Laparoscopic Gastric Banding also referred to as ‘Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding’ (LAGB) or Lap Band, is a weight loss or ‘bariatric’ procedure which can help patients who are significantly obese.
Surgery however is generally only recommended where other non-surgical weight loss methods have not worked.
Laparoscopic Gastric Banding induces weight loss by reducing the capacity of the stomach, which in turn restricts the amount of food that can be consumed. It has been highly successful in the treatment for morbid obesity.
Laparoscopic surgery is commonly known as keyhole surgery or ‘minimally invasive’ surgery. Laparoscopic gastric banding is reversible, however as with all surgical procedures it should not be undertaken lightly.
While the Gastric Band System is an effective treatment for morbid obesity, the kilos do not come off by themselves. The Gastric Band System is an aid to support you in achieving lasting results by limiting food intake, reducing appetite and slowing digestion. However, your motivation and commitment to adopt a new lifestyle are extremely important for long-term weight loss. New eating habits must be adhered to for the rest of your life. Exercise is an equally important component of a changed lifestyle.
The Gastric Band System is suitable for use in weight reduction for severely obese patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 or a BMI of at least 35 with one or more severe co-morbid conditions, or those who are 45kg or more over their estimated ideal weight.
The Gastric Band System may be right for you if:
The silicon ‘band’ is placed around the upper part of the stomach and then is tightened by adding saline solution inside the band. This has the effect of reducing the usable stomach size which in turn reduces appetite.
The surgical procedure is conducted under a general anaesthetic and takes around two hours to complete. Using laparoscopic (‘keyhole’) techniques three to five 2.5cm incisions are made to the abdomen to allow access for the laparoscopic surgical instruments. The surgeon views the procedure via a small video camera inserted into the abdominal cavity.
The band is fitted in place using sutures and a ‘gastric band port’ is created under the skin to allow the band to be easily adjusted if necessary, by adding or removing saline solution inside the band.
The Gastric Band System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required at some time. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Patients should not expect to lose weight as fast as gastric bypass patients, and band inflation should proceed in small increments. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.
Placement of the Gastric Band System is major surgery and, like any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body.
Band slippage, erosion and deflation, obstruction of the stomach, dilation of the oesophagus, infection, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required.
Rapid weight loss may result in complications that can require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.
Not all contraindications, warnings or adverse events are included in this brief description. More detailed risk information is available at www.lapband.com.au.
When you meet Dr Watson, he will discuss the various options and work with you to determine which operation may be the best for your individual situation. This may depend on factors such as your Body Mass Index (BMI), whether you are diabetic, previous surgery and expectations.
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