamilton team visit our Facebook page or call our office at 317-621-2500.
Want more inspiration? Follow our socials for a closer look at life with the LAP-BAND® team!

Transformation Tuesday: Jessica

LAP-BAND patients don’t have to start with us their weight loss journey with us. We will have a thorough consultation with your previous LAP-BAND doctor to assure we get all your medical logistics, then we make sure we understand your goals, your journey, and where you started. Jessica came to us 8 years into her LAP-BAND journey and since, we’ve worked at providing her with the proper tools to continue her weight loss journey. Today, we’re proud to be part of Jessica’s story! 

1. Why did you choose the Lap-Band system over other bariatric treatments?

I was only 21 when I choose to get a bariatric surgery. As I was young and wanted something flexible and not very invasive. I still wanted to have children and the other surgeries available at the time were very permanent and scary to think about. The Lap-Band was just the perfect system for me.

2. What has been your biggest change since lap band surgery?

My biggest change is my confidence level and how I carry myself. Having lost so much weight it is hard to really see it sometimes because when you are that big you don’t see just how big you are. I kept one pair of pants from when I was at my largest. I can fit into one leg of them now. Also I work out. I think about what I eat. But I am also way more active, and go and do more things. It is very liberating!

3. What has been your biggest non-scale victory? (less medications, not needing a seat-belt extender on planes, more energy, etc.)

I have a few victories. One big one is that I was able to go to a theme park last year and ride every ride I wanted to! I have never really been able to do that in my adult life. It was scary at first, afraid I just wouldn’t fit into the seats. After getting on the first ride no problem I was elated and had an amazing time! Another victory is being able to shop anywhere I want for clothes. It is a new experience to not have to always look for the plus sizes. Having to go to special stores. Another victory for me was working out. I am able to run whole miles. In losing the weight and working out I have far less back and knee pain.

4. What advice would you give someone thinking about lap band surgery?

My advice would be, prepare yourself to work. It isn’t easy, but when you do it, it is amazing and worth every little fight you have to have with yourself. Know there will be set backs and times you just can’t do your best, but always try again the next day. Know that all the little changes are worth it and add up to help you change. And don’t be impatient, this change is worth it but takes time. 

Soda After LAP-BAND Surgery.

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Benefits of Supervised Weight Loss.

Supervised Weight Loss is a pre-surgery insurance requirement for most patients planning to undergo bariatric surgery. Most insurance companies require that the patient meet with a dietitian once a month in an individual or class setting to cover diet and exercise topics related to bariatric surgery. The length of supervised weight loss varies based on…… Continue reading Benefits of Supervised Weight Loss.

Transformation Tuesday: Rich

He started with our program December of 2016 and got his LAP-BAND in June 2017. In combination with the multiple services we offer in our practice, he has lost 91 pounds and has dropped his BM to 50 from 63! He was the winner of our WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE! The great majority of Rich’s weight-loss…… Continue reading Transformation Tuesday: Rich

Physical Intimacy (Sex) After LAP-BAND Surgery.

LAP-BAND surgery brings a world of possibilities to your life. New clothes, more energy, increased self-confidence, better health, and physical intimacy. Whether you are starting to date someone new or reconnecting with your partner, the sex-talk after LAP-BAND surgery is one we have often. Just like any other topic related to your LAP-BAND surgery it is important to set realistic expectations.
Patients can start practicing intercourse as soon as they feel comfortable. Dr. McEwen’s outpatient LAP-BAND procedure is minimally invasive though still requires patient to go under anesthesia. Because of this, we advise waiting until you are fully recovered. Everyone is different, so this will depend on your body and adherence to guidelines.

Transformation Tuesday: Rachel

3 months strong! Currently 30 pounds down, Rachel continues to embrace the LAP-BAND lifestyle and now shares a little bit of her experience. Keep up with Rachel’s LAP-BAND life as she shares her contagious smile, weight loss progress and healthy food choices! What has been your biggest change since lap band surgery? My biggest change…… Continue reading Transformation Tuesday: Rachel

Why Test Your Metabolic Rate? | Infographic.

Testing your Metabolic Rate will precisely assess how many calories you burn each day giving Dr. McEwen the perfect target for steady weight loss before or after your LAP-BAND surgery. Here are 5 reasons why this test will help us make your weight loss journey more successful.[…]