What is it?

Laparoscopic gastric banding, commonly known as Lap-Band ®, is the least extensive type of bariatric surgery. During the Lap-Band System ® procedure, an adjustable band is placed around the upper part of your stomach. 

The band creates a smaller stomach pouch. This decreases the amount of food that you can eat at one time. It also causes the stomach to take longer to empty.

How is it performed?

In this minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure, the surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen. These openings allow the surgeon to insert a scope with a video camera as a guide. Instruments are then inserted to place an adjustable gastric band around the upper portion of the stomach.

A small pouch is formed above the band, leaving a large part of the stomach below. A port system is attached from the band to an area under the skin near your belly button. The procedure takes about 30 minutes and patients are released from the hospital the same day.

How does it work?

The band is made of silicone and contains saline. More saline can be added to tighten the band or saline can be withdrawn through the port system under the skin. Tightening the band reduces the size of the opening between the pouch and the rest of the stomach. The smaller the size, the fuller you will feel when you eat. Adjustments are made in a simple office procedure during the weeks after surgery—and throughout your lifetime.

A smaller stomach pouch decreases the amount that can be eaten at any one time. The band also slows the time it takes for the stomach pouch to empty. When food gets into the small pouch, it has to stop before it makes its way through this narrow opening to the rest of the stomach. While it waits, nerves send signals to your brain telling you that you are full. So you may eat less and have less of an appetite.

How much weight can I expect to lose?

With the Lap-Band ® procedure, you may experience weight loss of one to three pounds a week in the first year after surgery. The amount usually decreases after 12 to 18 months.

More about weight loss surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center:

Location Information

To find a bariatrics specialist, call 
202-877-3627 (3627).

MedStar Washington Hospital Center
110 Irving Street, NW
Physicians Office Building, Suite 3400
Washington, DC 20010