The Minimally Invasive Procedure
During the Lap Band Procedure, surgeons 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 patient's stomach. A narrow camera is passed through a port so the surgeon 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 lap 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 the safest, least invasive, and least traumatic of all weight-loss surgeries. The laparoscopic approach to the surgery also has the advantages of reduced post-operative 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® to an access port fixed beneath the skin of your abdomen. This allows the surgeon to change the stoma (stomach outlet) size by adding or subtracting saline, or salt water, inside the inner balloon through the access port. This Lap band adjustment process helps determine the rate of weight loss. If the lap 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 lap band is too tight, the surgeon will remove some saline to loosen the lap band and reduce the amount of restriction.
The diameter of the lap band can be modified to meet your individual needs, which can change as you lose weight. For example, pregnant patients can expand their lap band to accommodate a growing fetus, while patients who aren't experiencing significant weight loss can have their lap bands tightened.
The LAP-BAND® System is also the only adjustable weight-loss surgery available in the United States to help maintain restriction and keep the weight off long-term.