Lap-Band®, otherwise known as an adjustable gastric band, is a small band made of silicone. During the laparoscopic surgical procedure, the band is placed around the top portion of the stomach to restrict food consumption and promote weight loss. A discrete access port, placed under the skin in the belly area is attached to the band via tubing. This allows your doctor to adjust the Lap-Band® to enhance the individual patient’s weight loss.
How does Lap Band work?
The Lap-Band®, when tightened around the top portion of the stomach, separates the stomach into two parts: a small pouch at the top and the lower portion of the stomach. Food that first enters the small pouch can only pass to the lower portion of the stomach via a narrow passageway made by the Lap-Band®. By decreasing the size of the stomach, the amount of food the stomach can hold and the rate of digestion are also lessened. This makes you feel fuller and satisfied after consuming a healthy portion of food.
To change the band size, your surgeon will either add saline water to tighten your band and remove some to loosen your band. Feel free to call our team at Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery to adjust your band if it feels too tight or too lose.
Successful weight loss ultimately depends on the patient’s motivation to change their eating habits and lifestyle. A healthy diet and daily exercise regimen will positively impact the results of this procedure; three low-carb high-protein meals should be consumed every day. High-calorie drinks like sodas and milkshakes should be avoided as well as high-calorie snacks like candy and ice cream.
Do I qualify for Lap Band?
If you answer “yes” to all the questions below, you may qualify!
- Are you at least 18 years old? (Some exceptions for younger patients)
- Do you have a BMI of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 30 or higher with obesity co-morbidities?
- Have you attempted to lose weight via non-surgical methods with little to no success?
- Are you not pregnant?
- Are you aware of the risks, side effects, and complications?
- Do you agree to make the necessary lifestyle changes?
- Can you commit to a healthy and active lifestyle?
Advantages of Lap Band:
Your Lap-Band® is adjustable, allowing you and your doctor to determine what works best for you. Studies have shown that this procedure leads to effective and long-term weight loss.
The procedure itself is minimally-invasive and has a very low complication rate with complications rarely being life-threatening. The procedure is reversible and doesn’t require stapling or cutting of the stomach or re-routing the intestines. Because of this, the body is still able to process the nutrients it needs to function.
Disadvantages of Lap Band:
Your doctor will likely need to adjust your gastric band repeatedly. Parts of the band may need to be replaced. Your stomach may not be able to handle the consumption of all foods, like dough products and overcooked meats.
Like any other surgical procedure, the Lap-Band comes with risk of complications. This includes infection, blood clots, pneumonia, post-op pain, and leakage of stomach contents.
Before the surgery:
At Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery, we take a holistic approach to weight loss. Your new lifestyle starts with a motivation to be healthy. To attain a healthy lifestyle as well as your weight-loss goals, we highly advise developing heathy habits including:
- Balanced nutrition and diet
- Regular fitness and exercise
- Strong support network of family and friends
Also, eight hours prior to your preoperative testing, do not eat or drink anything except water and your usual morning medications.
Day of surgery:
Lap-Band® is a laparoscopic surgery, which means it is a minimally-invasive surgery that uses a small camera to navigate small incisions.
The procedure is generally performed in less than an hour and most patients are allowed to return home on the same day as their operation. To prevent discomfort, patients will be given post-operative instructions.
If you feel any discomfort, medication can be prescribed. Otherwise, follow the post-operative instructions given to you. These instructions include:
- Stick to a liquid diet for the first few weeks post-operation.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Go for walks. It’s important to keep active for recovery purposes, but don’t overexert yourself.
- Attend follow-up exams and band-adjustment appointments.