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Today there are several surgical options for weight loss. You and your surgeon must evaluate the procedures and decide which one is right for you. Results achieved by patients must be independently evaluated and managed. Actual weight loss will vary.
The adjustable gastric band, also known as Lap-Band® or REALIZE® Band, is a minimally invasive technique which involves placing a band around the upper portion of the stomach. The band creates a small stomach pouch that serves to restrict food intake and make one feel full faster. The small stomach pouch slowly releases food to the lower portion of the stomach through the opening created by the band.
One of the major advantages of the adjustable gastric band is the diameter of the band outlet is adjustable to meet your individual needs, which can change as you lose weight. The operation can usually be performed using laparoscopy (using small incisions and long instruments rather than a single large incision). The procedure requires no cutting or stapling of the stomach or small bowel.
The inner surface of the band can be inflated with liquid (saline solution) or deflated to modify the size of the pouch. The band is connected by tubing to a reservoir, which is placed well under the skin during surgery. After the operation, the surgeon can control the amount of saline in the band by entering the reservoir with a fine needle through the skin. These adjustments begin about six weeks after the band is placed, and four to six adjustments are typically needed until appropriate adjustment is reached during the first year.
Adjustable gastric band procedures are normally performed as day surgery, although a patient may be admitted for an overnight stay in the hospital depending on the post-operative situation and the patient's co-morbid conditions.
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