The Gastric Band Lapband is probably the best known weight loss surgery option and can be used to aid weight loss by reducing food portions. An adjustable gastric band or Lap Band® is placed around the upper stomach creating a pouch.
The procedure will usually require an overnight stay in hospital and will be carried out under a general anaesthetic by keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. The procedure normally takes from 30 minutes up to one and a half hour Five tiny incisions are made to the upper abdomen so as to fit the band in the upper part of your stomach, using a special telescope and camera. The band will be secured in place. The Gastric Band is adjustable and will control how fast food enters the stomach and adjustments are made by adding or removing fluid from the Gastric Band. It is normally adjusted six to eight weeks following the procedure by injecting or removing saline solution into a small port which is located just under the skin. Immediately after the procedure it is necessary to maintain a liquid only diet for about two weeks and this slowly progress to soft foods and then to 'normal' food — but in small portions. When food passes into the stomach, the pouch fills very quickly, ensuring that any food passes slowly into and through the narrow opening which the band creates in the lower stomach. The food will then pass as normal through the digestive system.