Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap Band or Realize band) is a restrictive surgical procedure that reduces the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. During this procedure a silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach and the injection port is attached to the abdominal wall, underneath the skin. The port is connected to the band with soft, thin tubing and allows for adjustments to be made to the band. Band adjustments are performed by the surgeon as an office procedure using a needle to inject saline solution into your band through the port. Adding saline increases the amount of restriction provided by the band, helping patients feel full sooner and with less food.

See how this procedure works:

Life After Gastric Banding

Excess Weight Loss
Gastric banding patients typically lost 47% of their excess weight.

Health Benefits
Studies found1 that gastric banding:

  • Resolved type 2 diabetes in 47.8 percent of patients and often resolved the disease within days of surgery
  • Resolved high blood pressure in 38.4% of patients
  • Improved high cholesterol in 78.3% of patients

Quality of Life
One meta-analysis stated that for weight loss surgery patients who experienced significant weight loss:

  • Overall quality of life improved greatly
  • They experienced improved physical functioning and appearance
  • They experienced improved social and economic opportunities

Recovery
Adjustable gastric band patients are generally able to:

  • Leave the hospital the afternoon of the surgery, or the next morning
  • Return to work after 1 week

Potential Concerns of Gastric Banding
Gastric banding can help you feel satisfied sooner and with less food, but it won’t eliminate the desire to eat. You will need to follow your specific diet and exercise guidelines provided by your surgeon to achieve success.

Gastric banding requires more intensive follow-up care than most other bariatric surgeries. This is mostly because the band is adjustable. Keep in mind that even after reaching and maintaining your success weight, you may still need to see your healthcare professional for further adjustments.

1 - Statistical information provided by American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery