Overview of LAP-BAND® Surgery
Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) is one of the most frequently performed types of weight loss surgery for the treatment of obesity. This bariatric procedure has proven to be a safe and effective method of surgical weight loss since its worldwide debut in the mid 1990's.
LAGB has been available in the United States since June 2001, when the LAP-BAND® System of adjustable gastric banding system was approved for safety by the FDA. It is currently the top selling adjustable gastric band system, with over 750,000 LAP-BAND® Systems sold worldwide.
About The LAP-BAND® System
The LAP-BAND® System is a medical device designed to help severely overweight people achieve long-term weight loss. It is placed into the body during a relatively simple operation which has a low rate of surgical complications. Recovery is quicker and the hospital stay is shorter than with gastric bypass surgery. The band is adjustable to a patients needs and can be reversed if medically necessary.
The LAP-BAND® System consists of an adjustable gastric band, tubing, and an access port. The design has undergone several revisions over the years, a result of integrating technological advances with functional improvements. It is now in the third generation, which is identified as the LAP-BAND® AP System, "designed for Advanced Performance."
The three generations of LAP-BAND® adjustable gastric band are:
- The 9.75/10 LAP-BAND® System
- The LAP-BAND® VG System
- THE LAP-BAND® AP System
The first generation, LAP-BAND® 9.75/10, was released in 2001. It featured one single inner balloon with a 260-280 degree fill radius and a 4cc fill volume.
The second generation, LAP-BAND® VG, was released in 2004. It featured an inner balloon comprised of 6 baffles (mini reservoirs) with a 280-300 degree fill radius and a 10cc fill volume.
The current version, LAP-BAND® AP, was released in 2007 and is the most advanced adjustable gastric band system. It features a low pressure inner ring that is soft and pre-curved with 7 baffles (mini reservoirs) and a 360 fill radius. There are two band sizes (AP Standard, 10cc and AP Large, 14cc) and two port sizes (11.9mm or 14.7mm profile) enabling placement to be tailored to an individuals anatomy.
What is LAP-BAND® Surgery?
The LAP-BAND® procedure involves placing an adjustable silicone band around the upper part of the stomach which reduces the opening to the stomach and creates a smaller food pouch at the top of the stomach. The larger portion of the stomach is left below the band. The inner liner of the gastric band is a hollow ring filled with saline that can be adjusted with more or less saline to create a smaller or larger opening.
How is the LAP-BAND® placed into the body?
LAP-BAND® surgery is usually performed laparoscopically, a modern and minimally invasive method of surgery. General anesthesia is required with laparoscopic surgery.
With laparoscopic surgery, small incisions are made in the abdominal wall, then narrow and hollow tubes are inserted thru the incisions to the surgical area. Specially designed instruments and cameras are inserted thru the tubes to perform the surgery. The camera takes pictures and shows then on a monitor which allows the surgeon to see inside the abdomen.
The surgeon inserts the LAP-BAND® into the body and positions the gastric band around the stomach to form a ring and then fastens the lock which holds the band in place. The access port, which is connected to the gastric band via tubing, is fastened to the inside of the abdominal wall.
The advantages of laparoscopic surgery are less pain, fewer wound complications, and a quicker recovery than traditional open surgery.
How does the LAP-BAND® promote weight loss?
LAP-BAND® Surgery, or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, helps with weight loss by restricting food consumption and slowing digestion. By limiting how much food can be eaten at any one time and reducing hunger sensations it can help an individual eat less and thus lose weight.
The smaller gastric pouch that is created by the gastric band limits the amount of food that can be eaten and slows the emptying process from the stomach into the intestines. The smaller stomach pouch and slower digestion rate lets you feel full sooner and feel full longer. The band can be adjusted to let in more or less food as needed.
How is the LAP-BAND® adjusted?
During surgery, an access port is placed beneath the skin that is connected to the gastric band via tubing. Saline can be easily added or removed by the surgeon thru the access port using a thin needle. This process is called inflating or deflating. If weight loss is too small and the band is too loose, saline is added to reduce the opening. If the opening is too tight, saline can be removed. The ability to adjust the opening is a unique feature of the LAP-BAND® procedure and a normal part of follow-up care.