Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding Surgery

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, also known as the lap band surgery, is a minimally invasive weight loss procedure, which reduces your stomach’s capacity, limiting the amount of food you can intake at a given time. A band is placed at the top of the stomach and tightened to create a small pouch.

A small tube connects the band to a port placed under the skin of the abdomen. The tightness of the band is adjusted periodically in the surgeon's office by injecting saline solution into the band through the port. These adjustments can increase or decrease the size of the stomach outlet. Gastric banding surgery is usually conducted laparoscopically (minimally invasively) while you are under general anesthesia. While you may be in the operating room for two to three hours, the surgery itself typically takes about an hour.

Since there is no cutting, stapling or intestinal re-routing involved in laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery, it is considered the safest and least traumatic compared to other weight loss surgeries

In gastric banding surgery, the band is normally left in place for the rest of the person's life. The band is adjustable, removable and does not permanently alter the anatomy. 

How effective is the gastric banding procedure?

In terms of weight loss, most people will lose between 50 and 65 percent of their excess body weight. For someone weighing 350 pounds, with an ideal body weight of 150 pounds, this is equal to a loss of 100 to 120 pounds. Weight loss is generally slower with the gastric banding procedure as compared to gastric bypass.

Is gastric banding procedure reversible?

Yes, the band can be removed at any time through a similar procedure. The stomach and other anatomy are intact. However, removal of the band requires another surgery and is typically only performed if there are severe side effects or complications. Weight gain is expected if the band is removed.

Disadvantages of gastric banding

  • Slower initial weight loss than gastric bypass
  • Possibly less weight loss than gastric bypass
  • Regular follow-up for band adjustments is critical for optimal results