The Adjustable Gastric Band
A laparoscopic adjustable gastric band – commonly termed a “lap band” – is an inflatable device made of silicone that is placed around the top part of a patient’s stomach during LAP-BAND® surgery. Adjustable gastric bands are made from completely biocompatible material, allowing them to stay in your body without causing any harm.
Two types of adjustable gastric bands have been approved by the FDA for use in the United States: the LAP-BAND® System and the REALIZE® Band. These two surgeries are the least invasive bariatric procedures of their kind, usually resulting in a faster recovery process, shorter hospital stay, less pain, and smaller scars than other open surgery procedures. Since no part of a patient’s stomach is stapled, removed, or re-routed, the body can continue to normally absorb nutrients from food.
How the Adjustable Gastric Band Works
The placement of the adjustable gastric band is designed to create a division in the stomach, resulting in a small pouch at the top of your stomach that can only hold around ½ cup of food at one time. (A typical stomach holds around 6 cups of food at once.)
Adjustable gastric bands can hold from 4 to 12 cc of saline solution; when the band is inflated with this solution, pressure is placed around the outside of the stomach, decreasing the size of the passage between the small upper pouch and the lower stomach. This restricts the movement of food.
Over the course of your treatment, Dr. Dahiya will adjust the gastric band until the ideal restriction has been achieved: not so tight that food can’t be properly digested, but not so loose that your hunger is not controlled. The band is adjusted by filling it with the saline solution through a small access port just under your skin. For most patients, this process only takes a few short minutes.
Diet is Key to the Gastric Band’s Success
It’s important to remember that the adjustable gastric band is a tool to assist you with weight loss, not a cure by itself. You must follow a specific dietary plan outlined by Dr. Dahiya in order to meet your weight loss goals. If you continue your previous eating habits after bariatric surgery, you will stretch your stomach and undermine the effectiveness of the surgery.
Gastric banding surgery requires you to be committed to a permanent change in your diet and lifestyle. If you are ready for the challenge, bariatric surgery can be an incredibly valuable experience that puts you on the path towards a healthy future and a renewed life.
If you live in the Los Angeles, Orange County, or Riverside areas of California and are considering LAP-BAND® or REALIZE® Band surgery, please contact experienced bariatric surgeon Dr. Shyam Dahiya today to schedule a consultation.