What is Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding?

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is a minimally invasive approach in which an inflatable silicone band is implanted into the abdomen. The LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System was the first adjustable medical device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States for individualized weight loss for obese patients whose weight is affecting their health. Other banding systems followed; often, all of the systems are called incorrectly by the same name of LAP-BAND.

The original Allergan-designed device is the only true LAP-BAND, and surgeons with North Florida Regional’s Center for Obesity Surgery and Treatment are the only physicians in Gainesville who offer their patients the LAP-BAND System.

How is the LAP-BAND® surgery performed?

The LAP-BAND is used to wrap the stomach, allowing less food to enter.

The procedure is performed in an operating room at North Florida Regional Medical Center by one of the four bariatric surgeons who care for patients at the Center for Obesity Surgery and Treatment. Surgeons perform this procedure laparoscopically, and that means only a few, small incisions are necessary. The surgeon operates by introducing a small camera and tools into the abdominal cavity through those small incisions. Because the surgery is minimally invasive, recovery is fast with little pain and discomfort. Through small incisions in the abdomen, the surgeon fastens a band around the upper part of the stomach to create a tiny pouch that limits and controls the amount of food eaten. The band can be adjusted to achieve lifelong control over weight loss. Usually, adjustable gastric banding can be performed as an outpatient procedure so that patients can go home the same day.

There is no cutting, stapling or stomach re-routing; therefore, this method is considered the least traumatic of all weight loss surgeries.

What happens after surgery?

The band the surgeon places around the top of the stomach is an inflatable doughnut-shaped balloon, and the diameter can be adjusted by adding or removing saline through a port that is positioned beneath the skin of your abdomen. The more saline that is injected into the band by the surgeon, the more restriction you will experience while eating. Since the new pouch holds less food and empties more slowly than the normal stomach, you will feel full after eating less than prior to surgery. Saline injections will happen during regular visits to the Center for Obesity Surgery and Treatment. Patients often call these appointments ‘fill visits.’ Your first fill visit will happen approximately one month after surgery.

Injection of saline into the band is not the only thing that will happen during these regular visits to the clinic office. Patients will also talk with physicians, nurses and our dietitian to be sure all questions and concerns are addressed. Our dietitian will offer guidance and counseling about what kinds of foods patients should eat and what challenges they may experience. Even though there is very little malabsorption with this procedure, there are certain vitamins patients will take going forward to prevent deficiencies, and that information will also be shared during regular visits. Our staff will monitor patient weight loss and overall health. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is not a magic pill. It is a tool. Patients who achieve their goals are careful to follow this entire program. Our team works together so that patients have the resources needed to reach their goals.