vBloc Therapy Vs Gastric Sleeve - All You Need to Know

Last Updated:  

09/26/2017

The most important takeaways when evaluating vBloc therapy vs gastric sleeve include:

  • How they work: Both make you feel less hungry and full sooner while eating. Only sleeve does so by removing 80% of your stomach. Only vBloc (i) does so using an implanted device that controls hunger signals sent to the brain, (ii) is reversible, and (iii) is adjustable.
  • Qualify: Sleeve requires 30+ body mass index (BMI) with health problems or 40+ without. vBloc requires 35+ BMI with health problems or 40 to 45 without.
  • Hospital & recovery: vBloc is a less complicated procedure with a shorter operating time, shorter hospital stay, and quicker/easier recovery.
  • Weight loss & health improvement: Sleeve results in about two times more weight loss and is much more likely to improve or cure your obesity-related health conditions
  • Insurance: Sleeve is covered if your policy covers bariatric surgery. vBloc only covered by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA facilities).
  • Cost without insurance: Sleeve is $500 to $1,000 more expensive than vBloc.
  • Diet & life after: vBloc has no diet restrictions. Sleeve has several restrictions. Exercise regimen is same for both.
  • Complications & side effects: Both have close to 100% survival rate. Sleeve has a higher risk of complications and side effects.
vBloc Therapy Vs Gastric Sleeve

Read and click the sections below for everything you need to know to decide which procedure is best for you.

01How They Work
  • vBloc Therapy vs Gastric Sleeve: Feel less hungry & feel full sooner while eating after both
  • vBloc: Uses implanted device to control hunger signals sent to the brain
  • Sleeve: Reduces size of stomach

Understanding gastric sleeve surgery vs vBloc Therapy starts with the fundamental differences in how each procedure impacts your brain and digestive system:

Gastric Sleeve

Gastric Sleeve

Why Gastric Sleeve Works

  • Reduced stomach size makes the patient feel full sooner after eating
  • Removed portion of the stomach means fewer hunger-causing hormones are secreted, causing patient to feel less hungry generally

How Gastric Sleeve Is Performed

Gastric sleeve surgery, also called the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG), is performed by removing a large portion of the stomach to create a long pouch that connects the esophagus to the small intestine. The pouch is stapled and the rest of the stomach is removed. Some surgeons take an additional step to reinforce the staple line, although whether that is effective is up for debate.

vBloc Therapy

vBloc Therapy

Why vBloc Therapy Works

  • Implanted device periodically blocks the vagal nerve and prevents it from delivering hunger signals to the brain, making you feel full between meals and full sooner after smaller meals.

How vBloc Device Implantation Is Performed

Your surgeon will implant the vBloc Therapy device below your rib cage just under the skin. She will then attach the device to your vagal nerve, just above the stomach, via two leads (wires). The whole procedure usually takes between 60 and 90 minutes.

If necessary, during follow up office visits your surgeon can increase or decrease the device’s hunger-reducing settings remotely.

Recharging the Device

The vBloc device is battery-powered so it is important you charge it at least every other day.

02Weight Loss
  • vBloc Therapy vs Gastric Sleeve: Sleeve results in 2 times more weight loss

Patients lose weight quickly after both the gastric sleeve and vBloc procedures. However, gastric sleeve patients:

  • Lose over 2 times more weight over the short- and long-term
  • Tend to gain back at least some weight over the long-term (although total long-term weight loss is still about 2 times more than with vBloc)

The below chart compares average weight loss over time for each procedure:

Timeframe
Timeframe
3 months
3 months
6 months
6 months
1 Year
1 Year
2 Years
2 Years
3 Years
3 Years
5 Years
5 Years
Timeframe
% of Excess Weight You’ll Lose with Gastric Sleeve
3 months
30%
6 months
50%
1 Year
70%
2 Years
65%
3 Years
60%
5 Years
55%
Timeframe
% of Excess Weight You’ll Lose with vBloc Therapy
3 months
10%
6 months
20%
1 Year
25%
2 Years
25%
3 Years
25%
5 Years
25%

Example

For for a person who is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 250 lbs, following is the amount of average expected weight loss for each procedure:

Timeframe
Timeframe
3 months
3 months
6 months
6 months
1 Year
1 Year
2 Years
2 Years
3 Years
3 Years
5 Years
5 Years
Timeframe
Gastric Sleeve: Total Expected Weight Loss for 5’7”, 250 lb patient
3 months
28 lbs
6 months
46 lbs
1 Year
64 lbs
2 Years
60 lbs
3 Years
55 lbs
5 Years
51 lbs
Timeframe
vBloc Therapy: Total Expected Weight Loss for 5’7”, 250 lb patient
3 months
9 lbs
6 months
18 lbs
1 Year
23 lbs
2 Years
23 lbs
3 Years
23 lbs
5 Years
23 lbs
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03Health Benefits
  • vBloc Therapy vs Gastric Sleeve: Sleeve much more likely to improve or cure your health conditions

Gastric sleeve surgery is much more likely than vBloc Therapy to improve or cure (as long as you don’t regain the weight) at least 15 obesity-related health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea.

The chart below compares study results by condition for each procedure:

Co-morbidity
Co-morbidity
Dyslipidemia hyperchole­sterolemia
Dyslipidemia hyperchole­sterolemia
Diabetes
Diabetes
Hyperli­pidemia (high levels of fat in the blood, high cholesterol)
Hyperli­pidemia (high levels of fat in the blood, high cholesterol)
High Blood Pressure (hyper­tension)
High Blood Pressure (hyper­tension)
Joint/Bone Disease (osteoar­thropathy)
Joint/Bone Disease (osteoar­thropathy)
Depression
Depression
Migraines
Migraines
Pseudo­tumor cerebri
Pseudo­tumor cerebri
Cardiova­scular Disease
Cardiova­scular Disease
Venous Stasis Disease
Venous Stasis Disease
Gastroeso­phageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroeso­phageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Mortality Reduction/ Life Expectancy (5 year mortality)
Mortality Reduction/ Life Expectancy (5 year mortality)
Quality of Life Improve­ments
Quality of Life Improve­ments
Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Pregnancy
Pregnancy
Asthma
Asthma
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Stress Urinary Inconti­nence
Stress Urinary Incontinence
Co-morbidity
vBloc % Improved /Resolved
Dyslipidemia hypercholesterolemia
Diabetes
Moderate
Hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat in the blood, high cholesterol)
High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
Joint/Bone Disease (osteoarthropathy)
Depression
Migraines
Pseudotumor cerebri
Cardiovascular Disease
Moderate
Venous Stasis Disease
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Mortality Reduction/Life Expectancy (5 year mortality)
Quality of Life Improvements
Metabolic Syndrome
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Pregnancy
Asthma
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Stress Urinary Incontinence
Co-morbidity
Gastric Sleeve % Improved /Resolved
Dyslipidemia hypercholesterolemia
64%
Diabetes
55%
Hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat in the blood, high cholesterol)
35%
High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
68%
Joint/Bone Disease (osteoarthropathy)
46%
Depression
Most
Migraines
40%
Pseudotumor cerebri
n/a
Cardiovascular Disease
100%
Venous Stasis Disease
95%
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
50%
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
n/a
Mortality Reduction/Life Expectancy (5 year mortality)
89%
Quality of Life Improvements
93%
Metabolic Syndrome
62%
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Most
Pregnancy
Most
Asthma
90%
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
62%
Stress Urinary Incontinence
90%

04Qualify
  • vBloc Therapy: Requires 35+ BMI with health problems or 40 - 45 without.
  • Gastric Sleeve: Requires 30+ BMI with health problems or 40+ without. Minimum age = 18.
  • Click here to calculate your BMI

vbloc therapy vs gastric sleeve

Enter your height & weight, then click the button:

Enter your height & weight, then click the button:

30+

Weight Loss Surgery
Required BMI

  • Below 18.5Underweight

  • 18.5 – 24.9Healthy Weight

  • 25.0 – 29.9Overweight

  • 30.0 – 34.9Obese

  • 35.0 – 39.9Severely Obese

  • 40.0 – 49.9Morbidly Obese

  • 50 or higherSuper Obese

Click to Collapse SectionClick to Learn More

In order to have vBloc Therapy, your body mass index (BMI) must fall within one of the following ranges:

  • 35 to 39.9 with an obesity-related health problem such as, but not limited to:
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Sleep apnea

In addition, vBloc requires that you:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Have been unable to keep off weight with diet or exercise during a medically supervised diet program in the last 5 years

In order to have gastric sleeve surgery, your BMI must fall within one of the following ranges:

  • Body mass index 40 or above or
  • Body mass index from 35 to 40 as long as you have a serious obesity-related health problem (“comorbidity”) such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, joint problems, sleep apnea, or one of many others.
  • Body mass index from 30 to 35 may be accepted if certain health issues are present

Use the BMI Calculator above to determine your body mass index.

05Insurance
  • Sleeve is covered if your policy covers bariatric surgery
  • vBloc only covered at VA facilities
  • Click here to check your insurance

vBloc Therapy is currently only covered by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA facilities). If you do not have VA coverage, you’ll need to pay for the procedure out of pocket.

Gastric sleeve surgery will be covered by your insurance as long as your specific insurance policy includes weight loss surgery. Use the tool below to find out if your plan covers it and, if it does, what your out of pocket costs are likely to be:

gastric sleeve

GASTRIC SLEEVE COST-AFTER-INSURANCE ESTIMATOR

Projected Out Of Pocket Costs After Insurance

PROJECTED OUT OF POCKET COSTS AFTER INSURANCE

Click Below to Update Your Plan's Details from U.S. Averages

Data is for illustrative purposes only. Please check with your insurance company for specific costs and benefit information.

The following variables may or may not impact your projected out of pocket costs.

GASTRIC SLEEVE
INSURANCE TOOLS

Cost-After-Insurance Estimator

Check My Insurance Tool

CHECK MY
INSURANCE TOOL
1

Choose your plan, state, and insurance company below.

Can’t find your insurance company/plan or have updated info? Click here to contact us.

This tool provides estimates only. Please contact your insurance company to verify your actual out of pocket costs.

The gastric sleeve surgery insurance approval process can take anywhere from 1 to 12 months, depending on your insurance company and your situation.

Following are the typical steps:

  1. Confirm with your doctor that your body mass index and health conditions fall within one of the two qualification requirements:
    • BMI over 40 –OR–
    • BMI over 35 with one or more of the following (insurance companies will usually not cover BMI’s below 35):
      • Clinically significant obstructive sleep apnea
      • Coronary heart disease
      • Medically refractory hypertension
      • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
      • Other obesity-related health issues
  2. Complete 3 to 7 consecutive months of a medically supervised diet program, depending on your insurance company (can be coordinated by your bariatric surgeon).
  3. Schedule a consultation with your bariatric surgeon.
  4. Schedule a consultation with your primary care physician to obtain a medical clearance letter.
  5. Schedule a psychiatric evaluation to obtain a mental health clearance letter (usually coordinated by your bariatric surgeon).
  6. Schedule a nutritional evaluation from a Registered Dietitian (usually coordinated by your bariatric surgeon).
  7. Send all of the above documentation to your insurance company along with a detailed history of your obesity-related health problems, difficulties, and treatment attempts. The review process typically happens in under one month (usually coordinated by your bariatric surgeon).
  8. Insurance company sends approval or denial letter:
    • If approved, your surgeon’s bariatric coordinator will contact you for scheduling.
    • If denied, you can choose to appeal the denial.

Take the Easy Route – Your surgeon’s office will do most of this legwork for you. They are highly experienced in managing the process and may even have all of the required personnel on staff (e.g., registered dietitian, psychiatrist, bariatric coordinator, etc.).

Click here to find a top gastric sleeve or vBloc surgeon near you to get started. Most offices will check your insurance for free to confirm coverage.

For more information about weight loss surgery insurance, see our Bariatric Surgery Insurance Guide.

06Cost Without Insurance
  • Sleeve: ~$445/mo (~$19,000 total)
  • vBloc Therapy: ~$445/mo (~$18,500 total)

The cost of surgery should not dictate which procedure you have. You should move forward with the procedure that is most likely to work for you after thorough research and a consultation with your surgeon.

If you do not have insurance that covers the procedure, there will be very little difference in vBloc Therapy vs gastric sleeve cost:

  • Gastric sleeve: Average cost is about $19,000
  • vBloc Therapy: Average cost is about $18,500

However, surgeons in your area may charge as low as $10,000 for either procedure, depending on current discounts and specials.

Financing may also be available, depending on your credit. Payments are likely to be around $445 for either procedure if you finance it over 5 years

  • Gastric sleeve: $445/mo
  • LAP-BAND®: $334/mo

Visit our Financing Weight Loss Surgery page for all the possible ways to finance your surgery.

Cost of Not Having Surgery vs Cost of Weight Loss Surgery

Even if you’re paying out of pocket, the cost of gastric sleeve and vBloc Therapy is likely to be far less than the long-term costs of obesity-related health problems for morbidly obese people who don’t have a procedure.

Gastric Sleeve Health Cost Savings

On average, gastric sleeve surgery patients pay off their entire surgery and start getting ahead financially after only 2 years (11).

To illustrate: One study found that bariatric surgery patients pay as much as $900 less per month as soon as 13 months after surgery than similar people who didn’t have surgery (12). Starting in month 13, that’s almost $11,000 saved per year in total medical costs.

Fewer prescription drugs alone have been found to save patients $3,000 or more per year (13).

vBloc Therapy Health Cost Savings

While there are no cost savings studies specific to vBloc Therapy, we know that the procedure results in about half of the weight loss of gastric sleeve. Assuming cost savings are proportionate to weight loss, that means vBloc will save about $5,500 per year in total medical costs for each patient.

That puts vBloc Therapy’s breakeven timeframe at less than 3.5 years compared to gastric sleeve’s 2 year breakeven point.

07Recovery
  • vBloc Therapy has quicker and easier recovery than Gastric Sleeve
  • Unlike Gastric Sleeve, vBloc Therapy has no specific diet restrictions during recovery

vBloc Therapy is a much simpler, faster, and less invasive procedure than gastric sleeve.

vBloc also has no diet restrictions because it does not change your digestive system. About 80% of the stomach is removed during the gastric sleeve procedure, so patients must slowly transition back to solid foods.

The following chart compares recovery for vBloc Therapy and gastric sleeve surgery:

Operating time
Operating time
Hospital Stay
Hospital Stay
Time Off Work
Time Off Work
Time to Full Recovery
Time to Full Recovery
Pain
Pain
Activity
Activity
Diet (More information in the next section)
Diet (More information in the next section)
vBloc Therapy
Operating time
1 hour or less
Hospital Stay
Outpatient (same day)
Time Off Work
3 to 4 days
Time to Full Recovery
4 to 6 weeks until incisions fully heal
Pain
Less because digestive system not altered; Pain is managed with medication
Activity
Slow transition back to normal while incisions heal
Diet (More information in the next section)
No specific diet restrictions because anatomy is not altered (but dietitian will work with you to improve diet as part of overall plan)
Gastric Sleeve
Operating time
2 hours
Hospital Stay
2 to 3 days
Time Off Work
1 to 3 weeks
Time to Full Recovery
4 to 6 weeks until incisions and stomach fully heal
Pain
More because part of stomach is removed and must heal; Pain managed with medication
Activity
Slower transition back to normal while incisions and stomach heal
Diet (More information in the next section)
Gradual transition from clear liquids to solid foods – may take up to 4 weeks (timeframe varies by surgeon)

See the following pages for more information about vBloc Therapy vs gastric sleeve recovery:

08Diet & Life After
  • vBloc Therapy vs Gastric Sleeve: Feel less hungry & full sooner while eating for both, Same exercise regimen
  • Gastric Sleeve: Includes specific diet restrictions & requirements
  • vBloc Therapy: No specific diet restrictions, Must recharge device every other day

Diet: Gastric Sleeve Vs vBloc Therapy

Gastric sleeve has much more stringent dietary requirements than vBloc Therapy.

However, your vBloc device is designed to work in tandem with lifestyle changes. If you don’t adhere to the recommended changes, you will not lose as much weight.

Your nurse or dietitian will work with you to find ways to improve your diet and exercise habits, including:

  • One-on-One Coaching
  • Personal Tracking Technology (such as an electronic scale that sends data to your dietitian)
  • Online Tools and Resources (e.g., Meal and exercise tracking, educational materials, videos, and guides

Your gastric sleeve diet transition is likely to be as follows (varies by surgeon):

  • 2+ Weeks Before – Practice your post-surgery diet
  • 2 Weeks Before – High protein, low sugar, low carbs
  • 1 Week Before – Stop or change some medications
  • 2 Days Before – Clear liquids only
  • Midnight Before Surgery – Nothing to eat or drink
  • In Hospital to 7 Days After Surgery (Varies by Surgeon) – Sugar-free clear liquids only
  • Day 1 to Week 2 After Surgery (Varies by Surgeon) – Add thicker drinks & smooth foods
  • Day 2 to Week 3 After Surgery (Varies by Surgeon) – Slowly test pureed foods & soft solid foods
  • Day 3 to Weeks 4+ After Surgery (Varies by Surgeon) – Slowly test solid foods

Following are the long-term dietary guidelines for gastric sleeve:

  • Test one food at a time to make sure you can tolerate it
  • Eat proteins first, in solid form (e.g., not protein shakes)
  • Eat healthy “whole” foods
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Avoid sugary foods or drinks
  • Eat slowly and chew thoroughly
  • No starchy foods like rice, bread, and pasta
  • Avoid any food that is difficult to digest (may be able to tolerate over time), such as:
    • Fibrous vegetables like broccoli, celery, and corn
    • Nuts
    • Seeds
    • Skin of any meat
    • Tough meats
  • Avoid whole milk products
  • Drink 64+ oz (2+ liters) of fluids spread throughout the day
  • No drinking 30 minutes before or after meals (other than gastric balloon)
  • Alcohol only in moderation

See the following pages for more information:

Vitamins: Gastric Sleeve Vs vBloc Therapy

Gastric sleeve patients require lifelong vitamins to make up for fewer nutrients being eaten and processed by the smaller stomach. vBloc patients are much less likely to require supplementation.

Following is the typical vitamin regimen for gastric sleeve patients:

  • Daily multivitamin
    • 1 to 2 per day, forever
    • Chewable or liquid versions are best (instead of tablets)
    • Take with food (except dairy) to maximize absorption
    • At least 200% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of iron, folic acid, thiamine, copper, selenium and zinc
  • Daily calcium supplement, in the form of calcium citrate
    • Must be calcium citrate (NOT other forms of calcium)
    • 1000-1500 mg. daily, forever
    • Chewable and liquid versions are best (instead of tablets)
    • Try to find one that includes Vitamin D
    • Take 2 hours apart from Iron supplements (or Multivitamin that contains Iron) to maximize absorption

Sleeve patients may also be required to take one or more of the following depending on vitamin levels:

  • Folate (folic acid)
  • Iron
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
  • Vitamin D

Exercise: Gastric Sleeve Vs vBloc Therapy

After you’ve full recovered from surgery (4 to 6 weeks), recommended exercise is the same for both vBloc and gastric sleeve patients: 2.5 hours per week, spread out over 2 to 4 days.

Following this regimen will cause you to:

  • Lose more weight
  • Be more physically and mentally healthy

Learn more on our Exercise After Weight Loss Surgery page.

Hunger: vBloc Therapy Vs Gastric Sleeve

You will feel less hungry after both gastric sleeve and vBloc Therapy, but for very different reasons.

After gastric sleeve, you are likely to feel less hungry as a result of 80% of your stomach being removed.

When your new gastric sleeve stomach is empty, it secretes a hormone called ghrelin into your bloodstream which causes your brain to generate hunger impulses. After you eat, the amount of secreted ghrelin drops then slowly rises until your next meal. Since your stomach will be significantly smaller after gastric sleeve surgery, the amount of ghrelin the stomach secretes – and your resulting feelings of hunger – may also go down.

In contrast, vBloc Therapy uses an implanted pacemaker-like device to regulate hunger impulses sent from your stomach to your brain.

If needed, your surgeon can adjust the settings of your device remotely (during an office visit) to increase or decrease hunger impulses.

Food Addiction: vBloc Therapy Vs Gastric Sleeve

Regardless of which procedure you have, food addiction could be a problem.

Our bodies secrete certain hormones, like ghrelin mentioned above, that tell us when we’re hungry and full, but hyperpalatable food (like junk food) may be overriding those hormone signals by overstimulating our reward centers, much like our bodies and brains react to an addictive drug.

You may have a bona fide food addiction if your desire for food takes priority over other parts of your life that you acknowledge to be more important, such as personal health, family, friends, work, your appearance, or avoiding obesity related health issues like hypertension, sleep apnea, or diabetes.

If left unchecked, food addiction can lead to obesity. For weight loss surgery patients, if not addressed prior to surgery, it can also lead to weight regain.

To find out if you may be suffering from food addiction, take our Food Addiction Quiz.

Relationships After Weight Loss

Significant weight loss after any type of bariatric surgery can lead to big changes with everyone around you.

While many of those changes are positive, some can also be extremely challenging and unexpected.

See our Relationships After Weight Loss Surgery page for important changes to prepare for.

09Downsides
  • Gastric Sleeve has higher risk of complications/side effects than vBloc

vBloc Therapy has a lower risk of complications and side effects than gastric sleeve because it does not alter your digestive system.

vBloc Therapy complications are very rare and almost never life-threatening. vBloc side effects, which are mild to moderate and not permanent, may include:

  • Abdominal Pain or Cramping
  • Digestive issues such as belching, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), heartburn, indigestion (dyspepsia), and nausea
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Surgical pain or pain at the neuroregulator site

See our vBloc Therapy Downsides section for more details

Gastric sleeve complications, which are also relatively rare and almost never life-threatening, include staple line leaks, bleeding, and stenosis/strictures.

Gastric sleeve side effects include:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) experienced by 20% of patients during the first year. Drops to 3% after 3 years.
  • Intolerance to certain foods may cause nausea, vomiting or indigestion. Fixed by changing diet or eating habits
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiency possible if don’t take prescribed supplements
  • Gallstone formation occurs in about half of all patients as a result of rapid weight loss

See our Gastric Sleeve Complications pagefor more details

Full vBloc Therapy vs Gastric Sleeve Downsides Comparison

Issue
Issue
Abdominal Discomfort
Abdominal Discomfort
Abdominal hernia
Abdominal hernia
Abscess
Abscess
Anemia
Anemia
Band Problems (band erosion, band infection, band intolerance, band leak, band slippage)
Band Problems (band erosion, band infection, band intolerance, band leak, band slippage)
Blood Clots
Blood Clots
Body Aches
Body Aches
Body Feeling Changes
Body Feeling Changes
Bowel Function Changes (diarrhea, constipation, foul-smelling bowel movements and flatulence, difficulty swallowing, gurgling noises)
Bowel Function Changes (diarrhea, constipation, foul-smelling bowel movements and flatulence, difficulty swallowing, gurgling noises)
Bowel Obstruction
Bowel Obstruction
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Dehy­dration
Dehy­dration
Dental Problems
Dental Problems
Dumping Syndrome
Dumping Syndrome
Dyspepsia (Indigestion)
Dyspepsia (Indigestion)
Esophageal Dilation
Esophageal Dilation
Esophagitis
Esophagitis
Eviscera­tion & Incisional Hernia
Eviscera­tion & Incisional Hernia
Food Trapping
Food Trapping
Gallstones
Gallstones
Gastric Fistula
Gastric Fistula
Gastritis
Gastritis
Gastroeso­phageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroeso­phageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroin­testinal Leaks
Gastroin­testinal Leaks
General Anesthesia Complica­tions
General Anesthesia Complica­tions
Hair Loss
Hair Loss
Heart Attack
Heart Attack
Hemorr­hage (Bleeding)
Hemorr­hage (Bleeding)
Hiatal Hernia
Hiatal Hernia
Hypogly­cemia
Hypogly­cemia
Infection
Infection
Intole­rance to Certain Foods
Intole­rance to Certain Foods
Kidney Stones
Kidney Stones
Marginal Ulcers
Marginal Ulcers
Nausea, Vomiting and/or Stomach Cramps
Nausea, Vomiting and/or Stomach Cramps
Organ Injury During Surgery
Organ Injury During Surgery
Peritonitis
Peritonitis
Pneumonia
Pneumonia
Port Problems (port flip/ inver­sion or dislodge­ment, port leak, port infec­tion, port disloca­tion)
Port Problems (port flip/ inver­sion or dislodge­ment, port leak, port infec­tion, port disloca­tion)
Pouch Dila­tion
Pouch Dila­tion
Pulmonary Embolism
Pulmonary Embolism
Respira­tory Failure
Respira­tory Failure
Skin Changes (e.g. acne, dry skin, sagging skin, etc.)
Skin Changes (e.g. acne, dry skin, sagging skin, etc.)
Stenosis/­Stricture
Stenosis/­Stricture
Stoma Obstruc­tion
Stoma Obstruc­tion
Stroke
Stroke
Thrombo­phlebitis
Thrombo­phlebitis
Thrush (Yeast Infec­tion)
Thrush (Yeast Infec­tion)
Vitamin & Mineral Deficiency / Malnutri­tion / Malabsorp­tion
Vitamin & Mineral Deficiency / Malnutri­tion / Malabsorp­tion
Weight Regain
Weight Regain
Wound Reopen­ing
Wound Reopen­ing
Wound Sepsis
Wound Sepsis
Issue
Sleeve
Abdominal Discomfort
Abdominal hernia
Yes
Abscess
Yes
Anemia
Band Problems (band erosion, band infection, band intolerance, band leak, band slippage)
Blood Clots
Yes
Body Aches
Yes
Body Feeling Changes
Yes
Bowel Function Changes (diarrhea, constipation, foul-smelling bowel movements and flatulence, difficulty swallowing, gurgling noises)
Yes
Bowel Obstruction
Yes
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Yes
Dehy­dration
Yes
Dental Problems
Dumping Syndrome
Dyspepsia (Indigestion)
Yes
Esophageal Dilation
Yes
Esophagitis
Yes
Eviscera­tion & Incisional Hernia
Yes
Food Trapping
Gallstones
Up to 1/3 of bariatric patients
Gastric Fistula
Yes
Gastritis
Yes
Gastroeso­phageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
About 20% after 1 year; About 3% after three years
Gastroin­testinal Leaks
About 2% of patients
General Anesthesia Complica­tions
Yes
Hair Loss
Yes
Heart Attack
Yes
Hemorr­hage (Bleeding)
About 1% of patients
Hiatal Hernia
Yes
Hypogly­cemia
Infection
Yes
Intole­rance to Certain Foods
Yes
Kidney Stones
Marginal Ulcers
Yes
Nausea, Vomiting and/or Stomach Cramps
Yes
Organ Injury During Surgery
Yes
Peritonitis
Yes
Pneumonia
Yes
Port Problems (port flip/ inver­sion or dislodge­ment, port leak, port infec­tion, port disloca­tion)
Pouch Dila­tion
Pulmonary Embolism
Yes
Respira­tory Failure
Yes
Skin Changes (e.g. acne, dry skin, sagging skin, etc.)
Yes
Stenosis/­Stricture
About 1% of patients
Stoma Obstruc­tion
Stroke
Yes
Thrombo­phlebitis
Yes
Thrush (Yeast Infec­tion)
Yes
Vitamin & Mineral Deficiency / Malnutri­tion / Malabsorp­tion
Yes
Weight Regain
Yes
Wound Reopen­ing
Yes
Wound Sepsis
Yes
Issue
vBloc
Abdominal Discomfort
Abdominal hernia
Abscess
Yes
Anemia
Band Problems (band erosion, band infection, band intolerance, band leak, band slippage)
Blood Clots
Yes
Body Aches
Yes
Body Feeling Changes
Yes
Bowel Function Changes (diarrhea, constipation, foul-smelling bowel movements and flatulence, difficulty swallowing, gurgling noises)
Bowel Obstruction
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Dehy­dration
Dental Problems
Dumping Syndrome
Dyspepsia (Indigestion)
Esophageal Dilation
Esophagitis
Eviscera­tion & Incisional Hernia
Yes
Food Trapping
Gallstones
Gastric Fistula
Yes
Gastritis
Gastroeso­phageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroin­testinal Leaks
General Anesthesia Complica­tions
Yes
Hair Loss
Heart Attack
Yes
Hemorr­hage (Bleeding)
Yes
Hiatal Hernia
Hypogly­cemia
Infection
Yes
Intole­rance to Certain Foods
Kidney Stones
Marginal Ulcers
Nausea, Vomiting and/or Stomach Cramps
Organ Injury During Surgery
Yes
Peritonitis
Pneumonia
Yes
Port Problems (port flip/ inver­sion or dislodge­ment, port leak, port infec­tion, port disloca­tion)
Pouch Dila­tion
Pulmonary Embolism
Yes
Respira­tory Failure
Yes
Skin Changes (e.g. acne, dry skin, sagging skin, etc.)
Stenosis/­Stricture
Stoma Obstruc­tion
Stroke
Yes
Thrombo­phlebitis
Yes
Thrush (Yeast Infec­tion)
Yes
Vitamin & Mineral Deficiency / Malnutri­tion / Malabsorp­tion
Weight Regain
Yes
Wound Reopen­ing
Yes
Wound Sepsis
Yes

For definitions of any issue in the chart, see our Bariatric Surgery Complications page.

10Summary
  • vBloc Therapy vs Gastric Sleeve: Winner & Loser by Category
  • Overall Winner: Depends on your situation

Your individual situation will determine whether vBloc Therapy or gastric sleeve surgery is best for you. Following is a review of which procedure is “better” in each category discussed on this page.

  • Most Popular Procedure: Gastric Sleeve
  • Most Short-Term Weight Loss: Gastric Sleeve
  • Most Long-Term Weight Loss: Gastric Sleeve
  • Best Health Improvement Gastric Sleeve
  • Easiest to Qualify: Tie
  • Low-Cost Procedure (With Insurance): Gastric Sleeve (other than VA patients)
  • Low-Cost Procedure (Without Insurance): Gastric Sleeve
  • Easiest Recovery: vBloc Therapy
  • Best Post-Op Diet: vBloc Therapy
  • Fewest Risks & Side Effects: vBloc Therapy

Discuss each of the pros and cons with your surgeon before making a final decision. Click here to find a top surgeon.

11Help & Support
  • Patient Experiences
  • Ask the Expert

If you still have questions about gastric sleeve vs vBloc Therapy, our experts are happy to answer them. We (and other patients) would also love to hear about your experiences.

Please use the form below to share your experience or ask a question.

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12Find a Top vBloc Therapy or Gastric Sleeve Surgeon
  • Ask for a free insurance check or cost quote
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  • Schedule a phone or in-person consultation (both often free)

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* Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for general information purposes and your specific results may vary depending on a variety of circumstances. It is not intended as nor should be relied upon as medical advice. Rather, it is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician(s). Before you use any of the information provided in the site, you should seek the advice of a qualified medical, dietary, fitness or other appropriate professional. Read More