Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), also known as the LAP-BAND® system, is a prosthetic device that wraps around the upper part of the stomach separating it into a small section and a larger section. By limiting the amount of food the stomach can hold, the patient eats less and experiences a sense of fullness more quickly. Weight loss is achieved by reducing calorie intake. The adjustable band can be loosened or tightened to change the rate of weight loss. The adjustable gastric banding system usually helps patients lose 50-55% of excess body weight over a period of approximately 2 years.
The procedure usually takes less than an hour and is performed laparoscopically. This means that only a few small incisions are made in the abdomen and long, thin instruments are used to perform the surgery. The surgeon is able to see inside the patient’s body with a tiny camera. The surgeon will place the band around the upper part of the stomach to form a ring. Adjustments are made through a discrete, comfortable access port that is placed just beneath the skin.
The band is not inflated until after the patient heals from surgery. Recovery time is typically 4-6 weeks long. The doctor can adjust the tightness of the band by inserting a needle into the access port. Adding saline tightens the band and removing saline loosens the band.
For the first two weeks after surgery, the stomach can only handle small amounts of liquids while healing. It is important to continue sipping water to avoid dehydration. Some patients may experience irregular bowel movements after surgery and this is common. Patients can start to eat solid foods gradually.
Weight loss is a gradual process. The doctor may recommend that the patient see a dietitian to plan healthy meals. The doctor can adjust the band if the patient isn’t losing weight as expected. Gastric binding is only a tool for weight loss. For best results, the patient should eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
The ideal candidate for weight loss surgery is severely overweight and has not been able to lose weight with diet and exercise alone. Surgery is usually considered when the patient’s body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher.
Our bariatric surgeon, Dr. Ahad Khan, offers patients a variety of safe and effective, minimally invasive weight loss surgical options. Call 678-691-0880 to schedule your consultation.