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!

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.

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.

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.[…]

Orbera Balloon: Real Self 2016 “Most Worth It” Award Winner! is a site that offers insightful information on all types of medical products and procedures. Since their 2006 launch, the informational site has generated a strong presence in patient communities while showcasing itself as a strong and reliable source. They offer real patient reviews, lists of providers, educational information, cost of various procedures, and communication for anyone looking for more information. Nearly 10 million people visit the site each month to learn more about a procedure or product they are considering.[…]

Introducing Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) Testing To Our Practice!

What is a Resting Metabolic Rate Test?

Metabolism is the process of converting food (calories) into energy. The efficiency with which your body does this is referred to as your metabolic rate. Many factors affect a person’s metabolic rate: weight, age, body composition, hormone levels, and gender making it a highly unique number […]

Questions For Your LAP-BAND Surgeon.

You’ve done the research. You’ve learned about the pros and cons about the LAP-BAND surgery. You’ve compared weight loss procedures and which one works best for you. You’ve even talked to your insurance and understand coverage and requirements. Now, where do you get this done? Who does it in your area and are they good?

Online reputations and reviews can only tell you so much about your future bariatric surgeon, so asking the right questions during your initial consultation is very important. It’s important to understand the surgeon will be a constant part of your LAP-BAND journey, along with his team of health professionals. They will be the ones providing you with the support and necessary tools you need to stay on track both before surgery and after.

During your consultation, educate yourself beyond your internet searches. Let the surgeon tell you about the procedure, how it works, why it works, and their personal philosophy behind the LAP-BAND. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification or a different way to explain what you’re not understanding. You’re interviewing the surgeon to perform a surgery on you, make sure you understand everything and feel comfortable. Here are some great questions we’ve been asked from successful LAP-BAND patients. […]