Lap Band Surgery / Gastric Band
The Lap Band (laparoscopic band surgery) or Adjustable Gastric Band is a simple yet advanced system that helps you gradually lose and control your weight by reducing the amount of food that your stomach can hold at one time. The procedure involves no use of metal surgical staples, no amputation of any part of the stomach, nor any cutting of the intestines, unlike the sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass techniques.
Lap-Band surgery is recommended for obese patients only after non-surgical options such as lifestyle modifications and weight loss medication are unsuccessful in reducing weight loss.
Lap-Band surgery is a type of minimally invasive weight loss surgery and is performed using small surgical incisions (portals) and long shafted narrow instruments. A hollow band made of special material is placed around the stomach near its upper end, creating a small pouch (about 7 ounces) with a narrow passage leading into the larger remainder of the stomach. The band is attached by tubing to an access port placed under the abdominal wall where it is inflated with a saline solution with a hypodermic needle.
Four to six weeks after the surgery patients generally return for band fills which are usually a pain free procedure. A saline solution is injected into the band which will provide a bit more restriction for the stomach chamber, allowing less solid food intake and an earlier feeling of fullness.
Lap Band Surgery is generally an outpatient procedure. The band’s distinguishing feature is that it’s adjustable. The band can be tightened or loosened by your physician to change the size of the passage by increasing or decreasing the amount of salt solution. This ability to adjust the passageway enables your physician to customize your weight loss while minimizing adverse side effects.
The lap band or gastric banding also offers a generally faster recovery time. You can usually get back to your normal activity in about a week’s time. It has a shorter recovery time and more manageable side-effects than some other operations; it is also most easily reversible in the case of emergency.
Disadvantages of Adjustable Gastric Banding Surgery include:
- Slower initial weight loss
- Band can loosen increasing pouch size
Risks & Complications
As with any surgery there are potential risks involved. Complications can be medical (general) or specific to Gastric Banding. Medical complications include those of the anesthesia and your general well-being. The decision to proceed with the surgery is made because the advantages of surgery outweigh the potential disadvantages.
Dr. Shillingford and his caring staff have assisted patients in end-to-end care, from pre-operative educational experience to post-operative care, including routine adjustments and fills. Our team emphasizes that along with proper care of the lap band and routine visits for fills, our patients engage in exercise, proper nutrition and our support groups. The success of the procedure is dependent on patient motivation to change eating behaviors and lifestyle habits. Our staff is available to support you throughout the process. For more information about the lap band or gastric band procedure you may visit the FAQ’s page or call our office today and we will be happy to assist you.