For many of our patients, the natural choice for surgical weight loss is LAP-BAND® surgery. With more than 2,000 LAP-BAND procedures performed since 2006, the surgeons at Weight Loss Institute of Arizona are the premier gastric banding specialists in the Southwest.
The LAP-BAND is a soft, inflatable ring that is placed around the upper portion of the stomach. The gastric band creates a small stomach pouch and slows the passage of food to the digestive system. Simply put, it limits the amount of food that can be consumed at one time and allows you to feel full sooner and with less food. Look at it as a stomach band that makes the amount of food your can hold smaller.
The amount of restriction can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amount of saline in the ring through a tube connected to an access port. The access port is surgically implanted beneath the skin and the subcutaneous fat. It is sutured to the fascia and cannot be seen; oftentimes it cannot even be felt. The LAP-BAND is placed laparoscopically, using very small incisions, reducing postoperative pain and shortening recovery time.
- Low risk of complications
- Simple procedure with short recovery time
- No intestinal reconfiguration
- Adjustable and reversible
- Often covered by insurance
Although weight loss with the LAP-BAND is not as rapid as with other weight loss surgery procedures, your doctor can help you continue to lose by adjusting your Band. Approximately six weeks after your surgery, your doctor will make your first adjustment. Also called a “fill”, the LAP-BAND device is adjusted by filling (or draining) it with saline to make it tighter or looser depending upon your needs.
Adjustments are simple office procedures during which a needle is inserted through the skin and into the LAP-BAND port. The area is prepared with a topical anesthetic. Over the first year, most LAP-Band patient reviews mention from 5 to 8 adjustments.
Signs that you need an adjustment include any of the following:
- Discomfort and/or acid reflux when you haven’t overeaten means your Band is too tight
- No discomfort when you eat a lot means your Band is too loose
- No weight loss may mean your Band is too tight or too loose
It’s important to return to your original diet progression, liquid to soft food to normal food, as directed by your doctor after each adjustment.
Is LAP-BAND for You?
The best way to know if a procedure is right for you is by discussing your needs and concerns with one of our highly experienced bariatric surgeons. However, if you are seriously considering the LAP-BAND procedure, here are a few things you should know and keep in mind.
Success with LAP-BAND requires a strong commitment to an appropriate diet. Your food choices will have a strong bearing on your success with this procedure. For instance, you may not be as successful with the Band if you ingest a large quantity of liquid calories. Additionally, weight loss with the LAP-BAND is not a quick fix; most patients will lose 50 to 75% of their excess weight over a period of two years.