|Normal View of gastrointestinal tract||Lap-Band Procedure|
Among the less invasive weight loss surgeries currently available, the LAP–BAND® procedure, also known as adjustable gastric banding, is designed to restrict food intake by placing an adjustable silicone band around the upper portion of the stomach, creating a small pouch able to hold approximately two ounces of food.
A restrictive procedure, the LAP–BAND® system does not involve stapling or the surgical manipulation of the gastrointestinal tract. Under general anesthesia, the procedure is performed laparoscopically through small incisions. An adjustable silicone band, or ring, is safely placed around the upper portion of the stomach, creating a small "pocket" at the top of the stomach that limits the amount of food that can be consumed. Additionally, a tube connected to an access port and placed beneath the skin during surgery allows your surgeon to modify the size of the ring in order to ensure successful weight loss. These adjustments are also referred to as "fills."
Following adjustable gastric banding, patients consume a liquid–only diet and gradually resume consumption of solid foods according to their specific weight management plan. The first fill is not made until the stomach heals from surgery, approximately six weeks following surgery. Adjustments to the gastric band are made four to six times in the first year, in order to ensure optimal fit and encourage continued weight loss. Band adjustments are painless and generally made during a regular office visit. Weight loss associated with the LAP–BAND® is more gradual than with some other weight loss surgeries, about five to 10 pounds a month.
The LAP–BAND® procedure can be a safe alternative to gastric bypass surgery for patients with underlying health conditions, which place them in a high risk category for more invasive surgery.
While a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above in adults is considered obese, the requirements for adjustable gastric banding established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are the same for all weight loss surgeries – a BMI greater than 40. For men, this is approximately 100 pounds overweight and for women approximately 80 pounds overweight. Though, patients with a BMI between 35 and 39 may also be candidates if they suffer from obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.