What is Lap Band surgery all about?A lap band surgery is basically a bariatric surgery in which the doctor places an inflatable silicone device on the upper portion of the stomach. This results in a decrease in the amount of food eaten. This surgery is also known as a ‘laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery’, ‘A Band surgery’ as well as ‘LAGB’. This gastric banding, or lap band, surgery is a completely reversible surgery and is a minimally invasive procedure done through the use of the laparoscope. This laparoscopic procedure requires the doctor to make a small (1/2 inch) incision near the belly button. The surgeon then fills the abdomen with carbon dioxide into your abdomen to enable the surgeon to have a better view. The laparoscope, with a small camera attached to it, is inserted first to get a visual of the stomach structure so the surgeon can identify the key structure of the abdomen. The surgeon makes a small number of ‘keyhole’ incisions to insert surgical instruments in the abdomen to place the inflatable silicone device around the upper portion of the stomach pouch. This inflatable gastric silicone band device creates a smaller gastric pouch which helps in decrease the amount of food intake.
What are the pros and cons of a Lap Band surgery?The lap band surgery has certain advantages over other types of bariatric surgery. The laparoscopic method is advantageous as it requires smaller sized and lesser incisions needed to perform the procedure. The silicone device used to divide the stomach is removable to adjust the new stomach volume or to remove it when its task is done. This procedure does not result in nutritional deficiencies as seen in other bariatric procedures. It is important to remember that the laparoscopic lap band surgical procedure is not a stand-alone reason for weight loss. The following of post-surgical regimen regarding management of the diet, regular exercise and maintenance of the band has to be followed in a strict manner for maximum result. The other pros that lap band surgery has as compared to other bariatric surgeries are:
- Fewer fatal complications.
- No deficiency in nutrient absorption resulting in malnutrition.
- Band is externally adjustable.
- Faster recovery time.
- Faster discharge from the hospital.
- Stomach has cuts or staples.
- Productive burping may be seen in some patients. This is the result of non-acidic swallowed food being pushed back through the throat from the upper pouch in case the patient eats excessive amount of food or eats too quickly.
- Erosion – The silicone band tends to get absorbed by the epithelial tissues of the stomach which make sit shift from the outside of the stomach to the inside.
- Slippage – This is caused when the silicone banding device slips lower around the stomach pouch and results in the upper banded portion to become larger than intended. This might cause an obstruction and need to be corrective urgently.
- Mal-positioning – This occurs when the band is attached in a non-vertical manner.
- Infection – The doctor will prescribe adequate antibiotics to prevent infection from occurring.