Lap band, or gastric banding surgery, is a reversible procedure that restricts the amount of food the stomach can hold at one time. As a result, patients feel full sooner, eat less and lose weight. The procedure involves the insertion of an inflatable silicone band inside the abdomen. It fastens around the upper part of the stomach to create a new, smaller pouch. In addition, the process by which food passes through the small intestine is slowed, further helping to create the sensation of fullness with less food. Lap band surgery has a high success rate. The largest study to date on the procedure was conducted in 2013 and found that the majority of patients who received lap band surgery were successful in maintaining significant weight loss — on average 60 pounds — for up to 15 years after undergoing the procedure.
The procedure is performed laparoscopically, under general anesthesia. In laparoscopic surgery, a small tube with a tiny video camera attached is inserted through small incisions into the stomach. The camera transmits images that the surgeon views on a monitor. Because laparoscopic surgery requires only small incisions, there is less pain, and external scarring and patients heal faster. The other benefit is that the images on the monitor can magnify. Observing these images, Dr. Billy carefully positions the silicon band around the top portion of the stomach and secures it with dissolvable sutures.
Candidates must be over the age of 18 and typically have a body mass index (BMI) of over 40. Patients with BMIs between 35 and 39.9 that are suffering from weight-related medical issues, such as high blood pressure or diabetes may also be considered for the procedure. Anyone who thinks that they might benefit from a lap band procedure should contact Dr. Billy for a consultation appointment.