What is Lap Band Surgery?

Often called lap band after the brand of gastric band used, gastric banding is a restrictive surgical procedure, designed to restrict and reduce your food intake without interfering with your body's normal digestive process. During the lap band procedure, your surgeon implants a medical device - a silicone band with an injection port. The silicone band is placed around the upper part of your stomach and molds the stomach into two connected chambers. The lap band injection port is attached to your abdominal wall, underneath the skin. The port is connected to the band with soft, thin tubing. The port allows the band to be made tighter or looser. These adjustments help achieve the perfect amount of restriction you need to lose weight, but also ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs.

What Are the Types of Lap Bands?

In the U.S., two types of adjustable gastric bands have been approved by the FDA: Lap-Band is manufactured by Allergan and REALIZE band is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Memorial Hermann NewStart specializes in REALIZE gastric banding procedures.

What Are the Benefits of Lap Band Surgery?

Adjustable gastric banding is safe and effective, with advantages that include:

  • Proven success. Patients lose about 40% of their excess body weight within two years.
  • Reversibility. Under the care of our exceptional medical staff surgeons, the Houston lap band surgery can be reversed.
  • Normal digestion and absorption. The Houston lap band procedure does not affect how the body digests food and absorbs vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
  • Less impact on the anatomy. Adjustable gastric banding does not require the opening or removal of any part of the stomach or intestines.

Health Benefits

Studies found that gastric banding:

  • Resolved type 2 diabetes in 47.8% of patients.
  • Resolved high blood pressure in 38.4% of patients.
  • Improved high cholesterol in 78.3% of patients.

For more information, read "Pre-operative Predictors of Weight Loss at 1-Year after Lap-Band® Surgery" from Springer Link.

Quality of Life

One meta-analysis stated that for bariatric surgery patients who experienced significant weight loss:

  • Overall quality of life improved greatly
  • They experienced improved physical functioning and appearance
  • They experienced improved social and economic opportunities

How is Lap Band Surgery Performed?

Adjustable gastric banding (lap band) is performed laparoscopically. Adjustments are made by your surgeon using a needle to inject saline solution into your lap band through the port. Adding saline increases the amount of restriction provided by the lap band, helping you feel fuller sooner and with less food.

What Are the Potential Risks of Lap Band Surgery?

Among the potential complications associated with adjustable gastric banding are puncturing the stomach or gastric perforation, which could require additional surgery; leakage or twisting of the access port; nausea and vomiting; slippage of the band; obstruction of the passage between the pouch and the stomach; enlargement of the pouch; and mechanical failure of the band implant.

Gastric banding can help you feel satisfied sooner and with less food, but it won't eliminate the desire to eat. You will need to follow your specific diet and exercise guidelines provided by your surgeon to achieve success.

Gastric banding requires more intensive follow-up care than most other bariatric surgeries. This is mostly because the band is adjustable. Keep in mind that even after reaching and maintaining your success weight, you may still need to see your surgeon for further adjustments.

Recovery from Lap Band Surgery

Your NewStart team will advise you when to return to work and the time needed to be able to resume normal activities.

Lap Band Evaluation Program

Occasionally, a patient who has undergone a gastric banding procedure – particularly if it was done years ago – develops side effects that indicate the band is not performing as it should. When that happens, a thorough evaluation of the band can help determine the best options to help get back on track.

Patient Success Stories

  • Read about Right Weight Loss Surgery

    The Right Weight Loss Surgery and Losing 220 Pounds

    May 1, 2013

    When Steve began considering weight loss surgery at the age of 56, he was a Type II diabetic with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and unbearable pain in his knee joints. In addition to medications for these conditions, he was taking a diuretic to reduce the swelling in his legs. During his ...

    Read More
  • Read about Belindas Lap Band Success Story

    Belinda's Story: Lap Band Success

    May 1, 2013

    Before her gastric band surgery, Belinda's weight fluctuated between 203 and 205 and her health had begun to deteriorate. In addition to the general aches and pains that accompany excess pounds, she developed heart palpitations and sleep apnea. At the time of her surgery, she was 36-years-old. "I...

    Read More
  • Read about Lap Band Surgery Lowered Cholesterol

    Lap Band Surgery Lowered Cholesterol, Solved Bladder & Knee Problems

    May 1, 2013

    Susan had struggled to maintain a healthy weight since childhood. "I was always teased about being overweight, which took its toll on my self-esteem," she said. "By the time I was in the eighth grade, I weighed 185." During her junior year in high school, Susan played basketball and ran cross-cou...

    Read More

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We are committed to providing you with all the information you need to decide whether bariatric surgery is right for you. Our NewStart Care Concierge Team is here to help you through the entire process from choosing a surgeon to post-surgery support.