In the Lap-Band procedure, a bariatric surgeon places an adjustable band around the opening of the patient’s stomach. This slows digestion and helps patients feel fuller without eating excess calories. Lap-Band surgery has a fast recovery time for most patients.
There are some advantages to Lap-Band surgery as a method of weight loss. It is available to a broader range of patients, including pregnant patients. It also has lower risks of nutritional problems associated with other weight-loss surgeries. Since the Lap-Band is adjustable and fixed to the outside of the stomach, it does not inhibit the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
There is a port leading from the band to just under the skin of the abdomen. A weight loss surgeon can add saline solution into the port to tighten the band. This helps control the digestive pathway, which can be effective for long-term weight loss.
The Lap-Band creates a pouch-like opening at the top of the patient’s stomach, which improves the brain’s ability to detect fullness and satiety, leaving the patient much more satisfied after a smaller amount of food. This is one of the reasons Lap-Band surgery is effective at fostering long-term weight loss.
Risks and complications associated with Lap-Band include band slippage, where the band moves to a lower part of the stomach, resulting in a bigger pouch above the band. Sometimes the band can be adjusted but most of the time, the band must be removed when this happens. Another risk with the gastric band erosion. When this occurs, the band can cut its way into the stomach and must be removed through Lap-Band revision surgery.
Lap-Band surgery recovery is generally shorter than VSG surgery. Patients will need some time to recover and adjust to their Lap-Band, but returning to normal activities is more efficient than other bariatric surgeries. To learn more about bariatric surgery options and what is right for you, call us for a consultation with our doctors. We are happy to explain the risks and benefits of each procedure.