What is Lap Gastric Band Surgery?
In some countries this is known as Lap Band Surgery and others refer to it as Gastric Band Surgery. Both of these procedures are in fact the same.
Lap Gastric Band Surgery is a common type of weight loss (Bariatric) surgery. Lap Band Surgery is performed laparoscopically under general anaesthetic and takes between 30-60 minutes. The surgery works on a similar principle to a cable tie. The surgeon wraps the band around the outside of the stomach and clicks it into place, which creates a small, golf ball-sized pouch in the upper part of the stomach.
When the person eats, the food collects in the pouch before slowly passing through a narrow opening into the lower, main part of the stomach. The amount of food that you can consume is drastically reduced, which helps with weight loss. The band is hollow and has a tube with a port connected to it. It can be adjusted by injecting saline fluid into the port.
After the band is fitted, patients have to live on liquidised foods and soups – for up to about six weeks. After your first band ‘fill’, you slowly re-introduce solid foods and start the strict diet, which you have to follow for ever. BOSPA explains the various stages of the post-op diet plan in detail.
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An average meal is no more than about six tablespoons of food. But even then it’s not that simple. Every tiny mouthful (no bigger than the rubber on the end of a pencil) must be chewed extremely thoroughly. Interestingly, certain healthy foods can be problematic, including broccoli, asparagus, celery, peas, sweetcorn, oranges, pineapple and nuts! On the other hand, chocolate
and ice-cream will pass through the band very easily!
According to the Obesity Action Coalition website, gastric band patients on average only lose around 50% of their excess weight. So, basically, if you currently weigh 250 pounds and your ideal weight is 150 pounds, (making you 100 pounds overweight), then you would, realistically, only expect to lose around 50 pounds after gastric band surgery, which means that you would actually still be 50 pounds overweight!
As with all surgical procedures, Gastric Band Surgery or Gastric Lap Band Surgery carries certain risks and has potential side effects and complications, which are outlined in detail on the NHS website.
So how safe is it? Well, studies have shown that around 40% of people who have Lap Band Surgery suffer from some sort of major complication! For further information, click here.