Lap-Band surgery is a restrictive surgery which limits food intake but does not interfere with the normal digestive process. In this procedure, surgeons place a hollow band made of silicone rubber around the upper portion of stomach. This creates a small pouch and narrow passage into the rest of the stomach. This small pouch allows the patient to feel full after only a very small meal.
The band is then inflated with a salt solution through a tube that connects the band to an access port placed deep underneath the skin. It can be adjusted over time to change the size of the passage depending on the needs of the individual patient.
Lap-Band surgery is performed laparoscopically, with the surgeon making one or more small incisions through which slender surgical instruments are passed. This technique eliminates the need for a large incision and creates less tissue damage with faster healing times.
Sources: Surgical Clinics of North America, National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases
While Lap-Band surgery allows for more flexibility in the diet than gastric bypass surgery, the procedure requires the patient to make good dietary choices to achieve weight loss success. Lap-Band surgery results in few nutritional deficiencies, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Patients who have had the Lap-Band procedure experience slower but steady weight loss, losing the bulk of their weight over the first two years. Over the long-term, patients can expect to lose approximately 60 percent of their excess weight. Successful results from Lap-Band surgery depend on the patient's willingness to adopt a long-term of healthy eating, regular physical exercise and follow-up with their surgeon.
Lap-Band surgery results in improvements in weight-related comorbidities including Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and hypertension, joint problems, infertility, self-esteem and overall quality of life according to the American Society for Bariatric Surgery.
Patients experience a low immediate complication rate following Lap-Band surgery. The most common long-term complications involve the port underneath the skin. An estimated 1 to 2 percent of patients will require surgical revision of the port over the life of their band. This revision is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Other complications such as band slippage or erosion are less common and may or may not require surgical revision, or sometime replacement of the band. Discuss these and other potential complications with your physician.
Sources: American Society for Bariatric Surgery, National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases