What is Lap-BAND Surgery?

Lap-BAND surgery is sometimes referred to as adjustable gastric banding surgery. This type of surgery makes the stomach smaller by placing an open band around the top part of the stomach to divide it into two parts. The smaller part of the stomach, also known as the pouch, will hold food. Because it is smaller, patients can expect to feel fuller quicker. The larger portion of the stomach will continue to aid in digestion.

The Lap-BAND is designed to stay in place for life to help patients maintain weight loss over time. If an adjustment is needed on the band, your doctor will add or remove saltwater through a port that is located by the abdomen to tighten or loosen the band as necessary.

What to Expect from a Lap-BAND Surgery

Here’s what you should know about Lap-BAND surgery:

  • Lap-BAND surgery is performed in an outpatient center.
  • Patients should expect to take one week off work to recover after Lap-BAND surgery.
  • Patients will need to regulate portion size after Lap-BAND surgery.
  • This procedure can help patients lose 50 to 75 percent of excess weight within two years after the surgery.

After Lap-BAND Surgery

After Lap-BAND surgery, patients will continue to lose weight and maintain weight loss in combination with a healthy diet and exercise.

Patients should follow-up with their doctor regularly following the procedure. Banner Health also offers free support groups for patients who want to attend before or after surgery.

We also recommend avoiding smoking, as it can put patients at a high risk for blood clots, infection and other life-threatening complications.

Learn more about recovery and the post-surgery journey.

Pros and Cons of Lap-BAND Surgery

Weight loss is just one of the benefits of Lap-BAND surgery. Other benefits include:

  • It is the least invasive bariatric surgery.
  • It is the only adjustable obesity surgery option in the U.S.
  • It is less likely to bleed or leak because there is no dividing, moving or stapling to internal organs.
  • It requires less time under general anesthesia, in the operating room and in the hospital.
  • There’s less pain and shorter recovery time than with more invasive procedures.
  • Your body still absorbs all the nutrients in your food.
  • If you have a hiatal hernia, your surgeon can correct this at the same time you have gastric band surgery.

However, as with any surgery, there are certain risks involved, such as:

  • Gallstones and gallbladder disease
  • Infection around the band or at the port
  • It’s extremely rare, but possible, your body could reject or react to Lap-BAND as a foreign object
  • Nausea or vomiting from food
  • Some types of food can block the outlet from the top to the bottom of the stomach
  • The smaller portion of the stomach may stretch
  • The stomach can lose its blood supply if the band slips
  • You may not feel satisfied or feel like you have had enough to eat

If you’re interested in Lap-BAND surgery, talk to your doctor. Banner Health’s bariatric team of experts is here to help you on your weight loss journey.