Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band
by Deanna M. Neff, MPH
This procedure is done to treat obesity. Keyhole incisions are made in the abdomen. An adjustable band is placed around the stomach with the aid of a laparoscope (a tiny tool with a camera on it). The surgery causes weight loss by decreasing the amount of food that can pass into your stomach.
Reasons for Procedure
This surgery treats severe obesity. Doctors use a calculation called body mass index (BMI) to determine how overweight or obese you are. A normal BMI is 18.5-25.
This surgery is a weight loss option for people with:
The success of this surgery depends on your commitment and follow-up with your doctor. If lifestyle changes are made and maintained, the benefits of bariatric surgery include:
Possible Complications TOP
If you are planning to have this procedure, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Keep in mind that staying obese is a risk factor for many conditions.
What to Expect TOP
Prior to Procedure
Each bariatric surgery program has specific requirements. Your program will likely include:
Leading up to your procedure:
General anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep for the surgery.
Description of the Procedure
To prepare you for surgery, a nurse will place an IV line in your arm. You may receive fluids and medicines through this line during the procedure. The doctor will place a breathing tube through your mouth and into your windpipe. This will help you breathe during surgery. You will also have a catheter placed in your bladder to drain urine.
The doctor will make several small (keyhole) cuts in the abdomen. Gas will be pumped in to inflate your abdomen. This will make it easier for the doctor to see. A laparoscope and surgical tools will be inserted through the incisions. A laparoscope is a thin, lighted tool with a tiny camera. It sends images of your abdominal cavity to a monitor in the operating room. Your doctor will operate while viewing the area on this monitor.
An adjustable round band is placed around the top of the stomach and fastened into place. This creates a smaller stomach area for food. Tubing is placed from the band to an access port in the abdominal wall. The band can later be adjusted with a special saline solution and needle syringe. The incisions will be closed with staples or stitches.
Immediately After Procedure
The breathing tube will be removed. You will be taken to the recovery area while the anesthesia wears off.
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. You may have pain and soreness at the incision site. Your doctor will give you pain medicine to relieve discomfort.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay is 1-2 days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if needed.
At the Hospital
While you are recovering at the hospital:
Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. You will need to practice lifelong healthy eating and exercising habits. Keep in mind after your surgery:
Your new stomach pouch will be the size of a small egg. It will be slow to empty. This will make you feel full quickly. Nutritional guidelines include:
You may need to take medicines, as directed by your doctor, which may include:
Ask your doctor if you are able to take medicine in pill form. You may need to crush your medicine or switch to liquid forms.
Call Your Doctor TOP
After you leave the hospital, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Call for medical help or go to the emergency room right away if you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Family Physician
American Gastroenterological Association
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Bariatric surgery. EBSCO Dynamed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated October 2009. Accessed January 27, 2010.
Gastric band operation. The British United Provident Association website. Available at: http://www.bupa.co.... Published September 2008. Accessed January 27, 2010.
Kassel K. Vertical banded gastroplasty surgery. EBSCO Patient Education Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscoho.... Updated December 2009. Accessed January 27, 2010.
LapBand surgery information. Center for the Treatment of Obesity, University of California San Diego Medical Center website. Available at: http://health.ucsd.... Accessed January 27, 2010.
Weight Loss Surgery Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.bidmc.org/wls. Accessed January 27, 2010.
6/24/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Pontiroli AE, Morabito A. Long-term prevention of mortality in morbid obesity through bariatric surgery. a systematic review and meta-analysis of trials performed with gastric banding and gastric bypass. Ann Surg. 2011;253(3):484-487.
Maciejewski ML, Livingston EH, et al. Survival among high-risk patients after bariatric surgery. JAMA. 2011;305(23):2419-2426.
Last reviewed March 2013 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 3/15/2013