The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass has been endorsed by the National Institutes of Health as an effective solution to permanent weight loss.
How does a Lap Band work?
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAGB) is adjustable, minimally traumatic and typically results in a quick recovery period. It restricts the size of the stomach pouch, but does not limit the body’s ability to absorb calories.
A main feature of LAGB is the silicone elastomer band that the surgeon places around the upper portion of the stomach. This creates a small stomach pouch that can hold much less food than the pre-surgery stomach could hold. The contents of this new stomach pouch slowly empty through a small outlet into what becomes the lower, larger portion of the stomach.
The size of the outlet can be adjusted as the patient’s needs change. This is done often without additional surgery by inflating or deflating a ring on the band’s inner surface. To inflate the ring, the surgeon uses a fine needle to insert liquid (saline solution) into a small reservoir placed under the skin. A tube connects the reservoir to the band so that when liquid is added, the ring inflates and constricts the stomach outlet. Removing liquid from the reservoir deflates the ring, which in turn expands the outlet.
The size of the outlet separating the two parts of the stomach is important because it controls the rate at which food flows through the stomach. If the outlet is small, food will stay in the upper portion of the stomach longer, and the patient will feel full sooner and longer. Adjustments to the outlet’s size may be necessary depending on the patient’s progress toward his or her weight loss goals.
Surgeons typically perform LAGB procedure laparoscopically, which means they make a few small incisions and use long, narrow instruments rather than making one large incision and using more conventional instruments. Regardless of how it is performed, the procedure requires no staples and no cutting of the stomach.
The procedure typically takes 90 minutes. Patients are usually home the same day or the next morning.