Lap BandingDelivering Quicker Recovery with Less Pain
A laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, commonly referred to as a lap band, is an inflatable silicone device that is placed around the top portion of the stomach, via laparoscopic surgery, in order to treat obesity. Adjustable gastric band surgery is an example of bariatric surgery designed for obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater—or between 35–40 in cases of patients with certain comorbidities that are known to improve with weight loss, such as sleep apnea, diabetes, osteoarthritis, GERD, Hypertension (high blood pressure), or metabolic syndrome, among others.
Medio February 2011: The Food and Drug Administration expanded approval of Adjustable gastric band to patients with a BMI between 30 to 40 and one weight-related medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure. However, an adjustable gastric band may only be used after other methods such as diet and exercise have previously been tried.
According to the American Society for Metabolic Bariatric Surgery, bariatric surgery is not an easy option for obesity sufferers. It is a drastic step, and carries the usual pain and risks of any major gastrointestinal surgical operation.
However, gastric banding is the least invasive surgery of its kind. Gastric banding is performed using laparoscopic surgery and usually results in a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures. Because no part of the stomach is stapled or removed, and the patient’s intestines are not re-routed, he or she can continue to absorb nutrients from food normally. Gastric bands are made entirely of biocompatible materials, so they are able to stay in the patient’s body without causing harm.
However, not all patients are suitable for laparoscopy. Patients who are extremely obese, who have had previous abdominal surgery, or have complicating medical problems may require the open approach.