Lap Band Surgery: An Overview
A laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, commonly called a lap-band, A band, or LAGB is an inflatable silicone device placed around the top portion of the stomach to treat obesity, intended to slow consumption of food and thus reduce the amount of food consumed.
Lap band surgery is an example of bariatric surgery designed for obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater—or between 35 and 40 in cases of patients with certain comorbidities that are known to improve with weight loss, such as sleep apnea, diabetes, osteoarthritis, GERD, hypertension (high blood pressure), or metabolic syndrome, among others.
The inflatable band is placed around the upper part of the stomach to create a smaller stomach pouch. This slows and limits the amount of food that can be consumed at one time, thus giving the opportunity for the sense of satiety to be met with the release of peptide YY (PYY). It does not decrease gastric emptying time. The individual achieves sustained weight loss by choosing healthy food options, limiting food intake and volume, reducing appetite, and progress of food from the top portion of the stomach to the lower portion digestion.
There are two types of bands: Realize Band and Lap-Band. The device comes in five different sizes and has undergone modification over the years. The latest models, the Lap-Band AP-L and Lap-Band AP-S, feature a standardized injection port sutured into the skin and fill volumes of 14 mL and 10 mL respectively.
Lap Band Surgery is usually not recommended for people with any of the following:
- If the surgery or treatment represents an unreasonable risk to the patient.
- Untreated endocrine diseases such as hypothyroidism.
- Inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract such as ulcers, esophagitis or Crohn’s disease.
- Severe cardiopulmonary diseases or other conditions which may make them poor surgical candidates in general.
- An allergic reaction to materials contained in the band or who have exhibited a pain intolerance to implanted devices.
- Dependency on alcohol or drugs.
- People with severe learning or cognitive disabilities or emotionally unstable people.
Benefits of Lap band surgery when compared to other Bariatric Surgeries
- Lower mortality rate: only 1 in 1000 versus 1 in 250 for Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.
- No cutting or stapling of the stomach.
- Short hospital stay.
- Quick recovery.
- Adjustable without additional surgery.
- No malabsorption issues (because no intestines are bypassed).
- Fewer life-threatening complications.
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