Lap-Band procedure is a minimally
invasive surgery that involves placing
a saline-filled tube ( the LAP-BAND)
around the stomach--creating a small
This adjustable gastric band is placed "laparoscopically" with
the use of small incisions, thin surgical
instruments, and a small internal
camera that monitors the operation.
Placed around the upper part of the
stomach, the band creates a small "upper" stomach
without cutting or stapling. This
smaller stomach allows the patient
to feel full sooner and stay full
longer. As a result, the patient no
longer feels the need to eat as much
and, thus, loses weight.
FDA-approved, the band
is a silicone elastomer
ring filled with saline
which is connected by
a tube to a small reservoir
placed beneath the skin
during surgery. By adding
or removing saline from
the reservoir via a special
fine needle, the band
can be adjusted to allow
more or less food to pass
between the two parts
of the stomach. The doctor
can fine-tune the opening
to best fit a patient's
needs. The band can be
tightened if the patient
is not losing enough weight,
or loosened if there is
too much weight loss.
Insurers now cover the Lap-Band
As of January 2004, Tufts
Healthcare, Blue Cross of
Massachusetts and Harvard-Pilgrim
all cover approved candidates
for the Lap-band surgery.
Please check with your insurance
company to ensure that you
The advantages of LAP-BAND surgery
- Reduced surgical trauma
- Less invasive
for the abdominal wall (requires
small incisions of 5 to10 millimeters)
and for the stomach (no cutting
or stapling of the organ is needed)
- Shorter hospitalization
than standard surgery
- Respect of the
anatomical and functional integrity
of the stomach without by-passing
portions of the stomach or intestines
to the patient's needs via inflation
or deflation of the band
- Reversible by
removing the band.
Because the abdomen is not actually
opened, operative risk is reduced
as well as morbidity and patient discomfort.
Follow-up of the obese patient, especially
one who has undergone a LAP-BAND procedure,
is an essential part of the treatment.
One of the surgical advantages of
the LAP-BAND System is that the size
of the "funnel" or stoma can be adjusted
post-operatively to individualize
patient care without additional surgery.
The tissue trauma is generally eliminated
altogether with the LAP-BAND System's
unique pre-shaped circular inflation
membrane. The LapBand needs to be
adjusted so that it is the correct
tightness for your size as you are
losing weight. The band tightening,
which is called an adjustment, is
performed in the office by injecting
saline into the reservoir port with
a thin needle through the skin and
takes less than 5 minutes.
Having a Lap-Band procedure allows patients to alter
their eating habits. Patients only need to eat
very small meals, augmented with supplements, regular
lab work and lifetime follow-up.
For more information click
here (takes you to the manufacturer's site).