Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band
What Is The Lap-Band?
The Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band or more commonly known as the Lab Band is an adjustable silicone band with a balloon that is placed around the upper part of the stomach in order to limit the amount of food that you can eat. Saline solution is injected through the port under the skin, this increases the size of the balloon and subsequently causing food restriction and weight loss. The Lap-Band was approved by the FDA in the early 2000s.
The Lap-Band is also the only weight loss surgery that is paid by insurance companies for low Body Mass Index (BMI) patients.
Weight Loss After The Lap-Band
On average most patients will experience a 40-50% Excess Body Weight loss between one to two years after surgery. Remember that this is on average, some people will do better and other will do worse than that.
How much weight is 40-50% excess body weight you ask?
Let us assume that your ideal body weight base on your height, age, and gender is 150 pounds. Your current weight is 250 pounds. That means that your excess body weight is 100 pounds.
Base on the average that patients tend to lose after the Lap-Band surgery you are expected to lose 40-50 pounds of the 100 pounds that you have in excess. You should see that weight loss in two years.
In the Spotlight
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Ambulatory Surgery
- Very low initial risk
- Covered by most insurance
- FDA approved for low BMI
- Long Term Complications
- Band Erosions
- Foreign Body
- Frequent follow up
Living With A Lap Band
The Lap Band is a good option for weight loss but it requires a high degree of dedication and commitment. Diet and exercise are imperative in order to achieve long term success. Frequent follow up is needed in order to slowly adjust the band until a healthy amount of restriction is achieved.
Once the desired restriction is achieved less follow up is needed but strict adherence to a diet and exercise program is needed through your life. Otherwise, long term complications can arrive. Some patients that are not compliant can experience difficulty swallowing, chronic esophageal reflux, esophageal dilation, band slippage or erosion.
Patients that experience some of these symptoms might require band adjustment and/or further surgical intervention for replacement or removal.
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