Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery

The adjustable gastric band, or lap-band is a type of bariatric surgery in which a restrictive device is placed around the intake to the stomach to reduce the intake of food. Typically the device is inserted via laproscopic surgery, which is minimally invasive and allows for quick recovery. As with most bariatric surgery, candidates for a lap-band procedure typically have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35-40+ and exhibit one or more of the related co-morbidities. Unlike some other weight loss surgery options, the adjustable gastric band is not permanent and is easily reversed with a second minor surgery.

What is the Difference Between a Lap-Band and a Gastric Band?
Lap-Band is a brand of adjustable gastric bands that is popular and commonly used. There are about seven other brands that may be chosen. Each of these adjustable gastric bands are devices that are put around the entry point to the stomach, and filled with saline solution. It may require several repeat trips to the doctor to achieve the proper inflation point.

Benefits of the Adjustable Gastric Band

  • Procedure is fully reversible - The stomach will return to its original shape if the device is removed.

  • Reduced mortality rate - Much lower than that of gastric bypass.

  • No malabsorptive issues - Because the intestines are not bypassed.

  • No cutting or stapling of the stomach - Reduced recovery time.

What are the Downsides to Lap-Band Surgery?
Because the adjustable gastric band is only a restrictive procedure, weight loss is typically not as fast as with malabsorptive procedures. In addition, the lap-band may require adjusting over time, and is therefore a less viable procedure for medical tourism. If the lap-band is not properly positioned, the patient may experience extensive vomiting in the post-operative period.

How Does it Work?
An intragastric band procedure is basically like putting a belt around the upper part of the stomach, which creates a small pouch. This then restricts the ability to ingest food and leads to weight loss through the reduction in caloric intake. Because lap band surgery is not a malabsorptive procedure, there is no need for nutritional supplements after the operation. For this same reason though, a patient will typically experience less weight loss than a procedure that does minimize the absorption of food.

To place the device, it is inserted laparoscopically and wrapped around the stomach. It is then tightened to turn the stomach into an hourglass shape which restricts the passage of food. As the small upper stomach pouch fills up, the pateint feels full quicker and eats less food. Once properly placed, the band is locked into place and adjusted accordingly by the surgeon.

After surgery the device can be adjusted by injecting (or releasing) saline into the attached port which sits near the skin. This allows for post-surgical adjustment without the need for reoperation. Lap band surgery is performed under general anasthesia and generally lasts between 30 to 60 minutes.

Is Lap Band Surgery for Me?
Contact our weight loss specialists to see whether you are a good candidate for an intragastric band procedure. This is just one of many treatments for obesity that our highly experienced team has to offer. Each case may be different, so ask our experts today what is right for you.


Cirugía Para La Obesidad
Calle 83 # 16A - 44, Office 501. Bogotá, Colombia
PBX:  +57 (1) 7033872

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