What is LAP-BAND® Surgery?
Understanding Stomach Band Surgery

Q: What is LAP-BAND® Surgery?

A: Also called stomach band surgery or gastric band surgery, it's a type of weight loss surgery that reduces the amount of food you can eat by placing a band around the upper portion of the stomach.

The stomach band is kind of like a belt....

...it can be made tighter or looser by adjusting the amount of saline in the band's inner ring.

Your doctor does the adjusting...not you!

lap band stomach

The gastric band divides the stomach into two distinct portions. The part above the band is much smaller than the part below the belly band, and is referred to as the "pouch." The pouch will hold approximately 4-8 ounces of food at one time. When your new, small pouch is full, you feel full.

Q: I hear there are two types of weight loss surgery: "malabsorptive" and "restrictive." What is lap-band surgery considered?

A: Restrictive weight loss surgery alters the amount your stomach can hold. Malabsorptive surgery rearranges your small intestine so that you don't absorb all of the calories from your food.

LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery is a restrictive type of weight loss surgery.

Placing a "belt" around your stomach restricts how much you can eat at one time. (It's like having a surgically implanted "food police" to tell you...STOP!...You've had ENOUGH!) The intestines aren't touched and you'll digest and absorb calories normally.

If there's a problem with it, or if you can't lose enough weight or adjust to the new eating habits, it can be removed and your stomach will most likely return to its original form.

Q: What is LAP-BAND® Surgery...and Will It Make My Hunger Go Away?

A: Stomach band surgery doesn't have any affect on the hormones that regulate hunger. (Other types of bariatric surgery such as the gastric bypass or the gastric sleeve do.)

That means you'll still get "hungry." However, you'll require less food to feel full after a gastric band operation.

Note: There is a difference between physical hunger and head hunger. A gastric banding procedure does not affect your brain...only your stomach! It will not take away your "cravings," "desire" to eat, or emotional eating habits.

As with any type of bariatric surgery, stomach band surgery is simply a TOOL to help you achieve weight loss...

...it's no magic bullet.

Your success depends largely on how motivated and committed you are to following the post-op gastric band diet and committing to lifelong exercise.

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