We understand. Any kind of weight loss surgery can be intimidating. You’re probably wondering what your recovery will be like. How long before you can get back to your life? And what exactly will you be doing to your body?
Fortunately, choosing the LAP-BAND® System can ease these worries. It’s truly minimally invasive, typically done as an outpatient procedure, and has a fast recovery time of about a week.3 It also involves no permanent alteration to your body. Unlike sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass, the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System involves no use of metal surgical staples, no amputation of any part of the stomach, nor any cutting of the intestines.2,3
The Minimally Invasive Procedure
During the procedure, physicians usually use laparoscopic techniques (making tiny incisions rather than a large incision and inserting long-shafted instruments through "ports"), to wrap the LAP-BAND® System around the stomach. A narrow camera is passed through a port so the physician can view the operative site on a nearby video monitor. Like a wristwatch, the band is fastened around the upper stomach to create the new stomach pouch that limits and controls the amount of food you eat. The band is then locked securely in a ring around the stomach.
Since there is no stomach cutting, stapling, or gastrointestinal re-routing involved in the LAP-BAND® System procedure, it is considered an effective, minimally invasive, and less traumatic of all weight-loss surgeries. The laparoscopic approach to the procedure also has the advantages of reduced post-procedural pain, shortened hospital stay, and quicker recovery. If for any reason the LAP-BAND® System needs to be removed, the stomach generally returns to its original form.
Adjustable Weight Loss
Once placed around the stomach, tubing connects the LAP-BAND® System to an access port fixed beneath the skin of your abdomen. This allows the physician to change the stoma (stomach outlet) size by adding or subtracting saline, or salt water, inside the inner balloon through the access port. This adjustment process helps determine the rate of weight loss. If the band is too loose and weight loss is inadequate, adding more saline can reduce the size of the stoma to further restrict the amount of food that can move through it. If the band is too tight, the physician will remove some saline to loosen the band and reduce the amount of restriction. The diameter of the band can be modified to meet your individual needs, which can change as you lose weight. For example, pregnant patients can have their band expanded to accommodate nutritional requirements for a growing fetus, while patients who aren't experiencing significant weight loss can have their bands tightened.