Gastric Banding, also known as lap band surgery, is a surgical procedure where an adjustable ring is placed around the upper portion of the stomach. The band works in two ways; it provides restriction on the upper stomach creating a sensation of fullness, and then by filling the band with saline it reduces the opening form the upper portion of the stomach to the lower portion, which limits how much food a person can eat at one meal. It is the safest of the surgical procedures. The stomach and intestines are not cut, divided, bypassed or removed. Most people can go home the same day and return to normal activities when they feel comfortable.

The weight loss with lap band surgery is usually slower in comparison to some of the other surgical procedures. We expect to see about one to one and half pounds of weight loss per week on average the first year. Patients can continue to lose weight for 3 or more years if they continue to work with the band. Most successful patients eat protein (meats), fruits and vegetable and drink zero calorie drinks. Foods like dense meats, bread, rice or pasta may be difficult to eat. Patients must come back to the office for adjustments or fills in order to maximize the success of the band. Don’t let this discourage you, as all surgical procedures have post- operative follow up appointments.

The benefits of the lap band include: it is performed laparoscopically, no cutting of the stomach or intestines, minimal pain, safe, minimal time off work, no malabsorption of nutrients, and it can be removed if necessary.

The complications or risks of the procedure: bleeding, pain, infection of the band, port or tubing, possible slippage of the band, possible erosion of the band into the stomach. Injury to any organ at the time of the surgery, inadequate weight loss, or weight gain.

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