Why do so many obese Americans choose gastric bypass over gastric band?
Unfortunately, most people have no idea that the gastric band option exists. As more people find out about it, the number of band operations performed in the U.S. will continue to rise. In addition, there are many misconceptions about the band. Many gastric bypass surgeons are not comfortable performing laparoscopic surgery, so they simply tell patients that it doesn’t work. The band has been available in Europe since 1993 and has overtaken gastric bypass as the number one weight loss operation, and, eventually, this will happen in the U.S. over time. It does not help that health insurance companies are slow to cover newer technologies. Most health insurance companies are not looking to increase the number of procedures they cover. Some insurance companies will cover a gastric bypass, but deny coverage for the band, thus encouraging patients to have a much riskier operation.