FAQ - Lap-Band  


27 June 2000
Website launched

19 January 2009
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This site is not meant to replace your Doctor's advice. The advice on this site is from other wls patients and may not be relevent in your case or even harmful.














What are the differences between the Lap Band and other procedures for WLS
What are the differences between Adjustable Gastric Bands
Who are the requirements for a Lap Band
What is the BIB System
Can I become Pregnant after having the Lap Band

• What are the differences between the Lap Band and other procedures for WLS

Gastric Bypass
In this procedure the majority of the stomach is excluded from the digestive process by suturing or stapling, and a lower portion of the intestines is attached to the small stomach pouch. Most of the stomach and part of the intestines are bypassed.
The result: Reduced absorption of nutrients and calories.

Stomach Stapling (Vertical Banded Gastroplasty)
In this procedure the capacity of the stomach is restricted by suturing or stapling. You achieve the feeling of satiety (fullness) when the small stomach pouch is full.
The result: Food intake is limited.

The Adjustable Gastric Band
In this procedure the capacity of the stomach is made smaller by placing an adjustable band around the upper part of the stomach. No cutting or stapling is required to create division between the upper stomach pouch and lower stomach. You achieve the feeling of satiety (fullness) when the small stomach pouch above the band is full.
The result: Food intake is limited. The band, unlike the Vertical Banded Gastroplasty, is designed to be adjusted as your situation requires.

The Gastric Band is a less invasive option and is adjustable and reversible. It carries less risk then the other more invasive and drastic methods of weight loss surgery. There may be instances where other forms of weight loss surgery are more appropriate for you. This is something that you need to talk over with your Doctor.

The largest patient that we are aware of that had an Adjustable Gastric Band in Australia was from Brisbane and weighed over 350kg and was operated on by Dr George Fielding.

• What are the differences between Adjustable Gastric Bands


There are a number of different brands of bands used in Australia now – these include bands marketed by Inamed (Lap-Band and VG), Johnson and Johnson (SAGB), Helioscopie (Heliogast) and the AMI band. There are other bands being used world wide, these are the most common used in Australia and New Zealand.

All types of Gastric Band perform in the same way and the choice of which Gastric Band you have will be made by your surgeon.

The Gastric Band (regardless of brand) is most frequently fitted laparoscopically. Some people may require “open” surgery and this is determined by your surgeon, often at the time of surgery. Your surgeon will inform you of the possibility of converting to an open operation and the reasons for doing so prior to your hospitalization. While this is a rare occurrence, you should be aware that it can happen.

Surgeons performing Gastric Banding (regardless of brand) are specialists and are extensively trained to perform this procedure.

Early bands were not sutured into place, but all bands are now sutured into place. This has reduced the incidence of slippage.

All bands used in Australia have a “locking mechanism”. This mechanism varies between the different brands – but they are all safely locked around the stomach.

• Who can have a Lap Band

Generally the following conditions must be meet to be eligible for a Lap Band

• BMI over 40. A lower BMI (generally 35) may be accepted in the presence of other weight related problems (blood pressure, sleep apnea, diabetes and joint problems)

• Aged between 18 and 60

• Failure of conventional diets or weight loss treatment in the past

• Obesity stable for 5 years

• Understanding of the procedure and commitment long term

• Lack of other diseases that have contributed to the weight loss

• No dependence on alcohol and/or drugs

• What is the BIB System

The BioEnterics Intragastric Balloon (BIB) System is a non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical alternative for the treatment of obesity. The BIB System is designed to induce temporary weight loss in obese patients by partially filling the stomach to help them achieve a feeling of fullness.

For more information visit the BioEnterics website

• Can I become pregnant after having the Lap Band

The manufacturers of the band recommend that patients not become pregnant in the first year to eighteen months after surgery ie: the active weight loss phase.

However, if pregnancy does occur during this period the recommendation is that the fluid be removed for the duration of the pregnancy. This reduces the level of discomfort for you and increases the amount that you can ingest to feed the baby during that time.

You may want to talk to your doctor about his view on nausea and vomiting with the band. Some surgeons believe that it is important to try not to vomit with the band as they consider that it can contribute to band slippage. You can have anti-nausea medication prescribed.

The best advice here is to talk to your surgeon as he is in the best position to evaluate what action needs to be taken.


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