The LAP-BAND® System is a minimally invasive procedure developed to facilitate long-term weight loss and reduce the health risks associated with severe and morbid obesity. Compared to other types of bariatric surgery, the LAP-BAND® System has a quick recovery and doesn’t involve stomach cutting, stapling, or intestinal re-routing.
During surgery, the physician uses laparoscopic techniques to create a small pouch from the top portion of the patient’s stomach to reduce stomach capacity, achieve earlier feelings of satiety, and promote long-term weight loss.
The inflatable band can be tightened or loosened through nonsurgical adjustments to support healthy weight loss. Patients will need to maintain a healthy diet to see results. The procedure is reversible and the band may be removed at any time.
The Key Benefits of The Lap-Band® System vs. Gastric Bypass
Patients considering various weight loss surgery options should consider the benefits of the LAP-BAND® System:
- Safer and less invasive
- Reversible and removable
- Fewer side effects, less pain, shorter hospital stay, and quicker recovery (because the surgeon will apply the band to the top portion of the stomach laparoscopically using “keyhole” surgery)
- Lower severe complication rate preoperatively (less than 1 percent)
- Lower mean short-term mortality rate (0.05 percent, or approximately 1/10 the mortality rate of gastric bypass)
- Lower risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Reduced risk of weight regain (due to non-surgical adjustments and adherence to healthy satiety level)
Who is a Candidate?
The LAP-BAND® System may be a suitable option for patients who are:
- Unable to lose weight through traditional methods of diet and exercise alone
- Body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
- BMI of 35 and diagnosis of a condition such as sleep apnea or asthma
Patients should speak to their doctor to find out if the LAP-BAND® System is the right weight loss procedure for them.
What to Expect During The Procedure
The patient will be placed under anesthesia to minimize discomfort during the procedure. The physician will then make small incisions in the abdomen and insert a small camera through one of the incisions to visualize the upper portion of the stomach. The band will be placed around the stomach and the surgeon will use sutures to secure the band in position. The entire procedure will take about 30 to 60 minutes.
A small port will be placed into the patient’s abdomen to create an access point for the saline solution that will be used to make future adjustments to the gastric band.
The Recovery Process
Patients will experience gradual weight loss over the course of three years. The LAP-BAND® System may enable patients to lose 33 to 50 percent of their excess body weight, although results may vary.
To promote weight loss, patients should closely follow the diet and exercise guidelines created by their physician. Patients who aren’t accustomed to regular exercise should ask their physician for tips to get started.
Attending routine follow-up appointments will also play a key role in ensuring patients are losing weight according to plan. During the appointments, the physician will gauge the patient’s progress and adjust the band as necessary.