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The Lap-Band is an inflatable silicone ring that is placed around the top part of the stomach. It is designed to slow the food going through the stomach, making you feel full longer, consuming less food and calories overall, which will lead to weight loss!
The procedure is performed using a minimally invasive technique called ‘laparoscopy’. Like a wristwatch, the band is fastened around the upper stomach to create a new, tiny stomach pouch that limits and controls the amount of food you eat. It also creates a small outlet that is adjustable in size, and that slows the emptying process into the stomach. As a result, patients experience an earlier sensation of fullness and are satisfied with smaller amounts of food. In turn, this results in weight loss.
Since there is no cutting, stapling or stomach re-routing involved in the LAP-BAND® System procedure, it is considered the least traumatic of all weight loss surgeries. The laparoscopic approach to the surgery also offers the advantages of reduced post-operative pain, shortened hospital stay and quicker recovery. If for any reason the LAP-BAND® System needs to be removed, the stomach generally returns to its original form.
The LAP-BAND® System is also the only adjustable weight loss surgery. The diameter of the band is adjustable for a customized weight-loss rate. Your individual needs can change as you lose weight. For example, pregnant patients can expand their band to accommodate a growing fetus, while patients who aren’t experiencing significant weight loss can have their bands tightened.
To modify the size of the band, its inner surface can be inflated or deflated with a saline solution. The band is connected by tubing to an access port, which is placed well below the skin during surgery. After the operation, the surgeon can control the amount of saline in the band by entering the port with a fine needle through the skin.
The BioEnterics® LAP-BAND® System is not right for everyone. Here are some of the things we will consider when evaluating your candidacy for obesity surgery.
The LAP-BAND® System may be right for you if:
- If your BMI is 30 or higher or you weigh at least twice your ideal weight or you weigh at least 100 pounds more than your ideal weight speak to your surgeon. (BMI is calculated by dividing body weight (lbs.) by height in inches squared (in2) and multiplying that amount by 704.5).
- You have been overweight for more than 5 years.
- Your serious attempts to lose weight have had only short-term success.
- You do not have any other disease that may have caused your obesity.
- You are prepared to make substantial changes in your eating habits and lifestyle.
- You are willing to continue being monitored by the specialist who is treating you.
- You do not drink alcohol in excess.
- If you do not meet the BMI or weight criteria, you still may be considered for surgery if your BMI is over 35 and you are suffering from serious health problems related to obesity.
The LAP-BAND® System is not right for you if:
- You have an inflammatory disease or condition of the gastrointestinal tract, such as ulcers, severe esophagitis, or Crohn’s disease.
- You have severe heart or lung disease that makes you a poor candidate for surgery.
- You have some other disease that makes you a poor candidate for
- You have a problem that could cause bleeding in the esophagus or stomach. This might include esophageal or gastric varices (a dilated vein). It might also be something such as congenital or acquired intestinal telangiectasia (dilation of a small blood vessel).
- You have portal hypertension.
- Your esophagus, stomach, or intestine is not normal (congenital or acquired). For instance you might have a narrowed opening.
- You have or have experienced an intra-operative gastric injury, such as a gastric perforation at or near the location of the intended band placement.
- You have cirrhosis.
- You are pregnant. (If you become pregnant after the BioEnterics LAP-BAND® System has been placed, the band may need to be deflated. The same is true if you need more nutrition for any other reason, such as becoming seriously ill. In rare cases, removal may be needed.)
- You are addicted to alcohol or drugs.
- You have an infection anywhere in your body or one that could contaminate the surgical area.
- You are on chronic, long-term steroid treatment.
- You cannot or do not want to follow the dietary rules that come with this procedure.
- You might be allergic to materials in the device.
- You cannot tolerate pain from an implanted device.
- You or someone in your family has an autoimmune connective tissue disease. That might be a disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus or scleroderma. The same is true if you have symptoms of one of these diseases.
While the LAP-BAND® System is an effective treatment for morbid obesity, the pounds do not come off by themselves. The LAP-BAND® System is an aid to support you in achieving lasting results by limiting food intake, reducing appetite and slowing digestion. However, your motivation and commitment to adopt a new lifestyle are extremely important for long-term weight loss. New eating habits must be adhered to for the rest of your life. Exercise is an equally important component of a changed lifestyle. For more information, please see the frequently asked questions page.