Lap-Band Surgery

The adjustable laparoscopic gastric band (Lap-Band®) was approved by the FDA in June 2001 for the surgical treatment of obesity, although gastric banding procedures have been performed internationally since 1993. The Lap-Band limits the intake of food while decreasing hunger. The Lap-Band is adjustable, permitting gradual weight loss. Average weight loss is initially 10% to 15% less than that observed following a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, but long-term results appear similar, and most patients realize excellent results.

Advantages of the Lap-Band include ease of insertion, shorter hospital stay, and rapid recovery from surgery. The risk of major complications from surgery is low with the Lap-Band, as is the operative mortality.  A disadvantage of the Lap-Band is the potential need for re-operation in the future for band replacement or removal, which may be required in up to 5% of patients. Indications for band removal include erosion into the stomach, band slippage with resultant vomiting, and port or tubing leakage. These complications are rarely life-threatening nor emergent, and can be managed laparoscopically.

We have been very pleased with the results of the Lap-Band, and we believe it is an excellent alternative to the more invasive gastric bypass. Of course, to ensure long-term success, you need to adhere to prescribed eating habits and schedule routine follow-up appointments for band adjustments. For more information about the benefits of the Lap-Band procedure, please contact our office.

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