The LAP-BAND System originally received its approval from the FDA for use in the US back in June of 2001. The lap band surgery or adjustable gastric band procedure is used in serious desperate situations and is performed with laparoscopic instruments. This means the surgery is minimally invasive with a very short recovery time. Adjustable gastric banding, including the Lap Band system, is a form of restrictive weight loss surgery designed for obesity patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more or between 35 and 40 for those who have conditions that are medically known to improve with weight loss.
Allergic reactions to materials in the band or pain intolerance to implanted devices are both contraindications for having lap band surgery. Those who are eligible are those between ages 18 and 55 years, although there are doctors who will work outside these ages, some can be as young as 12. The surgery is not a good idea when severe cardiopulmonary diseases or other conditions exist which make them poor surgical candidates.
A prospective surgical patient must be a good operative risk. The surgery is usually not performed if the patient has an untreated glandular disease such as hypothyroidism - low thyroid, where other measures may still be used.
The placement of the adjustable gastric band makes a small pouch at the very top of the stomach which holds approximately 50 ml. This pouch 'fills' up with food quickly and the passage of food from the top to the bottom of the stomach is slowed down. The port membrane may be sutured neatly in place. The band is inflated and adjusted by way of a small access port placed just under the skin (subcutaneously). Then radiopaque isotonic solution or saline is introduced into the band by way of the port.
The adjustable gastric band or Lap Band is an inflatable silicone prosthetic apparatus which is placed around the top portion of the stomach using the finite keyhole laparoscopic surgery. The gastric band placement, which is unlike the traditional malabsorptive weight loss surgery (these are Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, biliopancreatic and the duodenal switch) does not cut into or remove any part of the digestive system. The reported gastric dumping syndrome issues or problems do not happen in lap band surgeries because none of the intestines are removed, cut out or re-routed.
Following surgery the patient should think about eating less, eating more slowly and chewing food thoroughly. Some of the patients may find that that before their first fill they're able to eat fairly large portions. Following surgery the initial weight loss in gastric banding is a little slower than with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery but statistics show that during a five-year-period the weight loss results are similar.
Regaining weight can happen with any surgical weight loss procedure and that includes the radical procedures that result in a rapid weight loss in the beginning. The amount of weight that is lost the months following surgery depends on the patient and their personal situation, their motivation, and their mobility.
Other possible complications of gastric band surgery include the ulceration of and irritated stomach tissue. And erosion can occur, that is where the band may wear on a small area on the outside of the stomach. And this can lead to the migration of the band to the inside of the stomach.
For some of the adjustable gastric band surgery complications involving the band itself and port, they include: some band slippage, possible pouch dilation, esophageal dilatation or some dysmotility and possible erosion of the band into the gastric lumen for example. A real common occurrence for patients is the regurgitation of some non-acidic swallowed food from the upper pouch, which is commonly called productive burping and is not normal.
If you are considering surgery it is critical that you find a weight loss team with a good post-surgical plan because recommendations can vary drastically. Some post-surgical weight loss surgery teams offer good support groups, but some of them mix gastric bypass surgery patients with gastric banding patients and you want to find a support group for gastric banding patients only. Many patients have chosen to travel to other countries for low cost lap band surgery and there are many countries now including Mexico that are offering the weight loss surgeries.