The LAP-BAND® system is designed to help you lose excess body weight. It uses a procedure called laparoscopic banding. This process is the least invasive way to use surgery to reduce the amount of food your stomach can hold. The name LAP-BAND® comes from the surgical technique used (laparoscopic) and the product used (gastric band).
One big advantage of the LAP-BAND® system is that the band can be adjusted to meet your needs. This is not possible with other bariatric surgical techniques.
How Does the LAP-BAND® System work?
The adjustable band of the LAP-BAND® is a silicone elastomer hollow ring filled with saline and placed around the upper part of the stomach. This creates a new, small stomach pouch with the larger part of the stomach below the band. This way, the food storage area in the stomach is reduced. The pouch above the band can only hold a small amount of food. The LAP-BAND® also controls the stoma (stomach outlet) between the two parts of the stomach. The size of the opening between the upper and lower part of the stomach controls the flow rate of the food between the two parts of the stomach. This lets you feel full sooner and feel full longer.
To change the size of the stoma the inner surface of the band can be adjusted by adding or removing saline. This process is called inflating or deflating. The band is connected by a tube to an access port placed beneath the abdominal skin during surgery. Later, the surgeon can control the amount of saline in the band by piercing the access port through the skin with a fine needle. If the band is too loose and the weight loss too small, adding more saline can reduce the size of the stoma. If the band is too tight, the surgeon will remove some saline by using the same access port. Being able to adjust the band is a unique feature of the LAP-BAND® System and is a normal part of the follow-up.