JOSE ERBELLA, M.D., FACS
General, Oncologic & Minimally Invasive Surgeries
Call for Appointment
Adjustable gastric banding, commonly referred to as LAP-BAND surgery, is one of the most popular types of weight loss surgery performed today. The video above shows one of my patients who has had the LAP-BAND for 4 years and is doing great!
ADJUSTABLE GASTRIC BANDING
During adjustable gastric banding surgery, an adjustable belt, or band, made of silicone is placed around the top portion of the stomach. When this silicone band is filled with saline, it expands and tightens around the stomach until it creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach. A narrow opening is left between the top portion of the stomach and the rest of the lower stomach. The size of this opening can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amount of saline in the band. The amount of saline is regulated through a port that is placed just under the skin in the abdomen during the gastric banding surgery.
In most cases, the adjustable gastric band and port can be placed with a laparoscopic procedure that requires a few small incisions instead of a long abdominal opening. The surgery is performed using general anesthesia and generally lasts one to two hours.
Although LAP-BAND surgery is often used to describe all gastric banding procedures, LAP-BAND is actually one brand of silicone bands used in this type of surgery. REALIZE, MIDBAND and Hileogast are other brands available to be used during gastric banding surgery.
LAP-BAND SURGERY AND WEIGHT LOSS
Gastric banding creates weight loss by reducing the amount of food that can be eaten at once. The small pouch only holds a few ounces of food, which has to be partially digested before it will be able to pass through the small opening into the lower stomach. This also causes food to pass through to the intestine more slowly, which gives the brain time to receive the signal that the body is full before more food is needed. In other words, patients are able to feel more satisfied consuming less food.
The tightness of the band is monitored and often adjusted during regular follow up visits with the bariatric surgeon after surgery. Patients may need to have “fills” to reduce the amount of food that can be consumed. A fill involves insert saline into the port using a needle and syringe. Saline can also be removed from the band using this method.
LAP-BAND surgery is often recommended for patients who have a BMI of 35 or higher, or a BMI of 30 or higher with obesity-related health problems. Because of the health risks associated with long-term obesity and the proven effectiveness of gastric banding in treating obesity, many insurance companies will now cover lap-band for qualified candidates.
I perform adjustable gastric banding surgery on qualified patients in the Bradenton, Sarasota, and Florida Gulf Coast area.