This is the most commonly performed obesity surgery procedure in
Australia. The lapband has been used since 1993 and over 400,000
cases have been performed worldwide.
The procedure is carried out laparoscopically (key-hole approach)
and involves placing a silicone band around the upper portion of
the stomach. This creates a small pouch above the band and a funnel
like system which restricts the passage of food through it, into
the stomach. It also induces a feeling of satiety. The combination
of all these, is a reduced amount of food intake and, as a result,
it produces weight loss.
Lap Band - Click on the image for an enlarged
It is the least invasive obesity procedure
which usually takes less than an hour of operating time. There
is no stomach cutting or stapling and it is both adjustable and
reversible. It has the lowest operative complication rate.
usually involves an overnight hospital stay only. The long term
risk of malnutrition is low.
Its disadvantages are that it requires
a significant degree of maintenance, with adjustments to achieve
the optimal volume of saline fluid in the band, and it also tends
to produce a lower rate of initial weight loss when compared
to other obesity procedures. However, in time it approaches about
60% of excess weight loss in the majority of cases.