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Lap Band Surgery

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Restrictive operations, like laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery, are used only to restrict and decrease the amount of food you eat by reducing the size of your stomach. They do not interfere with your normal digestive process.

With laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery, a hollow band made of special material is placed around your stomach near its upper end through several small incisions in your abdomen. This lap band procedure creates a small pouch and a narrow passage into the larger remaining portion of your stomach.

Two different types of bands can be used for gastric banding surgery.

  • Realize™ Band Lap Band Procedure
  • LAP-BAND® Lap Band Procedure

The small passage created by the lap band procedure reduces the amount of food that your stomach can hold at one time. It also delays the digestion (emptying of food) from the pouch and causes a feeling of fullness for a long period of time. This combination allows you to lose weight without feeling hungry.


With the lap band procedure, the band can be tightened or loosened over time to change the size of the passage. Initially, the pouch holds about 1 ounce of food and later expands to 2-3 ounces. You will need to have regular follow-up visits with your doctor after your gastric banding surgery to make sure your band is properly fitted.

On average, gastric banding surgery takes one to four hours of operating time. Minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery usually requires a hospital stay of one to two days, if there are no complications. As with any surgery there are some risks involved, but your surgeon will discuss these with you in detail before your gastric banding surgery. There is also a detailed follow-up plan for all bariatric surgeries.

Some patients who have had a Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band placed experience problems after their procedure. These may include significant heartburn, vomiting, difficulty eating despite the band being properly adjusted and/or not achieving the weight loss they desire. Others may experience a slipped band, which can result in the band not functioning properly.

Our physicians can remove the adjustable band and convert to one of two other bariatric procedures, the Sleeve Gastrectomy or the Gastric Bypass. Either of these procedures can be done laparoscopically, and both are very good surgical alternatives for band patients who are experiencing complications or who have not reached their weight loss goals.

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