Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) is a restrictive weight loss procedure. The LAGB surgery was originally introduced in 1993. Today the surgery is widely known by the name LAP-BAND®. LAP-BAND®is a specific brand of adjustable gastric band used by many surgeons. LAP-BAND® was approved for use by the FDA in 2001 and according to the manufacturer has been placed into more than 190,000 patients.

General Procedure

In this procedure a band is secured around the upper portion of the stomach separating it into a smaller section and a larger section. Weight loss is achieved by reducing the capacity of the stomach thereby allowing the patient to experience a sense of fullness more quickly, even while consuming less food. Digestion takes place naturally as the now smaller portions of food pass through the stomach. Unlike other restrictive weight loss surgeries, LAGB does not require the removal of any part of the stomach or intestine.

Since the band is adjustable, it can be loosened or tightened to change the rate of weight loss. By injecting the band with a sterile saline solution the stomach size is restricted. A subcutaneous port is developed to allow for inflating or deflating the saline filled band.

Advantages of Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding or LAP-BAND

  • Gastric banding is the least invasive weight loss procedure
  • No re-routing of the intestine
  • No opening of the stomach or intestine
  • Less pain than most weight loss surgeries
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Reduced recovery time
  • Reduced chances of nutritional deficiencies
  • Mortality rate is greatly reduced when compared with other weight loss procedures
  • No dumping syndrome associated with this surgery
  • Band is adjustable

Disadvantages of Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding or LAP-BAND

  • Potential for injury to stomach during surgery
  • Major complications occur at a rate of 3 -10% requiring additional surgery
  • Slipping of the band can require further surgery
  • Should the band become infected surgery would be needed to replace it