Lap-Band Procedure

The Lap-Band procedure is a minimally invasive surgery that involves placing a saline-filled tube ( the LAP-BAND) around the stomach--creating a small gastric pouch.

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.

*** Major Insurers now cover the Lap-Band Procedure***

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 are covered.

The advantages of LAP-BAND surgery include:

  • Reduced surgical trauma and pain
  • 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
  • Individualized 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.

LAP-BAND (Prosthesis)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).


Gastric ByPass Surgery




LAP-BAND (Prosthesis)



Other related surgeries

Surgery for excess abdominal skin

of the
Surgical Program





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