What is Lap Band Surgery for Weight Loss?
Lap-Band is the short form for Laparoscopic Gastric Band. It is the latest type of adjustable gastric banding. The Surgery involves surgically inserting a ‘lap band’ in the stomach, which is designed to limit food consumption and give the person a sense of fullness. The band is implanted through elective keyhole surgery (laparoscopic) and is tailored made to suit the individual. The Lap-Band surgical procedure is adjustable and reversible.
The Lap Band procedure was approved by the FDA in June 2001, as a bariatric method to reduce the health problems connected with severe clinical obesity. The Adjustable Gastric Lap-Band is a hollow band made of sylastic. The band is placed around the upper third portion of the stomach to create a small stomach pouch.
Attached to the band is a tube that ends with a port attached to abdominal muscles just below the ribs. The purpose of the port is to provide access to the band to add saline which slowly fills the band, causing increased restriction of the stomach. Saline is injected into the band to form a smaller gastric band which limits calorie intake. Immediately after surgery the band is empty. About six weeks after Lap-Band surgery, or whenever a plateau in weight loss is reached, the surgeon adds a small amount of saline in the band.
Is Lap-Band Surgery always helpful in weight loss?
One key drawback of restrictive procedures, like Lap-Band, is that the gastric volume restrictions may be circumvented by patients who consume high-calorie liquid foods such as sports drinks or milk shakes, since these calorie-dense liquids pass easily through the exit channel from the upper stomach.
Lap Band Surgery drawbacks
Laparoscopic surgery is not always possible. Your surgeon may need to use an "open" method. This happened in about 5% of the cases in the U.S. clinical study. The band can spontaneously deflate because of leakage. That leakage can come from the band, the reservoir, or the tubing that connects them. The stomach pouch can enlarge. The stoma (stomach outlet) can be blocked.
The most common health complication seems to be slippage of the stomach through the band, leading to the enlargement of the upper stomach pouch and problems of obstruction.
Advantages of Lap Band Surgery in Weight Loss
It is fully Reversible - Because Lap-Band uses no staples (as in gastroplasty), involves no gastrectomy or surgical alteration to the digestive tract, it is removeable using the same laparoscopic technique by which it was inserted.
Less Danger Of Nutritional Deficiencies - Gastric bypass reduces nutritional uptake as well as food intake. Lap-Band only restricts food intake.
Lowest Mortality Rate - Lap-Band has the lowest rate of hospital deaths, or post-op deaths, than any other type of obesity surgery. The risk is there, but much lower than after gastric bypass.
Lowest Rate Of Perioperative And Postoperative Health Complications
Although not problem-free, Lap-Band has the lowest rate of serious health complications of all bariatric procedures.
Convertible - Lap-Band is convertible to another operation, if weight loss is inadequate, although conversion surgery carries higher risks. Simple and relatively safe. Short recovery period with low complication rate. No removal of any part of the stomach or intestines thus no alteration in natural Anatomy.