What is LAP-BAND ® Surgery?
The LAP-BAND ® is the leading system used in gastric banding, a type of bariatric surgery. As a prosthetic device that reduces the portion of the stomach responsible for food intake, LAP-BAND leads to a more immediate sensation of fullness. For this reason, LAP-BAND is known to help patients effectively achieve long-term weight loss over a gradual period of time.
Who is a Candidate for LAP-BAND?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recommended criteria for undergoing any type of bariatric surgery begins with a body mass index (BMI) between 35 and 39 with other co-morbid conditions; or, a BMI of 40 or more with no co-morbidity requirements. These co-morbidity conditions include, but may not be limited to:
- High cholesterol
- Sleep apnea
The above guidelines are also common requisites of insurance companies that cover the procedure. While each company is different, many also ask for documentation of previous weight loss attempts.
About the Procedure
As a laparoscopic procedure, LAP-BAND is minimally-invasive. While traditional LAP-BAND surgery involves an average of five incisions, recent developments have allowed for some surgeons to begin offering single-incision LAP-BAND procedures.
Following incision placement, your LAP-BAND surgeon will connect the device to an access port beneath the abdominal skin. This port allows for future access so that the LAP-BAND may be adjusted when necessary. Most patients require a short series of adjustments over time, in order to maintain their weight loss goals.
What to Expect Following LAP-BAND Surgery
During your LAP-BAND surgery recovery, you can expect to consume a liquid diet until directed by your doctor to transition toward soft, then solid, foods. Following dietary instructions is imperative to avoiding nausea, vomiting, and other hindrances to your healing. Limitations on carbonated beverages and other foods will be an important part of this new nutrition plan.
Although individual results may vary, many LAP-BAND patients average a loss of one to two pounds per week in the first year following surgery. Because this gradual decline emulates the outcome that is typically recommended for natural weight loss, the process is considered a generally safe weight loss method. However, LAP-BAND is reversible and removable should complications occur.