Lap Band Procedure
Gastric Banding is the least invasive bariatric surgical procedure available. Over 300,000 LAP-BAND® Gastric Banding Systems have been placed worldwide.
During the procedure, a band is placed across the upper portion of the stomach. The band is adjustable and also reversible (meaning the band can be removed). The surgery required to place the band involves only minimal incisions and therefore is a much less invasive and safer procedure than other weight loss surgery procedures, such as gastric bypass. We feel that LAP-BAND® System surgery is the procedure of choice for most patients who are candidates for weight loss surgery.
- For Significant Weight Loss
- For a Better Quality of Life
- For Improved Health and A Longer Life
- Safe and Effective Surgery
- Affordable Outpatient Procedure
Obesity is a leading cause of preventable death. It occurs when more calories are consumed than are needed. The excess is stored as fat. Obesity is a very common and serious health problem that causes or contributes to many medical conditions, which can be life threatening and cause premature death.
Most significantly overweight people who try to lose weight with only conservative medical treatments of diet, exercise, medication for appetite suppression and behavior modification/psychological counseling usually fail to achieve significant weight loss. Surgery should be considered as an option when conservative treatments alone have failed.
Fortunately there is now an innovative and safe surgical procedure called the LAP-BAND® System which was approved by the FDA in 2001.This is the weight loss procedure we specialize in because we feel it is the safest procedure available with the least complications. Many patients worldwide have now undergone this weight loss surgical procedure. The LAP-BAND® System procedure has proved to be very effective in weight loss and long term weight control plus it can control or resolve the problems associated with obesity.
The LAP-BAND® System is an adjustable gastric band designed to help you lose excess body weight, improve weight-related health conditions and enhance your quality of life. It reduces the stomach capacity and restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at one time. The LAP-BAND® System procedure does not require a stomach cutting, stapling or gastrointestinal re-routing to bypass normal digestion.
The LAP-BAND® System is an adjustable gastric band designed to help you lose excess body weight, improve weight-related health conditions and enhance your quality of life. It reduces the stomach capacity and restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at one time. The LAP-BAND® System procedure does not require a stomach cutting, stapling or gastrointestinal re-routing to bypass normal digestion. There are three main types of surgery used to treat obesity, malabsorptive, restrictive, and combined. Of these, the adjustable and completely reversible LAP-BAND® System is the safest procedure available with the least complications. It is the first surgically implantable weight loss device approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with over 250,000 devices successfully placed worldwide.
For a discussion of the various surgeries used to treat obesity, see our page on Weight Loss Surgeries Compared
The name “LAP-BAND® System” comes from the surgical technique used, laparoscopic, and the name of the implanted medical device, gastric band. The LAP-BAND® System is a silicone ring designed to be placed around the upper part of the stomach and filled with saline on its inner surface. This creates a new, smaller stomach pouch that can hold only a small amount of food, so the food storage area in the stomach is reduced. The band also controls the stoma (stomach outlet) between the new upper pouch and the lower part of the stomach. When the stomach is smaller, you feel full faster, while the food moves more slowly between your upper and lower stomach as it is digested. As a result, you eat less and lose weight.
The Minimally Invasive Procedure
During the procedure, surgeons usually use laparoscopic techniques (making tiny incisions rather than a large incision and inserting long-shafted instruments through “ports”), to wrap the LAP-BAN® System around the patient’s stomach. A narrow camera is passed through a port so the surgeon can view the operative site on a nearby video monitor. Like a wristwatch, the band is fastened around the upper stomach to create the new stomach pouch that limits and controls the amount of food you eat. The band is then locked securely in a ring around the stomach.
Since there is no stomach cutting, stapling, or gastrointestinal re-routing involved in the LAP-BAND® System procedure, it is considered the safest, least invasive, and least traumatic of all weight-loss surgeries. The laparoscopic approach to the surgery also has the advantages of reduced post-operative pain, shortened hospital stay, and quicker recovery. If for any reason the LAP-BAND® System needs to be removed, the stomach generally returns to its original form.
Adjustable Weight Loss
Once placed around the stomach, tubing connects the LAP-BAND® System to an access port fixed beneath the skin of your abdomen. This allows the surgeon to change the stoma (stomach outlet) size by adding or subtracting saline, or salt water, inside the inner balloon through the access port. This adjustment process helps determine the rate of weight loss. If the band is too loose and weight loss is inadequate, adding more saline can reduce the size of the stoma to further restrict the amount of food that can move through it. If the band is too tight, the surgeon will remove some saline to loosen the band and reduce the amount of restriction.
The diameter of the band can be modified to meet your individual needs, which can change as you lose weight. For example, pregnant patients can expand their band to accommodate a growing fetus, while patients who aren’t experiencing significant weight loss can have their bands tightened.
The LAP-BAND® System Advantages at a Glance
- Least invasive surgical option
- No intestinal re-routing
- No cutting or stapling of the stomach wall or bowel
- Small incisions and minimal scarring
- Reduced patient pain, length of hospital stay and recovery period
Fewer Risks and Side Effects
- 10 times less operative and short-term mortality than gastric bypass1
- Low risk of nutritional deficiencies associated with gastric bypass
- Reduced risk of hair loss
- No “dumping syndrome” related to dietary intake restrictions
- Allows individualized degree of restriction for ideal rate of weight-loss
- Adjustments performed without additional surgery
- Supports pregnancy by allowing stomach outlet size to be opened to accommodate increased nutritional needs
- Only surgical option designed to help maintain long-term weight loss
- Removable at any time
- Stomach and other anatomy are generally restored to their original forms and functions
Effective Long-Term Weight Loss
- More than 300,000 LAP-BAND® System devices placed worldwide
- Standard of care for hundreds of surgeons around the world
- #1 selling adjustable gastric band for weight loss
- Academic publications with up to 10 years of follow-up
1. Executive summary: Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding for the treatment of obesity (Update and Re-appraisal). The Australian Safety and Efficacy Register of New Interventional Procedures – Surgical (ASERNIPS) 2002; 1. (Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery, like the LAP-BAND® System surgery, is associated with a mean short-term mortality rate of around 0.05% compared to 0.50% for Gastric Bypass and 0.31% for Vertical Banded Gastroplasty.)
A Minimally Invasive Approach to the Treatment of Obesity
The LAP-BAND® System Adjustable Gastric Banding System is specially designed to limit food consumption in severely obese patients. The inflatable band forms a small gastric pouch and stoma, and can be adjusted to control the amount of food that can be consumed comfortably.
The LAP-BAND® System is designed to be placed laparoscopically and is intended for use by surgeons with advanced laparoscopic skills..
The laparoscopic placement of the LAP-BAND® System means that the procedure is done through very small incisions, with instruments passing through small tubes (ports), rather than having a large, open incision. And there is no cutting or stapling of the stomach. Because placing the LAP-BAND® System is typically performed via a minimally invasive procedure, patients are usually back home the day after the surgery. The shorter stay allows patients to resume their regular activities sooner and also places less strain on hospital resources.
Postoperative adjustments to the stoma can be made by changing the amount of saline in the band using a subcutaneous access port, eliminating the need for additional surgery to make adjustments to the band size.
Safe, Successful Weight Loss
The LAP-BAND® System Adjustable Gastric Banding System is an effective way for the morbidly obese patient to lose weight, with an average excess weight loss comparable to gastric bypass surgery at 5 years post-op. One year after surgery, excess weight loss can average 44%. And, the LAP-BAND® System has a perioperative severe complication rate of less than 1%.
Patients using the LAP-BAND® System continue to absorb nutrients from their meals because their gastrointestinal tract has not been drastically altered. Patients who receive gastric bypass surgery, on the other hand, may be required to take vitamin supplements for the rest of their lives since they may not absorb the proper amounts of nutrients.
Identifying the LAP-BAND® System Adjustable Gastric Banding System Patient Candidates
The LAP-BAND® System is indicated for use in morbidly obese patients who have:
- A BMI of at least 40, or a BMI of at least 35 with 1 or more severe comorbid conditions, or those who are 100 pounds or more over their estimated ideal weight
- Failed more conservative weight loss treatments, such as a medically supervised diet, exercise, and behavior modification programs
- Made a commitment to accept significant changes in their eating habits for the rest of their lives
What You Should Know About the Procedure
The LAP-BAND® System Adjustable Gastric Banding System is inserted laparoscopically. The slip-through buckle design of the LAP-BAND® System facilitates placing the band around the stomach. The procedure itself generally takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the amount of experience the physician has working with the LAP-BAND® System.
Three techniques can be used to place the band: perigastric, where dissection starts on the lesser curve at the midpoint and continues behind the stomach toward the angle of His; pars flaccida, where dissection begins lateral to the midpoint in the space of the pars flaccida and continues over to the angle of His; and pars flaccida to perigastric, which begins with the pars flaccida technique, but ends with the band being placed from the angle of His through to the perigastric opening.
Information on Follow-up and Aftercare
Because placing the LAP-BAND® System is typically performed via a minimally invasive procedure, surgery is performed as an outpatient and patients go home the same day. Patients usually can return to work in 1 to 2 days and resume regular activities.
The LAP-BAND® System Adjustable Gastric Banding System gives you the opportunity to monitor a patient’s progress through his or her weight loss experience. Patients typically visit their physicians 6 weeks after surgery to have the LAP-BAND® System adjusted for the first time. Subsequent visits continue every 6 weeks during which the stoma size can be adjusted―by injecting or removing saline through the access port―to help patients get just the right fit. The preformed circular shape of the LAP-BAND® System allows for controlled, even inflation and deflation to increase or decrease restriction. Adjustments are typically made for at least 1 year so healthy, continuous weight loss can be optimized.
Post-op after the LAP-BAND® System procedure, there is very low risk of nutritional deficiencies as long as patients eat a healthy diet.
Even though there are risks associated with the LAP-BAND® System weight loss surgical system, they are much less than with other types of weight loss surgical procedures. Some of the risks may involve re-operation and or hospitalization. Most complications however are not serious.
Gastric erosion and perforation or a tear in the stomach is one serious complication that can occur. Other complications that might occur are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Acid Reflux (Heart Burn)
- LAP-BAND® System Slippage
- Gastrointestinal obstruction and esophageal dilatation
- Gastric Prolapse (Protrusion of stomach through the band)
- Problems with the Access port
- Injury to the stomach and other internal organs
- Blood Clots and Phlebitis
- Hemorrhage (bleeding)
- Scar Ring
These complications, if they do occur, can usually be corrected with minimal difficulty.