Lap Band Surgery

A laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, commonly called a lap-band or LAGB, is an inflatable silicone device placed around the top portion of the stomach to treat obesity, intended to slow the amount of food a patient can eat. Another advantage is it decreases patients appetite.

Adjustable gastric band surgery is an example of bariatric surgery designed for obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater — or between 35 and 40 in cases of patients with certain comorbidities that are known to improve with weight loss, such as sleep apnea, diabetes, osteoarthritis, GERD, Hypertension (high blood pressure), or metabolic syndrome, among others.

In February 2011 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded approval of adjustable gastric bands to patients with a BMI between 30 to 40 and one weight-related medical condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

A gastric band is an inflatable silicone band that is fastened around the patient’s upper stomach laparascopically. This creates a small pouch that can only take in a small amount of food before releasing it into the stomach and intestines.

Because the patient feels full after eating less food, fewer calories are consumed leading to weight loss. Because it is done laparascopically with no incisions, stapling or sutures to the stomach or intestines, the gastric band is the least invasive type of bariatric surgery resulting in less pain post surgery and a shorter recovery. Also, the gastric band can be removed if needed and the stomach typically returns to its original shape.

An additional benefit of using the gastric band is that it can be adjusted to regulate the rate of food entering the stomach if the patient’s weight loss needs change. For example, a patient who becomes pregnant may have their band loosened to accommodate a growing fetus. Similarly, a patient who is not losing weight quickly enough can have the band tightened.