The LAP-BAND® System is an adjustable silicone gastric band designed to help you lose excess body weight, improve weight-related health conditions and enhance quality of life. It reduces the stomach capacity and restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at one time.
The stomach that remains is shaped like a very slim banana and measures from 1-5 ounces depending on the surgeon performing the procedure. The nerves to the stomach and the outlet valve remain intact with the idea of preserving the functions of the stomach while drastically reducing the volume. LAP-BAND® surgery works by reducing the amount of food consumed at one time. It does not, however, interfere with the normal absorption (digestion) of food.
Using a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure, a hollow silicone band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach. The band creates a small pouch and narrow passageway into the rest of the stomach, thereby limiting the amount of food you can consume.
The band is then inflated with a saline solution. After food enters the pouch, it slowly empties into the rest of the stomach. Liquids pass through the narrow opening created by the band while denser foods are delayed from passing through.
Band adjustments occur six to eight weeks after surgery and as needed thereafter. Patients considering this procedure are carefully screened for dietary habits and preferences as well as pre-existing gastro esophageal reflux disease. Traditionally, lap-band surgery takes less than two hours and does not cause permanent alterations to the stomach or digestive process. There is no cutting or stapling of the stomach or bypassing the intestines. If for any reason the band needs to be removed, the stomach generally returns to its original form. Most patients return home the same day and can return to work within a week.
The LAP-BAND® is designed so that it can be inflated or deflated at any time after the operation. This helps the patient continually lose weight until they reach their goals.