Gastric Banding Surgery

Also known as: Lap Band Surgery, Laparoscopic Placement of Lap Band

At Providence, our number one priority is help you regain control of your health and your life. We understand that weight loss is a complete lifestyle change, and with our restrictive bariatric surgical procedures, Providence helps you take the first step in the right direction. We understand that your health is specific to you, so we make sure that our weight loss surgeries fit your personal weight loss plan in an efficient and compassionate manner.

Gastric Banding Surgery is a restrictive bariatric surgical procedure. It uses laparoscopic (minimally-invasive) techniques and a silicone band to create a smaller stomach pouch that helps limit food intake. It does so without disrupting normal digestive processes. 

Whereas the stomach can naturally hold four to six ounces of food, the smaller stomach pouch created by the weight loss surgery can only hold about one ounce. This small pouch delays the digestive process and causes a feeling of fullness faster and for a longer period of time.

The weight loss generated by surgery has a high positive impact on various medical conditions associated with obesity such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Pickwickian syndrome (obesity hypoventilation syndrome)
  • GERD 
  • Knee pain

The laparoscopic placement of the lap band is also likely to improve or resolve obesity related medical conditions such as:

  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Infertility
  • Back pain
  • Hirsutism (women)
  • Infertility (women) 
  • Pseudotumor cerebri

Before your weight loss procedure, your doctor will provide you with educational material regarding the surgery. The operation begins with general anesthesia and an IV.

During the operation, a breathing tube is inserted through your mouth and into your (esophagus) to help you breathe throughout the procedure. 

Your surgeon will use several small keyhole incisions to insert small fiber-optic laparoscopes into your abdomen to perform the surgery. It works as light source through which some surgical instruments may pass.

Using the laparoscopes, a silicone band is placed around the stomach near its upper end, creating a small pouch and a narrow passage into the larger remainder of the stomach. The pouch's lower outlet usually has a diameter of about 1/4 inch. 

After the operation, you can typically eat only up to a single cup of food without discomfort or nausea. You will likely over time lose the ability to eat large amounts of food in one sitting and you must thoroughly chew your food. Ideally, you will progress to eating modest amounts of food without feeling hungry. 

Though gastric band surgery has become almost routine, weight loss surgery carries certain side effects and possible complications. These include:

  • Excess skin due to rapid weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Gallstones 
  • Lactose intolerance 
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 

The average person who has a gastric band operation loses 75 to 80 percent of excess weight after surgery. About half of this weight loss occurs during the first three months following surgery and continues more gradually over the following 12 to 15 months.

Very rarely, pressure by the band can create a hole in stomach or the body rejects the band entirely. These complications would require surgical repair.

Bariatric surgery changes your life forever. Aside from physical side effects, the psychosocial impact of your weight loss surgery can bring dramatic changes (both positive and negative) to your lifestyle. These can affect your personal relationships and your relationship with food. To help you during this significant adjustment period, we offer a support group to encourage and help with your new lifestyle.

One downside of having a Lap Band is that the amount of weight loss is inconsistent among individuals. As a result, many patients do not achieve the desired weight loss. Expected weight loss is approximately 50% of excess body weight.