Central Maine Medical Center
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300 Main Street, Lewiston, ME 04240 | 207-795-0111
Bariatric Surgery - Imagine Tomorrow

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAP-BAND)

Adjustable Gastric Banding Restricts Food Intake

Adjustable Gastric Banding surgery is a "restrictive" operation, meaning that it limits food intake and does not interfere with the regular digestive process. In this procedure, a silicone band is wrapped around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small stomach pouch. The band restricts the amount of food you can consume at a single meal. Food can still pass from the upper to the lower stomach regions, but it moves through the new opening slowly, so that you feel full longer, after consuming less food.

Advantages of Adjustable Gastric Banding Surgery:

  • Weight loss of about 40-50 percent of excess body weight over the first three years. The weight loss with gastric banding is more gradual.
  • Gastric banding is the safest form of bariatric surgery.
  • You absorb every nutrient that you eat.

Considerations with Adjustable Gastric Banding Surgery:

  • Soft foods and drinks such as ice cream, milkshakes, and high sugar beverages pass through the band easily. Continuing to consume these high-caloric items will prevent you from losing weight.
  • Needle sticks are necessary for adjustment to the band after surgery.
  • Adjustment to the band may be needed frequently.
  • Possible infection at port and tubing.
  • Port may protrude as you lose weight.
  • You will need to take a complete multivitamin daily for the rest of your life.
  • You must re-learn how to eat. If you eat too fast or too much, or if you don't chew your food enough, you may vomit. Some foods will have difficulty passing through the opening of your banded stomach.
  • Your success depends on your commitment to keeping follow-up visits to your surgeon. Band adjustments are made in response to the amount of weight you lose, your appetite, your eating habits, and the symptoms you experience. This is the only way to ensure significant long-term weight loss. If you do not follow-up with your surgeon, you will not lose weight.
  • Band Slippage: The band can slip and cause constant regurgitation and heartburn. Symptoms are relieved by loosening the band in the office. The diagnosis is confirmed with a barium test. If this happens, the band would likely need to be repositioned with another operation, laparoscopically. Following dietary recommendations helps prevent this condition.
  • Band Erosion: In rare cases, the band may erode into the stomach. This may not cause pain, but may result in inadequate weight loss or possible infection. This is diagnosed by endoscopy. The condition is repaired with surgery, which is performed laparoscopically. The band would likely have to be removed.
  • Equipment Malfunction: Since the band is a mechanical device, structural complications can occur. The tube may kink, the reservoir may twist, or other parts may break. Any of those events may require further surgery.
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