Lap-Band® is the brand name of the gastric banding procedures offered in the United States. The Lap-Band® is often used, erroneously, as the term for bariatric surgery in general. It was approved by the FDA in 2001 and has since become the second most performed bariatric surgery procedure in the United States. The band is a purely restrictive procedure that offers excellent weight loss and disease improvement potential. In 2011, the FDA approved the Lap-Band® as the only bariatric surgery that can be performed on a patient with a BMI of as low as 30 with one or more diseases associated with morbid obesity.
How It Works:
The Lap-Band® works in the same was as any gastric banding procedure in that it restricts the amount of food that a patient can eat at any given sitting. It is performed in a minimally invasive manner, meaning that rather than one large incision, several tiny ½ to 1 inch incisions are made in the abdomen to access the surgical field. The result of this minimally invasive technique is less pain, a shorter recovery and lower risk of infection.
During the procedure, Dr. Lublin places a bio-compatible silicone band around the top of the stomach. This band is then tightened to form two interconnected stomach pouches. The smaller, upper pouch becomes the primary receptacle of the food a patient consumes. Since this pouch is so small, it restricts the amount of food a patient can eat and allows for weight loss. The food passes through the opening and into the stomach, and is then digested as normal.
The band is connected to an injection port placed just under the skin. The injection port is the passageway through which saline can be injected or removed in order to tighten or loosen the band respectively. After surgery, Dr. Lublin will work with patients to find optimal restriction for comfort, safety and weight loss. This process, known as adjusting the band, occurs over the course of several months after surgery.
Results will vary depending on a patient’s particular circumstance. The Lap-Band® has been proven to allow for significant weight loss as well as the potential to improve or eliminate many of the diseases associated with obesity, including, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and sleep apnea to name a few.
- Weight loss results are typically excellent and long-lasting.
- Disease resolution potential is excellent.
- It is fully adjustable.
- It is removable in cases of need.
- It is the safest of the major bariatric procedures available in the US today.
- There is no cutting or rerouting of the stomach or small intestine.
- There are fewer dietary restrictions after surgery when compared to gastric bypass.
- Patients will not experience dumping syndrome as many bypass patients do.
- The only procedure approved for those with a BMI of as low as 30.
Lap-Band® Risks and Considerations
- While the band is removable, it is meant to be permanent, meaning patients will have to live with the band in their abdomen for life.
- Patients will still feel hunger pangs after surgery.
- The band requires several adjustments after surgery, making for more intense follow up than other procedures.
- Banding patients will not lose as much weight, on average, as gastric sleeve or gastric bypass patients.
- There is a risk of leakage, port flippage or band migration, which will require follow-up procedures to correct.
- All surgeries have inherent risks including infection, blood loss and death.