Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap Band)

What is the procedure?

The adjustable gastric band, or Lap Band, restricts the amount of food the stomach can hold by placing an inflatable silicone band, filled with saline, around the upper part of the stomach. This limits the amount of food that can be consumed at one time, and a narrowed stomach outlet increases the time it takes for the stomach to empty. This leads to reduced food intake and weight loss. The band is connected by tubing to an access port beneath the skin, which later allows the surgeon to change the stomach's capacity by adding or subtracting saline inside the band. This helps drive the rate of weight loss. The band can be removed if any problems arise.

Benefits of the procedure

Weight loss tends to be gradual with this type of procedure, with continued weight loss up to five years after the procedure. The lap band will lead to weight loss which will contribute to improvements in obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and other medical conditions.

Risks of the procedure

As with any surgery there are risks involved. Risks related specifically to the gastric band include the possibility of band slippage or leaking, infection, the inability of the body to tolerate the band, nutritional deficits, hernia development, and gallstone development due to rapid weight loss. Proper consumption of foods and following your doctors' orders may help reduce your chance of an unwanted complication.