Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Balloon: What are the Main Differences?

Gastric Sleeve vs Balloon

Explore the advantages and potential drawbacks of both Gastric Sleeve vs Gastric Balloon procedures, considering factors such as safety and weight loss results.

The gastric sleeve and gastric balloon procedures are being compared in terms of their effectiveness and benefits.

You may have tried every diet known to man but haven’t been able to shed a significant amount of excess weight. If you have been consuming food excessively, your stomach can hold more than that of a person who does not consume excessively.

When your doctor urges you, you find the necessary motivation to finally address your weight problem. Tired of struggling to walk short distances, you eagerly weigh the pros and cons of both a gastric sleeve and a gastric balloon for weight loss. By carefully examining their disparities and considering their potential benefits, you can determine the best option for your situation.

Surgery vs. In-office Procedure

Furthermore, a weight loss expert, trained in obesity management and associated complications, can help you choose the best procedure to lose weight. Additionally, they can guide you in improving your health.

Together with your doctor, you should review the entire scope of the procedure or surgery you are considering. Some weight loss options are more invasive than others and involve pre-procedure requirements and extended downtimes. Knowing what to expect from start to finish from the procedure you are undergoing will help you be more prepared.

You can place a gastric balloon as an outpatient procedure and have it done right in your doctor’s office in less than 30 minutes. However, gastric sleeve surgery requires general anesthesia and must be performed in a hospital operating room or a surgical facility, taking approximately two hours to complete.

Gastric Balloon vs. Gastric Sleeve Overview
  Gastric Sleeve Gastric Balloon
Type of Procedure Surgical Non-surgical
Facility Required Hospital or operating room The outpatient procedure is done in-office
Anesthesia/Sedation General anesthesia Mild sedation
Does It Involve Incisions? Yes No
Procedure Length 2 hours 20 – 30 minutes
Is A Hospital Stay Required Yes 1-3 days No, patients return home on the same day
Procedure Longevity Permanent alterations to the patient’s stomach are made Temporary, the gastric balloon is removed after six months
Recovery 4 to 6 weeks 3 days to a week

What is the Difference Between the Gastric Balloon vs Gastric Sleeve Procedure?

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve, also known as Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) or Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG), is a common form of bariatric surgery. By reducing the size of the patient’s stomach, this procedure promotes weight loss. It is performed under general anesthesia in an operating facility.

During the procedure, the surgeon makes 4 to 5 small incisions in the patient’s abdomen so surgical tools can gain access to the procedure location. The laparoscope (surgical instrument with a light and a camera) is inserted into one of the incisions to guide the surgeon’s actions and then the patient’s stomach is reduced to approximately 25% of its original size.

This is done by cutting the excess stomach tissue away and permanently removing it. The surgeon then brings the edges of the new smaller stomach together and uses surgical staples to hold them in place. The hospital discharges most patients after they spend between 1 and 3 nights in the hospital.

Orbera Gastric Balloon Procedure

The gastric balloon weight loss option is significantly less invasive when comparing the gastric sleeve vs. the balloon because it does not require surgery.

Firstly, the healthcare provider performing an endoscopic procedure gently places a deflated silicone balloon into the patient’s stomach. Secondly, as the patient is mildly sedated, the provider proceeds to inflate the balloon with saline solution, gradually expanding it to the size of a grapefruit. This balloon takes up about ¾ of the stomach’s available capacity so the patient can not eat as much in one sitting. It also helps the patient to feel full in between meals. The balloon remains in the stomach for six months while the patient follows a comprehensive weight loss program complete with professional support.

The physician’s office performs the procedure, which takes less than 30 minutes, as an outpatient procedure, enabling patients to return home on the same day.

Permanent vs Temporary

The surgical gastric sleeve permanently changes the patient’s stomach, while the gastric balloon is only a temporary placement.

During gastric sleeve surgery, surgeons permanently remove a portion of the patient’s stomach. Consequently, when patients adopt proper eating habits after their surgery, their smaller stomach enables them to effectively restrict their portion sizes.

The medical team removed the gastric balloon from the patient’s stomach after 6 months. The goal, while the balloon is present, is for patients to learn portion control, and healthy eating habits, and to make permanent lifestyle changes that will promote a healthy weight going forward.

Cost of Gastric Sleeve Surgery vs. Gastric Balloon

The United States has an average base cost of around $9,500 for gastric sleeve surgery. Additionally, this cost does not include fees for the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and other related expenses.

The cost of a gastric balloon procedure averages about $8,150 and since it does not require surgery it is less expensive than gastric sleeve surgery.

The use of insurance, FSA/HSA may influence the final patient cost associated with gastric sleeve vs. gastric balloon. Gastric balloon procedures are typically self-pay as most insurance companies do not currently offer coverage. However, most bariatric practices offer patient financing.

Gastric Balloon vs Gastric Sleeve: Which Weight Loss Option is Best For You?

After reviewing your health and medical history, the experts at IBI Healthcare Institute will discuss all weight loss options with you and collaboratively create a suitable patient care plan. Moreover, they will guide the entire process.

Contact IBI Healthcare Institute today if you are ready to make a change in your life. Moreover, we will provide you with our full support every step of the way on your weight loss journey. By requesting a consultation today, take the first step towards success.

Picture of Dr. A. Christopher Ibikunle MD FACS
Dr. A. Christopher Ibikunle MD FACS
Dr A. Christopher Ibikunle (MD, FACS) is a distinguished surgeon with a rich academic and clinical background. After completing his residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, he served as an Active Staff and Assistant Professor of Surgery. Currently, he is a Professor of Surgery at Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership and a Lead Preceptor for several institutions, including Morehouse University and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Chris is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, committed to advancing surgery and patient care.
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