Lap Band Surgery


Lap Band Surgery

The Lap Band System is an adjustable gastric band designed to help you lose excess body weight, improve weight-related health conditions and enhance quality of life. It reduces the stomach capacity and restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at one time. The Lap Band Surgery does not require stomach cutting and stapling or gastrointestinal re-routing to bypass normal digestion. The Lap Band System is the only adjustable and reversible weight loss surgery available in the United States and the only weight loss surgery approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The name “Lap Band” comes from the surgical technique used, laparoscopic, and the name of the implanted medical device, a gastric band. The Lap Band System is a silicone ring designed to be placed around the upper part of the stomach and filled with saline on its inner surface. This creates a new, smaller stomach pouch that can hold only a small amount of food, so the food storage area in the stomach is reduced. The band also controls the stoma (stomach outlet) between the new upper pouch and the lower part of the stomach. When the stoma is smaller, you feel full faster, while the food moves more slowly between your upper and lower stomach as it is digested. As a result, you eat less and lose weight.

The Minimally Invasive Lap Band Surgery Procedure

During the Lap Band surgery procedure, surgeons usually use laparoscopic techniques (making tiny incisions rather than a large incision and inserting long-shafted instruments through “ports”), to wrap the Lap Band around the patient’s stomach. A narrow camera is passed through a port so the surgeon can view the operative site on a nearby video monitor. Like a wristwatch, the band is fastened around the upper stomach to create the new stomach pouch that limits and controls the amount of food you eat. The band is then locked securely in a ring around the stomach.

Since there is no stomach cutting, stapling, or gastrointestinal re-routing involved in the Lap Band surgery procedure, it is considered the safest, least invasive, and least traumatic of all weight-loss surgeries. The laparoscopic approach to the surgery also has the advantages of reduced post-operative pain, shortened hospital stay, and quicker recovery. If for any reason the Lap Band needs to be removed, the stomach generally returns to its original form.

Adjustable Weight Loss Surgery

Once placed around the stomach, tubing connects the Lap Band to an access port fixed beneath the skin of your abdomen. This allows the surgeon to change the stoma (stomach outlet) size by adding or subtracting saline, or salt water, inside the inner balloon through the access port.

This adjustment process helps determine the rate of weight loss. If the band is too loose and weight loss is inadequate, adding more saline can reduce the size of the stoma to further restrict the amount of food that can move through it. If the band is too tight, the surgeon will remove some saline to loosen the band and reduce the amount of restriction.

The diameter of the band can be modified to meet your individual needs, which can change as you lose weight. For example, pregnant patients can expand their band to accommodate a growing fetus, while patients who aren’t experiencing significant weight loss can have their bands tightened.

Lap Band Surgery is also the only adjustable weight loss surgery available in the United States to help maintain restriction and keep the weight off long-term.

Lap Band Surgery Advantages at a Glance

Minimal Trauma

  • Least invasive surgical option
  • No intestinal re-routing
  • No cutting or stapling of the stomach wall or bowel
  • Small incisions and minimal scarring
  • Reduced patient pain, length of hospital stay and recovery period

Fewer Risks and Side Effects

  • Significantly lower mortality risk compared to other weight-loss surgeries
  • Low risk of nutritional deficiencies associated with gastric bypass
  • Reduced risk of hair loss
  • No “dumping syndrome” related to dietary intake restrictions


  • Allows individualized degree of restriction for ideal rate of weight-loss
  • Adjustments performed without additional surgery
  • Supports pregnancy by allowing stomach outlet size to be opened to accommodate increased nutritional needs
  • Only surgical option designed to help maintain long-term weight loss


  • Removable at any time
  • Stomach and other anatomy are generally restored to their original forms and functions

Effective Long-Term Weight Loss

  • More than 200,000 Lap Gastric Band Systems placed worldwide
  • Standard of care for hundreds of surgeons around the world
  • Academic publications with up to 10 years of follow-up

About the Process

The Lap Band is a restrictive procedure approved by the US FDA in June 2001. It has been widely used in Europe and Australia since 1993.  The device is made of a silicone elastomer that has been proven to be very safe.

During the Lap Band surgery, the band is fastened around the upper stomach to create a new, tiny stomach pouch. The band is connected to an access port below the skin surface by a thin, kink-resistant silicone tubing. The port allows the surgeon to adjust the size of the Lap Band system to meet individual patient weight loss needs by adding or removing saline to inflate or deflate the band. This impacts the amount and consumption rate of food.  The goal rate of weight loss is 1-3 lbs. a week.   Adjustments to the band, which are performed during simple outpatient visits, are determined by the patient’s weight loss,  the amount of food that can be comfortably eaten, and other issues surrounding the patient’s health.  As a result, patients experience an earlier sensation of fullness and are very satisfied with smaller amounts of food.

Morbidly obese patients have an incredibly high risk of related health problems and premature death; therefore the FDA has certified the Lap Band System in the treatment of obesity: This operation, can be accomplished with a fast, simple, laparoscopic technique.

Developed to aid in long-term weight loss, the Lap Band System has been used by leading laparoscopic surgeons worldwide to treat severe obesity. Sustained weight loss with the Lap Gastric Band System is achieved by reducing the capacity of the stomach.

The Lap Band System has been designed for laparoscopic placement, which offers the advantages of reduced post-operative pain, no hospital stay and quicker recovery. No cutting or stapling of the stomach is required, and there is no need to bypass portions of the stomach or intestines.

  • Reduced pain, no hospital stay and less recovery time compared to the invasive gastric bypass
    surgery, stomach stapling (or conventional weight loss surgeries)
  • Procedure is performed without the need to cut or staple the stomach
  • Technique is adjustable and reversible to individualize weight loss for each patient

You should be at least 60 pounds overweight to consider the Lap Band Surgery. A better measure for determining your eligibility, however, is your BMI (Body Mass Index), a calculation based on your height and weight. The Lap Band is generally recommended for patients with a BMI of 30-65.

Clinically Severe Obesity is considered a chronic disease. In the United States, more than 12 million people suffer from this condition and from its medical, psychological, social and economic consequences including job loss and higher insurance fees. Clinically Severe Obesity is typically defined as an excess weight of 60 pounds (lbs) or more as compared with a person’s Ideal Body Weight. Being more than 25% above your Ideal Body Weight is linked with increased risk of health problems, disease and death.

According to medical literature, clinically severe obese people can never achieve long-term weight loss with dietary or behavioral modifications alone. A 100% failure rate is reported and a series of failures will again lead to enormous psychological problems. Known as the “yo-yo Syndrome,” this situation creates additional physical burden on these already high-risk patients. Lab Band Surgery is therefore indicated for these patients.

Conventional obesity surgery is a high-risk procedure because of preoperative and postoperative morbidity. Pre-operatively, access to the stomach is somewhat limited because of the enormous amount of fat surrounding the organ. Post-operatively, relative immobility of those patients facilitates blood clotting in deep veins of the legs and lung complications.

The laparoscopic placement of an adjustable gastric band combines the advantages of this type of restrictive surgery, however, is much less invasive than other procedures because the abdomen is not actually opened, nor is the patient’s intestines cut. With this combination, the operative risk is greatly reduced as well as morbidity and patient discomfort. Total reversibility and adjustability of the Lap Band are very positive points.

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