Of the three procedures, Gastric Band surgery (with the LAP-BAND® or REALIZE® band) is the least invasive because it does not require any permanent alterations to the digestive tract. New Jersey Bariatric Center® patients who opt for Gastric Band surgery with the LAP-BAND® or REALIZE® band typically lose about 50 percent of their excess body weight.* *Results vary.
How Gastric Band (LAP-BAND® or REALIZE® Band) Works
During the LAP-BAND® procedure, the surgeon fits a hollow band around the upper part of your stomach, like a belt. The band divides the stomach into two sections, a smaller upper pouch and the larger lower section. The LAP-BAND® is then connected by a tube to an access port just underneath the skin of your abdomen.
Four to six weeks after surgery, you’ll have your first Band adjustment or fill. During this simple, in-office procedure, saline is injected into the port under your skin. The saline travels through the tubing filling the band around your stomach and narrowing the opening between the upper pouch and the lower portion of the stomach. With the narrowing of the opening, food stays in the upper stomach pouch longer, leaving you feeling fuller for a longer time. After the initial fill, adjustments to the band are done in office as needed to maximize weight loss while minimizing complications, such as the feeling that food is getting stuck. Adjustments may be needed more frequently in the first year until you and your doctor find what many of our patients call the “sweet spot” ̶ that feeling that the band is perfectly adjusted.
Not sure which bariatric procedure is right for you? Visit Choosing a Procedure for a side-by-side rundown of LAP-BAND®, Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Bypass.
LAP-BAND Recovery and Follow-up
On average, New Jersey Bariatric Center® LAP-BAND patients leave the hospital the same day. When planning for the period after having LAP-BAND® surgery, you should keep in mind:
- Patients typically are physically able to return to work between one week and two weeks after surgery depending on the type of work you do.
- No heavy lifting (more than 15 pounds) is allowed for four to six weeks post-surgery.
- Allow yourself time to adjust to your new lifestyle. You’ll need time to figure out how your new routine of healthy food and exercise fits into your life.
- You will have the support of our dedicated team of medical professionals who will work with you on nutrition, exercise, psychological and physical therapy needs both before surgery and for the long-term.
Benefits vs. Risks of Gastric Band (LAP-BAND or REALIZE)
Studies have found numerous health benefits associated with LAP-BAND® surgery. New Jersey Bariatric Center® patients report better quality of life after surgery, including the improvement or resolution of diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. (Read more about the Health Benefits of weight loss surgery.)
However, as with any surgery, there are risks. When deciding whether LAP-BAND surgery is right for you, the perceived benefits must outweigh the potential risks. To learn more about the specific complications of LAP-BAND surgery, visit Risks.
Wondering how the surgeons perform Laparoscopic Gastric Band Surgery? This animated video shows how the procedure is done.
*According to studies, bariatric surgery results in an average weight loss of 45-75 percent of excess body weight. Results may vary depending on several factors, including adherence to post-operative guidelines. Please visit Choosing a Procedure for more info on excess weight, typical weight loss per procedure and dietary and exercise requirements.