Lap band weight loss surgery is in widespread use today and has become an increasingly popular weight loss surgery choice for high BMI obesity patients. This is part is because it has many health advantages over traditional forms of bariatric or gastric bypass surgery.
Traditional gastric bypass surgery is designed to dramatically reduce the size of the stomach by partitioning off a small section at the top of the stomach using a series of staples and, at the same time, to bypass part of the small intestine. This not only restricts the amount of food which a patient can eat, but also reduces the number of calories which the body can absorb from that food, so forcing the body to dip into its fat reserves and burn off stored fat to produce weight loss.
By contrast, gastric lap band surgery (which is sometimes referred to simply as lap band surgery or lap banding) merely reduced the size of the stomach by placing an adjustable silicone band around the upper portion of the stomach and achieves weight loss simply by restricting food intake. The lap band creates a small pouch which holds anything up to about 50 ml, depending on your surgeon, and the size of the newly created opening into the bulk of your normal 1,000 ml stomach can be adjusted by injecting saline into the ring (or removing saline from it) through a port which is placed just under your skin. In other words your digestive system continues to work just as it has always done with the single exception that the quantity of food which you can consume before you feel full in considerably reduced.
Although banding surgery has been in use since 1985, the term lap band surgery was coined in 1993 when the American company INAMED Health designed the BioEntric ® LAP-BAND ® Adjustable Gastric Banding System and the LAP-BAND ® system was first introduced in Europe. Adjustable lap band surgery was granted FDA approval for use in the United States in 2001.
This means that weight loss can be slightly slower with lap band surgery because you are able to extract the full calorific value from your food as it passes through the intestine, but it also means that many of the problems and complications which are associated with traditional surgery are avoided. This is not to say that lap band surgery does not carry risks, but simply that the complications seen are fewer and generally less severe. However, in the longer term, patients can expect to lose similar amounts of weight and lap band surgery will generally lead to a healthier eating regime (with a much wider range of foods being available in the post-surgical diet) and enjoy better long-term weight stability.
Lap banding is also favored by many patients because it requires a relatively short stay in hospital which is followed by a fairly fast recovery. Some people are up and walking around within an hour of their operation and it is not uncommon for you to have the procedure in the morning and to return home late the same day. Depending on your medical history and the type of work that you do, you could also return to work within about 3 to 5 days.
Additionally, this form of surgery is fully reversible as there is no cutting or stapling of the stomach and the procedure (which is often carried out laparoscopically) gives rise to fewer complications. For many patients the fact that the procedure is reversible can be extremely important. For example, if you are a women and considering expanding your family then the band can be removed in the event of pregnancy. Similarly, if the procedure does not produce the results you want then it can again be reversed so that you can then opt for another form of weight loss surgery.
Perhaps most importantly however for many people is the fact the mortality rate is about 0.05% compared to approximately 0.5% in the case of the long established and still widely used Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure. Although mortality rates have fallen considerably in recent years in all forms of obesity surgery (largely due to advances in the field of medicine) there is still a risk of death and this is one risk which you really do want to have as low as possible.
In the article section of this website we provide further information on lap band surgery including the theory behind the procedure, how weight loss is achieved in the months following surgery and the importance of having a good support network in place to help you through what can be a very trying time.
|The benefits and risks of lap bands at a glance.|