Lap-Band Surgery

Learn about the Lap-Band with Dr. Glasgow

The Lap-Band was developed to facilitate healthy and sustained long-term weight loss and reduce the health risks associated with being overweight. Unlike gastric bypass, the band does not involve stomach cutting, stapling or intestinal re-routing. Using laparoscopic surgical techniques, the device is placed around the top portion of the patient’s stomach, creating a small pouch. By reducing stomach capacity, the band creates an earlier feeling of fullness. The Lap-Band is adjustable, which means that the inflatable band can be tightened or loosened to help the patient achieve a level of fullness while maintaining a healthy diet. The Lap-Band is also reversible and can be removed at any time.

The Surgery

During the procedure, the surgeon usually uses a laparoscopic technique, which involves making tiny incisions, rather than a large one, and inserting thin surgical instruments through narrow, hollow tubes. A small camera also goes through the tubes to allow the surgeon to see inside the abdomen and view it on a video monitor. Using this technique, the surgeon is able to wrap the Lap-Band around the patient’s stomach, with no stomach cutting, stapling or intestinal re-routing.

The Lap-Band System is looped and fastened around the upper stomach to create a small pouch that limits and controls the amount of food that can be eaten. The band is then locked securely around the stomach.

Adjustments

Once the band is around the stomach, tubing connects the Lap-Band to an access port fixed beneath the skin of the abdomen. This allows the surgeon to change the size of the food passage by adding or removing sterile saline, or salt water, inside the inner balloon through the access port with a thin needle. This adjustment process helps determine the rate of weight loss.

The diameter of the band can be modified to meet individual needs and change as a patient loses weight or needs to gain weight for medical reasons such as pregnancy. If the band is too loose and weight loss is inadequate, adding more saline can reduce the size of the opening and further restrict the amount of food intake. If the band is too tight, saline can be removed to loosen the band and reduce the amount of restriction.

After seeing our patients every two weeks for the first 10 to 12 weeks, we like to see our patients monthly during the first year to determine if adjustments need to be made.

The Lap-Band

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