Laparoscopic Gastric Band

The Procedure

The Adjustable Gastric Band – often called the Lap band – involves an inflatable band that is placed around the upper portion of the stomach, creating a small stomach pouch above the band, and the rest of the stomach below the band.

Gastric Banding

How does Lap Band surgery work?

Due to a smaller stomach pouch, eating a small amount of food will satisfy hunger and promote the feeling of fullness. The feeling of fullness depends upon the size of the opening between the pouch and the remainder of the stomach created by the gastric band. The size of the stomach opening can be adjusted by filling the band with sterile saline, which is injected through a port placed under the skin.

Reducing the size of the opening is done gradually over time with repeated adjustments or “fills.” The notion that the band is a restrictive procedure (works by restricting how much food can be consumed per meal and by restricting the emptying of the food through the band) has been challenged by studies that show the food passes rather quickly through the band, and that absence of hunger or feeling of being satisfied was not related to food remaining in the pouch above the band. 

What is known is that there is no malabsorption; the food is digested and absorbed as it would be normally. The clinical impact of the band seems to be that it reduces hunger, which helps the patients to decrease the amount of calories that are consumed.

Advantages of Gastric Banding

  1. Reduces the amount of food the stomach can hold
  2. Induces excess weight loss of approximately 40 – 50 percent
  3. Involves no cutting of the stomach or rerouting of the intestines
  4. Requires a shorter hospital stay, usually less than 24 hours, with some centers discharging the patient the same day as surgery
  5. Is reversible and adjustable
  6. Has the lowest rate of early postoperative complications and mortality among approved bariatric procedures
  7. Has the lowest risk for vitamin/mineral deficiencies

Disadvantages of Gastric Banding

Slower and less early weight loss than other surgical procedures

Greater percentage of patients failing to lose at least 50 percent of excess body weight compared to the other surgeries commonly performed

Requires a foreign device to remain in the body

Can result in possible band slippage or band erosion into the stomach in a small percentage of patients

Can have mechanical problems with the band, tube or port in a small percentage of patients

Can result in dilation of the esophagus if the patient overeats

Requires strict adherence to postoperative diet and to postoperative follow-up visits

Highest rate of reoperation

Risks of Lap Band Surgery

Anesthesia related Risks:

Lung Infection

Lung Collapse

Heart Attack or Stroke

 Blood clots in legs or Lungs

Reactions to medications

     Surgery Related Risks: 

Bleeding

Infection

Injury to internal organs

Possible additional Surgeries

Lap Band Slipping needing surgery

Lap Band Erosion

Weight Loss failure needing revision surgery

Bariatric surgery before and after