LAP-BAND® New Jersey
The LAP-BAND® is one of the trade names for the laparoscopic gastric banding system. It is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States because of its exceptional weight loss and disease resolution potential with a relatively lower risk than other bariatric procedures, such as gastric bypass and gastric sleeve. The LAP-BAND® was first approved in the United States in 2001 and since then over 650,000 LAP-BAND® systems have been placed in patients throughout the United States and the world.
The LAP-BAND® works in the same way as the other gastric banding systems such as the Realize® Band (no longer offered). During the surgery, the surgeon will make five tiny incisions on the abdomen, through which the medical devices are passed. The band, made of a silicone-like material, will be placed around the upper portion of the stomach and tightened to form two separate gastric chambers. The smaller, upper stomach chamber is the primary receptacle for food and because of its smaller size, patients will be able to eat less and feel fuller sooner. Because of this restriction, the average patient will lose weight at a rate of about 1 to 2 pounds per week after surgery.
The LAP-BAND® is fully adjustable and can be tightened or loosened by utilizing a second medical device called the injection port. The injection port is affixed to the muscle wall in the abdomen just under the skin. It is not visible, but is easily accessible to the surgeon with a specially made needle. The band and injection port are connected by soft thin tubing, which allows the surgeon to inject saline into or remove saline from the band in order to tighten or loosen it, respectively. Generally, the tighter the band, the greater the weight loss and vice versa. Weight loss results will vary between patients and will be based on the patient’s willingness and ability to change their lifestyle after surgery.
Benefits of the LAP-BAND®
- The average patient will lose between 45 and 55% of their excess body weight.
Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and sleep apnea will be improved or resolved in the majority of patients.
- The LAP-BAND® is the safest of all the major bariatric procedures because it does not require cutting away any part of the stomach or rerouting the small intestine.
- The band is adjustable so, in case of need, it can be loosened. Or if the patient is not satisfied with their weight loss, it can be tightened.
- The LAP-BAND® is removable in case of need, such as additional abdominal surgery, pregnancy or complications.
- Because the LAP-BAND® does not reroute the small intestine as in gastric bypass surgery, patients tend to have fewer nutritional and food intake restrictions. They will also likely not experienced dumping syndrome.
- Recently the FDA approved the Lap-Band® for use in patients with a BMI as low as 30 with one or more obesity-related diseases. This is unique among all bariatric procedures and opens up the possibility of bariatric surgery for millions of more Americans.
Risks and Considerations of the LAP-BAND®
- While it is the least invasive of the major bariatric surgeries the LAP-BAND® also offers the lowest potential excess body weight loss over the long-term.
- Just as with every major surgery, the LAP-BAND® procedure may yield surgical complications including infection amongst others.
- Bariatric surgery also comes with its own set of risks which can be heightened by a person’s diseases associated with obesity.
- LAP-BAND® specific complications can include slippage, erosion or misplacement that will require additional surgery to correct the problem.
- The band is removable, but when removed, most patients will regain the weight they lost and possibly more.
- LAP-BAND® patients will need more follow-up as compared to other procedures and the band must be adjusted several times over the first two years after surgery. These additional aftercare costs should be taken into account when evaluating the band versus other surgeries.
LAP-BAND® Aftercare Program
The LAP-BAND® system has a comprehensive aftercare program called My LAP-BAND® Journey. This aftercare program is specially designed to allow LAP-BAND® patients to track their progress and learn tips and tricks about life after surgery. My Lap-Band® Journey lets patients easily connect with their surgeon all the while keeping excellent records of their diet and exercise.
At Advanced Surgical Associates, we supplement this program with our own support groups and aftercare consultation. One of the hallmarks of Advanced Surgical Associates’ success is the degree to which we follow up with our patients after surgery making sure that patients achieve the best results possible.
For more information on the advantages and disadvantages of the LAP-BAND® system, please contact our office.