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Realize Bands Compared to Lap Bands

OC Staff Weight Loss Surgeries

Both gastric bands have similar risks but there are some important differences and benefits to each band. Which is right for you?

Procedure Realize Band Lap Band
Operative Time 45 Minutes to 1 Hour 45 Minutes to 1 Hour
Complication Rate Low Low
Death Rate Very Low Very Low
% Weight Loss 30% to 55% 30% to 55%
Reversible Yes Yes
Cost 15k 15k
Appetite Suppression No No

Realize Band by Johnson and Johnson

The Realize Band is the second gastric band to be approved by the FDA for weight loss in the United States. The band has been available in Europe for years and has a track record of success.

Realize Bands have a tool that allows for the fill port (the port used to fill the band) to be placed with a special tool designed to ease placement and eliminate sutures. The Realize Band offers a comprehensive online follow-up program that is designed to help you reach your weight loss goals. It is user friendly and many patients like this feature. The Realize Bands comprehensive after surgery program can be found at REALIZE mySuccess.
Realize Bands have been placed through the belly button for less noticeable scarring but its typically done outside of the belly button to allow the port applicator room.

  • Realize Bands claim to be a low pressure system which allows for wider fill ranges and a lower chance of band erosion.
  • Offered in one size fits all.

Lap Band by Allergan

The Lap Band has a proven track record of success in the United States.

  • The Lap Band is comparable in action and weight loss to the Realize Band.

This procedure is very effective when patient’s are able to follow the post-operative nutritional guidelines. Many surgeons offer Single Incision Lap Bands performed through the belly button which leaves little scaring.

  • Lap Band claims their product provides equal pressure on all sides of the esophagus/stomach. This may reduce the risk of erosion.
  • The Lap Band is offered in two sizes.

Key Differences

Both products are effective for losing weight.

Both bands can be reversed via a follow-up surgery, but the surgery is typically harder and carries more risk than the original surgery.

  • Gastric bands are permanent implants.
  • There is not 20 year plus data available.
  • Both procedures have a risk of long-term complications.


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