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A Guide to Lap Band Surgery

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A Guide to Lap Band Surgery

Banding Procedures for Weight Loss

One of the most frequently requested types of weight loss surgery in the U.S. and abroad, and the name that comes up most often during Internet searches for bariatric surgery, is the Lap Band procedure, which gets a lot of media coverage for its success rate.

This short guide will give you the fundamental information on this type of procedure, which is one of the many surgeries that use Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding – or the “Lap Band.”

When people talk about getting Lap Band surgery, usually they are referring to the FDA-approved  LAP-BAND® System, which is made by BioEnterics Corporation.

The Basics of Lap Band

Lap Band surgery uses the LAP-BAND® System, in which an adjustable silicon band is inserted into the upper part of the stomach using a laparoscopic technique. This approach is far less invasive than other types of bariatric surgery, such as the full gastric bypass.

The aim of putting an adjustable band around the patient’s stomach in the Lap Band procedure is the same as other types of weight loss surgery, which is to reduce the stomach’s capacity to take in food, and to help the patient to feel full much sooner during meals. The goal is for the Lap Band surgical patient to be able to eat much less and feel full much faster.

One of the fundamental differences of this procedure, also known as Adjustable Gastric Banding (AGB) is that if the patient needs a boost to improve the amount of weight he or she is losing, the silicon band used can be adjusted by a surgeon. This is done by putting sterile water on the band, which tightens it and thus reduces the capacity for food intake even further. There are now bariatric surgeons who specialize in adjusting Lap Band surgeries, a procedure known as a “fill.”

Differences Between the Lap Band and the Gastric Bypass

The main difference between these two successful bariatric surgeries is that the Lap Band procedure is far less invasive than the gastric bypass surgery. In a Lap Band procedure, the surgeon will make inch-long slits in the patient’s abdomen, and the surgery is done through these small openings. Lap Band surgeons use laparoscopic surgery, which involves small cameras that are used to see inside the patient’s stomach during the procedure.

In contrast, the traditional gastric bypass surgery involves an incision that can be several inches long. This type of surgical procedure requires a longer recovery period than the laparoscopic surgery.

The Importance of Selecting a Qualified Surgeon

Though the Lap Band surgical procedure is hailed for its minimal invasiveness and quick recovery period, it’s still necessary to get a highly qualified surgeon to perform the task, which requires experience and special surgical skills. In a laparoscopic procedure, small cameras and certain surgical tools are used, and the surgeon you choose must have the necessary experience with these. Also, the workings of the LAP-BAND® System device must be very familiar to the surgeon. If you decide to have Lap Band surgery, it is essential that you do some research to find the surgeon who is most qualified in the procedure, and who you feel you can trust to do your surgery.