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Laparoscopic Banding

Approved in 2001 by the FDA, laparoscopic banding is the safest and least invasive bariatric surgery for patients for patients interested in weight-loss surgery.

The lap band is a small, saline-inflatable band placed around the upper portion of the patient’s stomach. The surgery is performed laparoscopically, which means less scarring, shorter hospital stay, less pain, quicker return to full activities, and fewer long-term complications. And it leaves the stomach fully intact.

It works by being placed around the upper part of the stomach to create a small stomach pouch that holds a small amount of food. The band restricts the amount of food consumed, slows the emptying of food from the stomach, and provides a constant sensation of being full. It allows you to finally gain control over your hunger.

Operating time is about 60 minutes and most patients are ready to leave the hospital the following day. Over 200,000 of these surgeries have been performed around the world providing their safety and effectiveness. Most patients can return to work within a week or two.

How does it work?

The lap band is adjustable to fit your particular weight loss needs, which can control the amount of saline in the band with a fine needle through the skin. The average weight loss of lap band patients in a clinical study was approximately 36-38% of excess weight, two to three years after surgery. Most importantly, the procedure is 100% reversible, which means that at any point the band can be easily removed, leaving your body virtually unchanged.

Our bariatric program now accepts patients who wish to pay out of pocket for the lap band procedure. Many of our patients are surprised at just how affordable this option is. Patients often choose this alternative because their insurance carrier may feel that they do not meet their criteria for bariatric surgery or require a 6 month to one year wait before they will allow patients who otherwise qualify to undergo surgery. We are more than happy to discuss this very affordable option with in greater detail at the time of your initial consultation.

Am I A Candidate?

Although guidelines vary, bariatric surgery is generally considered when your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher and you have a life-threatening or disabling condition related to your weight.  You may also be required to fulfill the following criteria: to have been obese for at least 5 years; not abuse alcohol; not have untreated depression or another major psychiatric disorder; and be over 18 years old.

Depending on the type of surgery, most people lose about 30-80% of their excess weight (excess weight refers to weight beyond what is considered healthy for a person of your height, age, and gender).

Risk Factors

As effective as modern bariatric surgery is, there are risk factors: some of the weight loss may be regained; some types of surgery may put you at risk for nutritional deficiencies; people who are obese have a higher risk of complications from surgery.
To minimize these risk factors, our comprehensive bariatric program requires you to commit to the following guidelines before surgery.  You must have a primary care physician who has been notified of your interest in surgery and is willing to work with you before and after surgery, and also:

  • Obtain medical & psychological clearance
  • Commit to long-term follow-up with our program
  • Commit to life-long adherence to nutrition guidelines
  • Attend an education seminar prior to surgery
  • Receive insurance authorization or make self-payment arrangements
  • Participate in pre-admission testing conducted at Maimonides Medical Center