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. Lap band surgery does not require stomach cutting and stapling or gastrointestinal re-routing to bypass normal digestion. Lap band surgery 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, 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 Procedure
During the 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® System 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 lap band surgery, it is considered the safest, least invasive, and least traumatic of all weight-loss surgeries. The laparoscopic approach to lap band surgery also has the advantages of reduced post-operative pain, shortened hospital stay, and quicker recovery. If for any reason the LAP-BAND® System needs to be removed, the stomach generally returns to its original form.
Adjustable Weight Loss
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.
The LAP-BAND® System Advantages at a Glance
- 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 surgeries1
- 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-BAND® Systems placed worldwide
- Standard of care for hundreds of surgeons around the world
- Academic publications with up to 10 years of follow-up
Midsouth Bariatrics and Dr Woodman have performed over 2500 Lap Band procedures for patients in and around the Memphis area, including Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, and eastern Tennessee. Attend one of our weight loss seminars to see if lap band surgery is right for you. Dr Woodman is the most experienced laparoscopic bariatric surgeon in the Midsouth and has taught this procedure to over 150 surgeons around the country.
1. Executive summary: Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding for the treatment of obesity (Update and Re-appraisal). The Australian Safety and Efficacy Register of New Interventional Procedures – Surgical (ASERNIPS) 2002; 1. (Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery, like the LAP-BAND® surgery, is associated with a mean short-term mortality rate of around 0.05% compared to 0.50% for Gastric Bypass and 0.31% for Vertical Banded Gastroplasty.)
As with any surgery, there are specific risks and possible complications associated with the LAP-BAND® System surgery. Talk to your doctor to determine if you are a candidate for the LAP-BAND® System.