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Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center

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Lap Band Surgery

Laparoscopic Adjustable Band (Lap Band), Denver

The Laparoscopic Adjustable Band (Lap Band) was approved by the FDA in 2001 and has become a popular alternative to gastric bypass surgery because it is:

  • Less invasive (outpatient procedure), which often leads to an early return to work
  • Safer – no stomach stapling, cutting or intestinal re-routing-- minimal side effects
  • Effective (for weight loss and resolving co-morbidities over time)
  • Adjustable for each surgeon's needs
  • Reversible if necessary
  • Effective with a low malnutrition risk through a satiety-inducing procedure

While weight loss occurs slower with the lap band, compared to gastric bypass (most patients reach maximum weight loss at three years), the expected long-term weight loss with the lap band ranges from 50-60% of the excess body weight.

Studies have shown the resolution of the majority of weight-related co-morbities, but follow up with your bariatric weight loss team for adjustments (especially in the first year) is vital to success.

About the Lap Band

The Lap Band is a hollow tube made of silicone that is wrapped around the upper part of the stomach. It is then attached to a small port buried beneath the skin on the abdominal wall.  The surgeon uses five small incisions through which laparoscopic instruments are placed. A small tunnel is created around the upper portion of the stomach and the Band is placed through and locked into place. Sutures are placed on the stomach to hold the Band in place.

With the Band in place, the amount of food that the patient can eat is reduced. This can be adjusted by adding or removing saline in the port. This procedure is done quickly in the office by placing a needle into the port and removing or adding saline. During the first year after surgery, you will meet with your bariatric team several times to ensure the adjustment is best for you. A well adjusted Band will provide a sense of satiety (satisfaction) with small portions and allow you to lose 1.5-2.0 pounds per week.

What to Expect for a Gastric Banding Procedure