Gastric Banding (Lap-Band®, Realize® Band) Arkansas

gastric band, realize bandGastric banding is the second most commonly performed bariatric procedure in the United States. The gastric band is often and erroneously referred to by one of its trade names Lap-Band® or Realize® Band. The gastric band is the least invasive and relatively safest of all the bariatric procedures we offer since there is no cutting of the stomach or alteration of the gastrointestinal tract.

How the Gastric Band Works:

The gastric band is a minimally invasive procedure which works by restricting the amount of food the patient can eat in one sitting. The abdomen is accessed through five tiny ½ to 1 inch incisions created to allow specially-made medical devices to pass through. First, the surgeon places the band around the very top of the stomach and tightens it. Once the band is tightened, it molds the gastric chamber into two separate pouches. The smaller pouch created above the band becomes the primary receptacle for the food that is consumed, and because of its significantly reduce size, will limit the amount of food the patient consumes, making them feel fuller sooner and for longer. The food then slowly trickles into the lower stomach where it is digested as normal. The band is connected to an adjustment port by thin tubing. This adjustment port is fastened to the abdominal wall just underneath the skin and is used to adjust the band after surgery. The surgeon uses a special needle to inject or remove sterile saline from the band to tighten or loosen it respectively.

Advantages of the Gastric Band Include:

  • Measured and consistent weight loss with good weight loss potential over the long-term.
  • Relatively safer than other procedures since there is no cutting of the stomach or small intestine.
  • Excellent disease resolution and improvement rates including type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol high blood pressure and sleep apnea.
  • The band is adjustable.
  • The band is removable.
  • Patients will have fewer eating restrictions than gastric bypass patients.

Risks and Consideration of the Gastric Bypass Include:

  • Patients will not lose as much weight as will those who undergo a successful “staple” procedure.
  • Patients will require more short- and medium-term follow up that with other procedures.
  • Band adjustments are an added cost.
  • The band can erode into the esophagus, or slip, and the injection port can flip – all these conditions require revisional or corrective surgery.
  • Patients will have to live with a medical device implanted in them.
  • Patients will not eliminate or reduce hunger pangs.

While the gastric band procedure is still major surgery that comes with inherent risk, it can also be potentially life-saving. Know all you can about the procedure – start by attending a free weight loss surgery seminar to learn more.

Other Bariatric Surgery Procedures