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Gastric Banding (Lap Band) Surgery



The LAP-BAND System is designed to help you lose excess body weight for resolution of obesity-related health conditions and enhancement of life. In partnership with leading bariatric surgeons around the world, a new surgical approach has been developed that eliminates many of the known associated operative risks and provides unique benefits compared to other obesity surgeries.

This effort has resulted in the LAP-BAND System, the only adjustable and reversible obesity surgery that does not require cutting and stapling of the stomach or gastrointestinal re-routing to bypass normal digestion. Patient benefits include reduced surgical trauma, complications, pain, and scarring, as well as shorter hospitalization and recovery time compared to other obesity surgeries. The name "LAP-BANDģ" comes from the surgical technique used (laparoscopic) and the name of the implanted medical device (gastric band).

LAP-BAND Adjustable Gastric Banding System

The LAP-BAND System adjustable gastric banding procedure restricts the amount of food the stomach can hold by placing an inflatable silicone band around the upper part of the stomach. The new, small upper stomach pouch limits the amount of food that can be consumed at one time, and a narrowed stomach outlet increases the time it takes for the stomach to empty. The subsequent reduction in food intake results in weight loss.


  • Lowest mortality rate
  • Least invasive surgical approach
  • No stomach stapling or cutting, or intestinal re-routing
  • Adjustable
  • Reversible
  • Lowest operative complication rate
  • Low malnutrition risk


  • Slower initial weight loss than Gastric Bypass or BPD
  • Regular follow-up critical for optimal results
  • Requires an implanted medical device
  • In some cases, effectiveness can be reduced due to band slippage
  • In some cases, the access port may leak and require minor revisional surgery

LAP-BAND System - Overview

The body gets energy from food while it passes through the alimentary canal, which consists of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines. Digestion starts in the mouth with chewing and the addition of saliva. After food passes through the esophagus, this process continues in the stomach. The stomach then provides temporary storage for food. Gastric juices, which contain enzymes, break down the food so that energy can be carried through the body by the blood.

The LAP-BAND System is a silicone elastomer ring designed to be placed around the upper part of the stomach and filled with saline on the inner surface. This creates a new small stomach pouch and leaves the larger part of the stomach below the band so the food storage area in the stomach is reduced, and the pouch above the band can hold only a small amount of food. The band also controls the stoma (stomach outlet) between the two parts of the stomach. The size of the stoma regulates the flow of the food from the upper to the lower part of the stomach. When the stoma is smaller, you feel full sooner and have a feeling of satiety so you are not hungry between meals.

The band is connected by tubing to an access port that is placed beneath the skin during surgery. Later, the surgeon can change the stoma size by adding or subtracting saline inside the inner balloon through the access port. This adjustment process helps drive the rate of weight loss. If the band is too loose and weight loss 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.

LAP-BAND System - Placement

The LAP-BAND System is usually placed laparoscopically under general anesthesia. First the surgeon makes a few small incisions (or ports) in the abdominal wall for the insertion of long, thin surgical instruments. A narrow camera is also passed through a port so the surgeon can view the operative site on a nearby video monitor. A small tunnel is made behind the top of the stomach to let the band through and allow it to be wrapped around the upper part of the stomach, almost like a wristwatch. The band is then locked securely in a ring around the stomach. The LAP-BAND is usually left empty or only partially inflated for the first 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.

LAP-BAND System - Weight-Loss Results

The LAP-BAND System is a tool to help you achieve sustained weight loss by limiting how much you can eat, reducing your appetite, and slowing digestion. Remember, though, that the LAP-BAND System by itself will not solve morbid obesity, nor will it ensure that you reach your goal weight or even that you lose weight at all. The amount of weight you lose depends both on the band and on your motivation and commitment to a new lifestyle and eating habits. Some people lose more than others, and though you may never reach your ideal weight, chances are good that with weight loss your health and self-image will improve.

LAP-BAND System - Removal

If there is a problem with the band, if you canít lose enough weight or canít adjust to the new eating habits, your surgeon may suggest removal of the band. This decision will come after your surgeon consults with you. Generally, after LAP-BAND System removal your stomach will be restored to its original form, and the digestive tract should function normally. Please keep in mind that when the band is removed, your weight will likely increase.





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