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Lap Band® Surgery About the Laparoscopic Adjustable Band

The Laparoscopic Adjustable Band procedure is quickly growing in

popularity and demand throughout the United States for many reasons, including: relative ease of placement, reversibility, affordability, and the perception that it is safer than many other procedures.

Simply stated, a doctor performing the Lap Band procedure places an adjustable band around the stomach just below where the esophagus and stomach connect. The band is then adjusted through a port that lies just beneath the skin. Once in place, it div

ides the stomach into a large section and a small section, and has the effect of making the person feel “fuller” much more quickly than normal. Food is digested normally but less food is eaten because you feel “full” quicker; therefore the patient begins to lose weight.

Lap Band vs. Lap Gastric Bypass

Is Lap Band or Lap Gastric Bypass Best for You?

Is Financing Available for the Lap Band?

What Are the Long-Term Results for the Band?

Three Important Considerations Prior to Chosing a Lap Band Surgeon

Getting Started

The lap band is an affordable and effective alternative to more costly procedures such as the laparoscopic gastric bypass. Although relatively new in the United States, it has obtained good results for patients in Australia, Europe and Mexico. According to a 2004 bariatric article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the procedure’s many advantages include:

  • 47.9% of Type 2 diabetes cases are resolved.
  • Patients experience significant improvements in overall cholesterol levels (including an increase in HDL levels). 70.8% of hypertension cases are resolved or improved.
  • Patients experience a loss of an average of 47% in excess body weight. (According to studies of over 3,000 patients the weight loss ranged from 28% to 87%, with a minimum of two-year, post-operative follow-up.)
  • The Band can be adjusted more tightly or less tightly through the access port (no more surgery) to help attain the proper weight loss goals.
  • The procedure can be reversed.

Lap Band vs. Lap Gastric Bypass

Lap Band Lap Gastric Bypass
Insurance coverage (if weight-loss surgery is covered benefit) Most of the time Always
Out-of-pocket cost if not covered by insurance $13,000 to $18,000 $17,000 to $25,000
Reversibility Complete with >90% weight regain Incomplete
Mortality rate (varies by surgeon and individual patient) <0.5% <0.5%
Leak rate <0.5% <1%
Re-operation rate 10% to 50% 2% to 6%
Lifestyle impairment Significant Mild
Appetite suppression Mild Significant
Durability of Operation 10 year American data not known yet Durable >10 year data available
Follow-up requirements Vigorous; every 2 months for 1st year More spaced out & less intense


Is Lap Band or Lap Gastric Bypass Best for You?

This question can really only be answered by you after consulting a qualified surgeon offering both the laparoscopic gastric band and the laparoscopic gastric bypass procedures. Why? Most surgeons experienced only in gastric bypass surgery will be hesitant to fully endorse the gastric band since gastric bypass is presently the “gold standard” procedure in the United States. But that will change as more patients choose the lap band. Moreover, in many situations the lap band should be favored; for example, when a patient doesn’t have a lot of weight to lose, suffers from inflammatory bowel disease, or is an adolescent.

Please take a moment today and schedule a consultation with us. Allow us to help you choose the most appropriate, life-changing weight loss surgery procedure for your individual circumstances.

What Are the Long-Term Results of the Lap Band?

The long-term results of the band are based on studies from outside of the United States. The band has not had FDA approval for greater than 10 years in the United States. Early results demonstrate that the best surgical weight loss is seen in patients who have less than 100lbs to lose. As such several insurance companies will not even cover the band if a patient’s BMI exceeds 50kg/m2.

Intermediate data suggests that the band is vulnerable to the long-term “wear” associated with a foreign body implanted inside of you. Risks include erosion of the band into your esophagus or stomach, the band slipping out of position or the port and tubing malfunctioning. All of these complications would require a second operation. The rate of re-operation at 5-10 years is estimated at 15-35%.

These results are why many surgeons feel that the band is still somewhat experimental or “emerging technology”. The Swedish band ( J&J band) is soon to be introduced into the United States and the second generation American (Inamed) band has just recently been released. Time will tell as to the advantages of these newer devices.


Three Important Considerations Prior to Chosing a Lap Band Surgeon

  1. Where can you get your fills done? Choosing a surgeon not local to you will result in sporadic results as you are less likely to drive long distances to get a “fill.” We offer fills in Corpus, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Baytown, Beaumont and Laredo.
  2. Are support groups offered locally? Local support is very important as well. Bands are based on behavioral changes. Support groups play a critical role in identifying and making these changes. We offer support groups in Corpus, Austin and San Antonio.
  3. What does the price cover? When considering paying cash, make sure fills and support groups are covered in your package. Local care as noted above are priceless as immediate savings may accrue long term expenses for travel for fills and finding support on your own. Our network of clinics and local services is unmatched by any group in South Texas.

Getting Started

Trusted, professional help with your questions and/or concerns about the Lap Band is just one click or phone call away.

  • Call our toll-free number:
  • Complete our online contact form
  • Attend one of our
    Free Weight Loss Surgery Seminars.
  • We offer convenient locations throughout San Antonio in addition to Austin, Corpus Christi, Killeen, Del Rio, Laredo, Boerne, New Braunfels, and Seguin in South Texas.

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