2608 E. 7th Street, Charlotte, NC 28204

Lap Band Surgery Charlotte North Carolina

The American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery describes two approaches that weight loss surgery takes to achieve change:    

1. Restrictive procedures that decrease food intake.
2. Malabsorptive procedures that alter digestion, thus causing food to be incompletely absorbed and eliminated in the stool.

Restrictive procedure—Adjustable Gastric Band The Lap-Band® or The Realize™ Band

What are the Lap-Band® and The Realize™ band systems?

The Lap-Band® and The Realize™ band systems are minimally invasive, adjustable treatments for morbid obesity. Adjustable gastric banding is a purely restrictive procedure. These bands are inflatable silicon bands that are placed around the upper stomach and fastened to create a new, tiny stomach pouch that limits and controls the amount of food eaten. They also create a small outlet that slows the emptying process into the stomach and intestines. As a result, the patient experiences an earlier sense of fullness and is satisfied with smaller amounts of food, which results in weight loss.

Who is a candidate for Lap Band Surgery?

According to the National Institutes of Health, potential weight loss surgery candidates have a body mass index (BMI) over 35 with obesity related health conditions or over 40 with or without obesity related health conditions.

Lap band surgery is not right for you if: 

  • You are under 18 years of age
  • You are addicted to alcohol or drugs
  • You are on chronic, long-term steroid therapy
  • You have an inflammatory disease or condition of the gastrointestinal tract such as ulcers, severe esophagitis or Crohn’s disease
  • You have severe heart or lung disease
  • You have esophageal or gastric varices (a dilated vein) or intestinal telangiectasia
  • (dilation of a small blood vessel), which could cause bleeding in the esophagus or stomach
  • You or someone in your family has a connective tissue disorder. This might include systemic
  • lupus erythematous or scleroderma
  • You have cirrhosis of the liver
  • You have portal hypertension
  • You have chronic pancreatitis
  • You might be allergic to materials in the device

What are the advantages of Adjustable Gastric Banding (lap band surgery)? 

  • Less Invasive- Of all the operations for morbid obesity, gastric banding is considered to be the least traumatic. The operation can usually be performed using laparoscopy (using small incisions and long instruments instead of one large incision).
  • Adjustable- One of the major advantages of the gastric banding system is that the diameter of the band outlet is adjustable to meet individual needs, which can change as weight is lost. The inner surface of the band can be inflated with saline solution or deflated to modify the size of the opening in the stomach (stoma).
  • Reversible – Adjustable gastric banding systems can be removed if necessary and the stomach usually returns to its original form.

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What are the risks?

Using an adjustable gastric band system includes the same risks that come with all major surgeries. There are added risks in any operation for patients who are seriously overweight. Death can occur despite all the precautions that are taken. There is a risk of gastric perforation (a tear in the stomach wall) during or after the procedure that might lead to another surgery. In the U.S. clinical study this happened in 1 percent of the patients.

There are also risks that come with having a foreign object implanted in your body. Patients can experience complications after surgery. Most complications are not serious but some may require hospitalization and/or re-operation to reposition, remove or replace the band. Complications can cause reduced weight loss. They can also cause weight gain.

The following is a list of possible complications following gastric banding:

• Ulceration
• Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
• Gastritis (irritated stomach tissue)
• Dehydration
• Gastroesophageal reflux (regurgitation)
• Constipation
• Heartburn
• Weight regain
• Gas bloat
• Death

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Surgery has its own set of possible complications. They include spleen or liver damage (sometimes requiring spleen removal), damage to major blood vessels, lung problems, thrombosis (blood clots), rupture of the wound, and perforation of the stomach or espophagus during surgery.

There are also potential problems directly related to adjustable gastric banding:

  • The band can spontaneously deflate because of leakage. That leakage can come from the band, the reservoir or the tubing that connects them.
  • The band can slip.
  • There can be stomach slippage.
  • The stoma (stomach outlet) can be blocked.
  • The band can erode into the stomach or esophagus.

What is the expected weight loss following the lap band surgery?

Weight loss with adjustable gastric banding is typically slower and more gradual than with some other weight loss surgeries. The amount of weight you lose depends on several things. The average weight loss in the United States clinical study was about 40-60 percent of excess weight, two to three years after surgery. It is important to remember that the gastric band is an aid to support you in achieving lasting results by limiting food intake, reducing appetite and slowing digestion. For the ultimate success of the operation, however, it is important that you play an active part in the effort to lose weight and keep it off by adopting a different lifestyle and eating pattern for the rest of your life.

What happens if the adjustable gastric band has to be removed?

If the adjustable gastric band has been placed laparoscopically, it may be possible to remove it in the same way. This is an advantage of the band system. An open procedure, however, may be necessary to remove the band. It is reported that after the band is removed the stomach returns to essentially a normal state. At this time there are no known reasons to suggest that the band should be replaced or removed at some point unless a complication occurs or you do not lose weight. It is uncertain whether the band will stay in place for the rest of your life. It may need to be removed or replaced at some point. Removing the device requires a surgical procedure. That procedure will have all the related risks and possible complications that come with the initial gastric banding surgery.

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To learn more about your Charlotte North Carolina lap band surgery options, please attend a free weight loss seminar today!