Lap band surgery is a laparoscopic surgery that is minimally invasive. This surgery, like gastric bypass surgery, creates a new stomach pouch for the purpose of portion control. However, it is different from gastric bypass surgery in that it does not cause malabsorption. The lap band is made from inflatable silicone. The surgeon will situate the band around the top part of the stomach, making a new (and much smaller) stomach pouch and narrower stoma. Stoma size can be changed with the addition or removal of saline within the band. This allows for the food flow rate to be better regulated. Lap band surgery doesn't require any surgical cuts or staples and the intestines are not bypassed.
Gastric bypass surgery patients typically lose weight more quickly and lap band patients do. However, when looking at long term results (3 years and afterwards) the total weight loss for gastric bypass surgery and lap band surgery are about equal.
No, this type of surgery does not have to be permanent. If desired, the lap band can be removed. This does not alter the body in any way in the majority of cases.
This band is crafted from strong yet flexible biocompatible silicone. The REALIZE band allows steady yet healthy weight loss at the rate of 1 to 2 pounds each week. The band makes patients feel satiated sooner, which means that less food is eaten overall. The REALIZE band makes a stomach division that allows the patient's food to go only into the upper pouch. This small pouch can contain only about 1/2 cup of food at a time. This allows patients to regulate their eating without going hungry.