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St. Mark's Hospital
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Taylorsville Emergency Center
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Gastric Banding Surgery

The gastric band or Lap-Band® is a device placed around your stomach that 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.

The gastric band surgery uses restriction to help patients lose weight. Essentially this helps you to feel full on smaller amounts of food. During the procedure, the surgeon places a band around your stomach and places a port that is located under your skin near your ribs. The band can be adjusted through the port using a saline. By adding saline, the band becomes tighter and helps you to feel full on smaller amounts of food. Digestion occurs through the normal digestive process.

Since the gastric band is put in place using small incisions or using laparoscopic surgery. The procedure is minimally invasive with no stapling or dividing of the stomach. The procedure can usually be performed in less than an hour. You'll probably be "up and around" later that day. Many of our patients are discharged the same day as their procedure, or after only a single night's stay.

Gastric Band Surgery

Advantages

  • Reduces the amount of food the stomach can hold
  • Induces excess weight loss of approximately 40 – 50 percent
  • Involves no cutting of the stomach or rerouting of the intestines
  • Requires a shorter hospital stay, usually less than 24 hours, with some centers discharging the patient the same day as surgery
  • Is reversible and adjustable
  • Has the lowest rate of early postoperative complications and mortality among the approved bariatric procedures
  • Has the lowest risk for vitamin/mineral deficiencies

Disadvantages

  • Slower and less early weight loss than other surgical procedures
  • Greater percentage of patients failing to lose at least 50 percent of excess body weight compared to the other surgeries commonly performed
  • Requires a foreign device to remain in the body
  • Can result in possible band slippage or band erosion into the stomach in a small percentage of patients
  • Can have mechanical problems with the band, tube or port in a small percentage of patients
  • Can result in dilation of the esophagus if the patient overeats
  • Requires strict adherence to the postoperative diet and to postoperative followup visits
  • Highest rate of re-operation

What should I expect at my first band adjustment?

This will usually take place about four to six weeks after surgery. The exact time will vary from patient to patient. The adjustment is a simple process:

  1. Your surgeon will locate the access port underneath the skin of your abdomen — either by feeling for it on the surface of your skin, or using an X-ray.
  2. A fine needle is inserted into the access port. You may feel a pricking sensation similar to when you give blood.
  3. Sterile saline fluid is added to the band.