Lap Band (Gastric Band) Surgery

What is a lap band surgery (gastric band surgery)?

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB/lap band surgery) is a surgical procedure that involves inserting an adjustable silicone band (gastric band/LAP BAND®) around the upper portion of the stomach. The band is connected to a port that is placed under the skin of the abdomen. The tightness of the band can be adjusted by injecting saline into it through this access port.

Lap band surgery restricts the size of the stomach, meaning that the amount of food that can be consumed is reduced. It also slows down the passage of food to the intestine. This signals to the brain a sensation of fullness and satiety.

By reducing the amount of food that a patient is able to consume, this in turn aids weight loss when coupled with dietary and lifestyle changes. Correct dietary choices and changes are still required for weight loss.

Who is eligible for gastric band surgery?

As with any bariatric surgery procedure, a past history of failed weight loss using conventional methods (eating less, moving more) should be presented before being considered for gastric band surgery. You are required to meet certain medical guidelines to be considered a candidate for weight loss surgery.

  • Have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, suffering from extreme obesity.
  • Have a BMI above 35 (obese) but are also suffering from a serious health problem as a result of obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea or high blood pressure.

A/Prof Pilgrim will confirm your BMI score and carry out a detailed assessment before deciding if you are an eligible candidate for lap band surgery. This will include asking questions about your medical history and being satisfied that you are motivated and will adhere to the new eating and exercise plans that you are required to follow post lap band surgery.

Lap Band Surgery - the procedure

Gastric band surgery is performed laparoscopically (laparoscopic adjustable gastric band), a minimally invasive form of bariatric surgery. This form of surgery requires small incisions, resulting in fewer potential complications and faster recovery times for the patient.

Hollow tubes are placed in the incisions, gas is used to inflate the abdomen to allow greater visibility and space, and surgical tools including a small camera are inserted into the tubes to perform the surgery. The gastric band is placed around the upper part of the stomach and set into position with stitches. The access port is then placed in the wall of the abdomen and is held in position with stitches.


Lap Band Surgery - the results

Weight loss following lap band surgery is a gradual process. During the first weeks post-surgery patients will see a more dramatic weight loss, which will slow down over time. The average weight loss for this procedure is 40 percent of excess weight within the first year, and an additional 10 to 20 percent in year two. Provided patients follow their new healthy diet and exercise regularly.

Following gastric banding surgery it is important to continue to follow the UGIRS Bariatric Program, including meeting with our Dietitian, bariatric Health Coach and A/Prof Pilgrim. Further band adjustments may be needed to maximise the impact of the procedure, as bands can become ‘loose’ or stretch over time.

Lap band surgery is not a ‘quick fix’ as often portrayed in the media. In order to successfully meet weight loss goals, life-long dietary changes are required, as well as regular exercise and/or increased activity levels.

If you would like to make an appointment with A/Prof Pilgrim to discuss gastric band surgery you can book an appointment online or make an appointment by calling the practice on (03) 9509 4811
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