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Gastric Banding and the Lap-Band System

Gastric Banding or Laparoscopic Gastric Banding is a surgical procedure where a band is placed around the upper part of your stomach to create a small pouch where food is held. The Lap-Band System is a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure that promotes faster recovery while following a diet and exercise program. A gastric band works well for weight loss because it puts limitations on the amount of food an individual can eat.[1]  Individual’s using a gastric band feel full sooner, are hungry much less often, and can better control their portion sizes. Keeping food consumption to a minimum leads to quick weight loss.The band can be adjusted post-surgery to make food pass at an adjusted pace throughout your stomach. The average gastric banding patient sees a loss of 35% to 45% of excess weight.

Who is a candidate for the Lap-Band System?

  • Candidates whose BMI is 40+ (extreme obesity)
  • Candidates with a BMI of over 30 and has one or more weight related health conditions

Those who’ve had a history of weight loss attempts are prime candidates, but keep in mind that candidates must also be committed to changing their diet habits and lifestyle in the long-term, which means following their physicians recommendations when it comes to nutrition and exercise habits.

Who should not receive Lap-Band or gastric banding procedures?

  • Those with any inflammation or prior injury to the esophagus, stomach lining, or gastrointestinal tract.
  • Those with severe cardiovascular or lung disease.
  • Anyone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol
  • Those with metal allergies
  • Those with autoimmune diseases such as lupus or scleroderma

Risks of gastric banding

Gastric banding is considered one of the least invasive weight loss surgeries and also one of the safest. The procedure can be reversed if necessary, and in time, the stomach generally returns to its normal size. There have been some reports of the following issues, but these occurrences are rare:

  • Blood loss
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Gastritis
  • Poor nutrient absorption/Malnutrition
  • Bowel blockage

Though the Lap-Band is considered one of the least invasive weight loss surgeries out there, it will be important to maintain a diet and exercise program in the long-term to maintain progress.

References

[1] https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007388.htm

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