The LAP-BAND® is a silicone belt that is placed at the top of the stomach to help limit portion size and control hunger. The tightness of the LAP-BAND® is adjusted in the office to tailor the procedure’s effects to each individual patient’s needs. Most patients go home the same day of surgery and have a relatively quick recovery.
With no cutting or stapling, the LAP-BAND® System is up to 10 times safer than more extensive weight loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass or gastric sleeve. Risks of the procedure include mechanical problems with the adjustment port that are usually easily resolved (1%), band slippage (2%), erosion or infection (0.5%). Complications can generally be handled as outpatient, elective procedures. Major complications are less common than with other procedures, and the LAP-BAND® is generally considered the safest weight loss surgery available.
Using general anesthesia, the LAP-BAND® System is put into place during a laparoscopic procedure performed using long, thin instruments inserted through a few tiny incisions (usually 0.5 to 1.5 cm). Usually done on an outpatient basis, the surgery itself typically takes about 30 minutes and consists of the following steps:
- Your surgeon implants the LAP-BAND® System around the upper part of your stomach, much like a belt.
- A tube is then connected from the LAP-BAND® System to a small access port, fixed beneath the skin of your abdomen.
- After the first four weeks, adjustments to the LAP-BAND® System are made through the access port. This is done as needed—more frequently in the first year—to maintain optimal weight loss by adding or removing saline solution.
LAP-BAND® TOTAL CARE®
The surgeons who perform the LAP-BAND® System procedure have been trained and certified, meeting rigid standards for qualification. These standards include:
- Demonstrated surgical and advanced laparoscopic skills.
- Completed an Allergan training course (mandatory by the FDA).
- Performed several surgeries under the observation of an experienced LAP-BAND® System surgeon approved to “Proctor” the case.
- Additionally, Allergan offers another level of certification: LAP-BAND® TOTAL CARE®.
Surgeons dedicated to furthering their knowledge, experience and patient follow-up care are offered the LAP-BAND® TOTAL CARE® certification program, which Drs. Keith Wright and Gerardo Carcamo have completed. This includes:
- Patient education and relationship management
- Medical requirements and assessments
- Financial requirements and sources
- The LAP-BAND® adjustable gastric banding system surgery-related issues
- Food choices and lifestyle management
- Regular adjustments and checkups
- Unsatisfactory weight loss and complications
- Whole body image