How Lap Band Helps With Weight Loss


Lap banding is a surgical process that uses an adjustable gastric band made of silicone. The band wraps around the top of the stomach to help you lose weight. Surgeons place the band laparoscopically through a small incision.

The device reduces the size of the stomach so it holds less food. After a patient heals from surgery, saline is injected into the band. The band needs periodic adjustments. It may be tightened or loosened depending on a patient’s rate of weight loss, satiation after eating and other factors. Doctors usually make adjustments during routine office visits.

The band slows digestion. Food stays in the stomach longer before moving to the small intestine. With the band in place, patients should feel full after eating a small amount of food.

“Lap Band” is the brand name for a gastric band developed by Allergan Inc. The name is commonly used for all types of gastric bands.

Who is a good candidate for lap band surgery?

Candidates for lap band surgery should be 75 to 100 pounds overweight. Most patients have medical problems associated with obesity. Diabetes and hypertension are common in lap band surgical patients.

What do the results look like?

Weight loss is gradual after surgery. The band is initially tightened to encourage a one to two pound weight loss per week.

On average, lap band patients lose 40 percent of their excess body weight in the first year. It may take two to three years before a patient achieves his or her maximum weight loss. Rate of loss may slow after an initial period of more rapid loss. Slow, gradual changes in weight are ideal because they allow patients to develop the healthy eating habits needed to maintain a lower weight.

Patients must change how they eat to lose weight after a lap band surgery. In the first few weeks after the surgery, patients follow a severely restricted diet. The lap band helps patients achieve their goals by reducing hunger.

Gastric band surgery has risks. However, complications are generally fewer from laparoscopic procedures than from open surgeries. Laparoscopic procedures heal quickly. Patients can resume normal activities almost immediately. Speak with your doctor to learn about possible complications.

About the Author: Toby Broussard, MD and Gregory F. Walton, MD, General and Bariatric Surgeons, comprise WeightWise Bariatric Program. Dr. Broussard and Dr. Walton perform weight loss surgery techniques including lap band surgery, laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, and laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery. WeightWise Bariatric Program is located right outside of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and also serves areas including Tulsa Oklahoma, Dallas Texas, Amarillo Texas, Wichita Kansas, and Little Rock Arkansas.


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