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Cost Difference Between Gastric Bypass and Lap Band Surgery and Why

Determining the price difference between the two highly popular weight loss procedures, Gastric Bypass and LAP Band, is the easy part. The why is where things get a little more complicated.  There are many different reasons that people have these weight loss procedures. For some, it is simply weight loss for self-esteem purposes. For most others, the obesity is beginning to cause serious health issues. This could be extremely high blood pressure or often times, diabetes.


The above issues will often lead you to the procedure that you need to get. For patients suffering from diabetes, gastric bypass procedure is considered the superior alternative. Gastric bypass surgery combines the creation of a small stomach pouch which restricts food intake and construction of a “bypass” of the duodenym and other segments of the small intestines to cause malabsorption or the decreased ability to absorb calories and nutrients from food.

A UC San Francisco study of 185 diabetic patients revealed that patients who underwent the gastric bypass procedure lost 64% excess weight as opposed to 36% excess weight loss for those who had the LAP Band procedure.  Moreover, diabetic medication was more dramatically reduced after gastric bypass.

For purely weight loss, there is no consensus among professionals as to which procedure is preferable. The differences between the 2 both from a long term perspective and a short term perspective are very different.


Prices of both procedures vary wildly from state to state. What is consistent is that gastric bypass is the more expensive procedure.  According to,  the average gastric bypass procedure costs $22,000 as opposed to $14,000 for LAP Band.  There are a few reasons for this but the obvious ones are that LAP Band is a 40 minute outpatient procedure while gastric bypass is a 2 to 3 hour MAJOR surgical procedure requiring an overnight stay.


Gastric bypass surgery patients experience more initial weight loss but experience more complications that those receiving LAP band.  LAP Band patients have a shorter recovery time.


If the patient adheres to a healthy lifestyle, the results of both procedures are successful. The LAP Band procedure could require additional procedures but it is a reversible procedure whereas the gastric bypass is not. Many patients who do not trust their dieting habits will opt for the gastric bypass which is more restrictive.

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