Lap Band Surgery: Brief Intro

Gastric Banding Surgery, a brief intro

The Lap Band is also known as the gastric band, and this is a restrictive style of weight loss surgeries. The Lap Band has been an FDA-approved treatment for morbid obesity in the United States since back in 2001. Gastric banding operations are the second most common form of weight loss surgery, next to gastric bypass surgery which is the most common.

With Lap Band surgery:

  • You will need to make long term dietary changes
  • The surgery will not reduce your hunger.
  • You will lose weight if you eat appropriately for the Lap Band.
  • The operation is quick and minimally invasive.
  • The Lap Band remains permanently unless you opt to have it removed, but this involves additional surgery.
  • Snacking can lead to gaining weight, but will not give you dumping syndrome as can be experienced with gastric bypass surgery.
  • Lap Band surgery tends to help improve comorbidities associated with obesity.
  • There is a potential for complications but these tend to be less severe when compared to other types of weight loss surgery.

How Lap Band Works

During the operation, the surgeon will place the Lap Band around the upper portion of your stomach just below your esophagus. They will insert a small port beneath the skin and fat, attaching tubing to the band. This will allow for the Lap Band to be adjusted following surgery. The surgeon will then fill the band using saline, compressing the stomach so that the patient feels full sooner and longer until the food passes into the main part of the stomach. The surgeon will typically do a Lap Band adjustment a few weeks following the surgery. The band may need to be filled with saline several times to create the right balance.

Amount of Weight Loss to Expect

The typical weight loss during the first year following Lap Band surgery is 40% of your excess weight. By year 3, the average weight loss is 43% of all excess weight. In addition to the weight loss, patients undergoing Lap Band surgeries can also expect improvement in comorbidities such as acid reflux disease, sleep apnea and Type II Diabetes.