Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band

LAP Band

An adjustable band buckles around the top of the stomach, narrowing the opening to the remainder of the stomach. In surgery, the band is placed at the top of the stomach, creating approximately a one ounce “pouch” where food enters the stomach. The band has a balloon on its inner surface, allowing the size of the opening to the lower part of the stomach to be adjusted. The adjustments are done by inserting a needle into the port underneath the skin of the abdomen; the port is connected by tubing to the balloon on the inner surface of the band. Injecting more fluid causes the balloon to inflate and narrows the channel for food. Removing fluid deflates the balloon and widens the channel for food to pass through. The concept is to create anatomy that “tricks” the body into thinking that “I’m full and satisfied” when only the small pouch above the band is full, providing a sensation of fullness after a very small meal.

Pros:

  • With the adjustable gastric band, no cutting, reconnecting or re-routing of the stomach or intestines occurs.
  • The procedure does not permanently alter the digestive organs, and the band can be removed if needed.

Cons:

  • Weight loss is often less than that of other weight loss surgery options. Estimated excess body weight loss at two years after surgery is about 40 to 50 percent.
  • Patients will need to be seen every six to eight weeks for the first year or so after surgery to achieve adequate device adjustment.
  • Patients are required to take life-long nutritional supplements to prevent any nutrient deficiencies.