Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery: Lap-Band®, Realize® Band

Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery Guide to: How it Works, Expectations, Diet, and Requirements.

Gastric banding is an adjustable gastric band that alters the anatomy of the stomach to help you reduce your food intake. Currently two kinds of gastric bands are available::

- the Lap-Band AP® and

- the Realize Band®.

Lap Band Surgery is a popular choice for people suffering with obesity. It’s an easily reversible operation which makes it ideal for people who are on the fence about permanent weight loss surgeries. This guide to Lap Band Surgery includes how it works, expectations, lapband surgery diet & requirements.

How Adjustable Gastric Band - Lap-Band Work

The Adjustable Gastric Band is an adjustable silicone ring that is placed around the top part of the stomach creating a small (1-2 ounce or 15-30cc) pouch. The Band moderately restricts the volume and type of foods the patient is able consume. The Band delays emptying of the pouch and creates the sensation of satiety. There is no malabsorption of nutrients.

During the procedure, surgeons usually use laparoscopic techniques (making tiny incisions rather than a large incision and inserting long-shafted instruments through "ports"), to wrap the Band around the patient's stomach. A narrow camera is passed through a port so the surgeon can view the operative site on a nearby video monitor. The Band is fastened around the upper stomach to create the new stomach pouch that limits and controls the amount of food you eat. The band is then locked securely in a ring around the stomach.

Once placed around the stomach, tubing connects Band to an access port fixed beneath the skin of your abdomen. This allows the surgeon to change the stoma (stomach outlet) size by adding or subtracting saline, or salt water, inside the inner balloon through the access port. This adjustment process helps determine the rate of weight loss. If the band is too loose and weight loss is inadequate, adding more saline can reduce the size of the stoma to further restrict the amount of food that can move through it. If the band is too tight, the surgeon will remove some saline to loosen the band and reduce the amount of restriction.

The diameter of the band can be modified to meet your individual needs, which can change as you lose weight. For example, pregnant patients can expand their band to accommodate a growing fetus, while patients who aren't experiencing significant weight loss can have their bands tightened.

Advantages of Gastric Banding Surgery - Lap Band, Realize Band

  • Small incisions and minimal scarring
  • Reduced patient pain, length of hospital stay and recovery period
  • Less operative and short-term mortality than gastric bypass
  • Low risk of nutritional deficiencies associated with gastric bypass
  • Reduced risk of hair loss
  • No "dumping syndrome" related to dietary intake restrictions
  • Allows individualized degree of restriction for ideal rate of weight-loss
  • Adjustments performed without additional surgery
  • Removable at any time
  • Stomach and other anatomy are generally restored to their original forms and functions


Lap-Band, Adjustable Gastric Band Expectations

Patients can expect to lose 60% of their excess weight. This procedure requires the most effort of all of the procedures in order to be successful. Patient must be committed to good eating habits and exercise.

The Lap-Band is most effective for patients that are more disciplined in following a strict diet and will commit to an exercise program.

Lap Band Diet - Adjustable Gastric Band Diet

You will follow a liquid diet immediately after Lap Band surgery. Your diet will progress to full liquids, pureed or blended foods, soft foods then finally to a diet of solid foods. No liquid calories should be consumed after moving to solid food.

What to Expect After Surgery

Surgery usually requires only a 1 day hospital stay. Most people can return to normal activities in 1 to 2 weeks.

Lap-Band Surgery Requirements for a potential Candidate

You might meet the requirements of a good candidate for Lap-Band Surgery if you meet the following criteria:

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. Click here to Find out your BMI. Please contact us and we will have one of our surgeons evaluate your status as a surgical candidate.

  • You are severely overweight and your Body Mass Index (BMI) is more than 30.
  • You are between ages 18-65
  • You do not drink alcohol in excess.


If you meet these requirements we urge you to contact us, and find a weight loss surgeon. This is the next step that you will lead a healthier, happier you!

More on Lap Band Surgery

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