Adjustable Gastric Band (LAP-BAND® / Realize Band)
The Gastric Band (Lap-Band) is an adjustable silicone ring that is placed around the top portion of the stomach which creates a small (1-2 ounce or 15-30cc) pouch. The Band restricts the amount and type of foods the patient is able to consume. The Band creates the sensation of fullness. There is no malabsorption of vitamins and nutrients as there is with more invasive surgical options such as the Gastric Bypass.
While the patient is under anesthesia, the surgeon will use a laparoscopic technique to wrap the Gastric Band around the patient’s stomach. This is done by making tiny incisions rather than one large incision and inserting instruments through ports. A camera is passed through a port so the surgeon can easily view the operative site on a video monitor. The Gastric Band is fastened around the upper portion of the stomach to create the smaller stomach pouch that limits and controls the amount of food that is consumed. The Gastric Band is then locked securely in a ring around the stomach.
At 6 to 8 weeks after the surgical implantation of the Lap-Band, the need for a Band adjustment (a.k.a. Fill) is evaluated. This adjustment process helps determine the rate of weight loss. The degree of Gastric Band tightness affects how much food a patient can eat. Resulting in eating less, feeling full sooner, and feeling satisfied for a longer amount of time.
The Lap Band is adjusted by injecting a saline solution through a thin needle at the site of the adjustment reservoir. If weight loss seems to be inadequate, adding more saline (a Fill) can further restrict the amount of food that can move through the stomach. If the Band is too tight and the patient has difficulty consuming enough food, the surgeon will remove some saline to loosen the band and reduce the amount of restriction.
The diameter of the Gastric Band can be modified to meet each patient's individual needs. For example, a pregnant patient can expand their Lap-Band to allow more food to be consumed to ensure the appropriate amount of nutrition for a growing fetus.
Am I a Candidate for Lap-Band Surgery?
You might be a good candidate for Lap-Band Surgery if you meet the following criteria:
What to Expect After Surgery
Surgery usually requires only a 1 night hospital stay. Most people can return to normal activities within 1 to 2 weeks.
You will follow a liquid diet immediately after surgery. Your diet will progress from clear liquids, full liquids, pureed or blended foods (mushies), soft foods then to solid foods. Liquid calories should not be consumed after progressing to solid food. Liquid calories such as Sodas, Juices, etc. are not restricted as are solid food. The Lap Band will only restrict solid foods. Patient's should avoid sweets and junk food and should incorporate exercise into daily activities. Patient's will need to refrain from drinking liquids ½ hour before and 1 hour after meals. Water and/or no-calorie beverages should be consumed between meals.