The Lap-Band® system was introduced in Europe in 1993 and FDA approved in the United States in 2001. The Lap-Band® became very popular in Europe and attracted a great deal of attention in the United States. It reached its height of popularity here about 2010. Over the past four years, a number of reports have been published disputing the long term effectiveness of the band. Many of the bands are removed in the long run because of stomach slippage or insufficient weight loss.
It has become clear that for a band patient to be successful there must be a close long-term relationship between the patient and the surgeon. Close follow up for adjustments and dietary management is essential. Unfortunately many patients and their surgeons are not fully committed to the long-term relationship, and many insurance companies either do not pay adequately or at all for adjustments. Over the past several years many people who might have preferred the simplicity of the Lap-Band® are considering sleeve gastrectomy instead. Many surgeons are using the Lap-Band® only very selectively, and others have given up its use altogether.
- Least invasive weight loss surgery
- Shortest recovery time
- No nutritional deficiencies
- Most easily reversible
- Laparoscopic surgical technique
The Lap-Band is positioned around the upper stomach and the infusion port is placed on the abdominal wall under the skin. The band restricts the speed at which food can enter the stomach.
To adjust the band a syringe containing saline is inserted through the skin into the infusion port. Saline is instilled or withdrawn to achieve the desired fill volume and tightness of the band.
Here is an illustration of the band when it is empty and when it has been filled. The secret is to adjust the band so that it is tight enough to make one feel full on a smaller meal, but loose enough to allow food to pass through and not cause pain, reflux, or vomiting.
Learn more about the Lap Band or ask questions by visiting the Lap Band Forums.