LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric
Adjustable Gastric Banding
LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Band is a small device
made of silicone rubber which is wrapped around the
very uppermost portion of the stomach. Gastric banding
is a purely restrictive procedure, which means that
it works by decreasing the functional size of the stomach.
The LAP-BAND® turns the stomach into an hourglass shape
-- the upper portion of the hourglass is called the
stomach pouch. The food you eat quickly fills the pouch,
then empties very slowly through the constriction created
by the band, just like sand passing through an hourglass.
The LAP-BAND® was approved by the
FDA for general use in June 2001. While the final data
has not yet been compiled, the preliminary information
suggests that Americans can lose about 40-50% of their
excess body weight with this device. This compares to
50-80% of excess weight loss with gastric bypass and
of the LAP-BAND®
The LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Band has
several potential advantages:
- Because it is a relatively simple operation, it
has a very low operative risk. No cutting or stapling
of the stomach is required, and the small intestine
is not rerouted. Because of this, the procedure
is more easily reversed than other types of weight
- The band is adjustable by injecting saline into
an access port which is located underneath the skin
on your abdomen. This allows the amount of restriction
to be tailored to your personal needs. No other
operation has this adjustability.
of the LAP-BAND®
Some disadvantages include:
- The LAP-BAND® is a foreign body. Any time
a foreign body is placed around the stomach, problems
such as infection or erosion may occur.
- Everyone requires multiple band adjustments (at
least 3 or 4). Some people require substantially
more adjustments. For some people, it may be difficult
to find the "sweet spot" where the band
is tight enough for good weight loss but not so
tight that it causes vomiting.
- Weight loss with the LAP-BAND® is quite variable.
While some patients have excellent weight loss with
the device, others have very little.
- The LAP-BAND® may have a higher need for reoperation
than other procedures. Up to 10-20% of patients
may need revisional surgery after the LAP-BAND®.
Q. I have heard there is a
"Swedish" band as well. Is this device
currently available in the United States?
A. No, as of 2005, the only adjustable gastric
band available is the LAP-BAND® Adjustable
Gastric Band from the Allergan Corporation. Other
gastric bands may be available in the U.S. in
the near future.
LAP-BAND® is a registered trademark
of Allergan, Inc.