Lap Band Surgery

Lap-band surgery is an example of a restrictive weight loss surgery. The surgery helps you lose weight by reducing the amount of food you can eat before you feel full. This is a minimally invasive procedure that can help you achieve significant weight loss and maintain a healthy weight long term.

How does lap band surgery work?

During laparoscopic gastric banding, or lap band surgery, an adjustable band is placed around the upper part of your stomach to create a small pouch for food. When this smaller pouch is filled with food, you’ll feel full. The food will then slowly pass through the gastric band into the remaining part of your digestive system.

On the day of surgery:

  • You’ll be given general anesthesia.
  • 1 to 5 small surgical cuts will be made in your abdomen
  • A small camera and surgical instruments will be inserted through these small cuts.
  • An inflatable band is placed around the upper part of your stomach, creating a small pouch at the top of your stomach.
  • A tube is connected from the adjustable band to a small port that is fixed beneath the skin of your abdomen.

This procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes.

Four to six weeks after surgery, you’ll return to the doctor to have the band adjusted. The band can be made tighter or looser by adding or removing saline through the port under your skin. Additional adjustments can be made as needed in order to help you achieve a healthy rate of weight loss.

What are the benefits of lap band surgery?

The primary reason for having lap band surgery is to lose weight. Patients lose weight after the surgery because they are only able to eat small amounts of food. While results will vary, the average patient loses 40% of excess weight after surgery. Combining this weight loss surgery with lifestyle changes allows patients to maintain their weight loss long term.

Patients choose lap band over other weight loss surgeries because:

  • There are no permanent changes made to the digestive system.
  • No foods are off limits after surgery.
  • The band can be adjusted to meet your personal goals and needs.

What are the risks of lap band surgery?

Lap band surgery is considered the least invasive and safest weight loss surgery. There are no permanent changes made to the stomach or digestive system, so vitamin deficiencies are rare. Your doctor can also minimize your risk for complications by monitoring and adjusting the size of the band.

While lap band surgery has been proven to be an effective and safe weight loss tool, there are risks and potential for complications. These include:

  • Surgical complications, such as bleeding or infection.
  • Nausea and vomiting, which can occur if the band is too tight.
  • Band slippage or erosion

Risks will vary depending on your current health and lifestyle. Dr. Choi can help you assess the risks and potential benefits of lap band surgery so that you can decide if this is the right weight loss plan for you. Contact the office to schedule a consultation.