Of the three procedures, gastric band surgery (with the LAP-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 LAP-BAND® typically lose about 50 percent of their excess body weight.*
How Gastric Band Works
During the 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 narrows 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 our Choosing a Procedure page for a side-by-side rundown of gastric band, gastric sleeve and gastric bypass.
Wondering how the surgeons perform laparoscopic gastric band surgery? This animated video shows how the procedure is done.
Gastric Band Recovery and Follow Up
On average, New Jersey Bariatric Center® gastric band patients leave the hospital the same day. When planning for the period after having LAP-BAND® surgery, you should keep the following in mind:
- 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
- No heavy lifting (more than 15 pounds) is allowed for four to six weeks post-surgery
- You will be physically able to return to work between one week and three weeks after surgery, depending on the type of work you do
- 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
Studies have found numerous health benefits associated with gastric 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 gastric band surgery is right for you, the perceived benefits must outweigh the potential risks. To learn more about the specific complications of gastric surgery, visit our Risks page.