Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, or LAGB, is a type of bariatric surgery that uses a small, adjustable band placed over the top portion of the stomach, separating the stomach into two sections - a larger section and a smaller section. When food is consumed, it travels to the small portion, which serves as the “new” stomach, helping patients feel fuller faster so less food is consumed. As the patient's needs change, the band can be adjusted through a small port near the surface of the skin, either expanding or shrinking the size of the smaller stomach portion to control the amount of food that can be consumed. Another name for laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is "Lap-band" surgery, a name derived from a proprietary product used in the surgery.
Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is a good choice for many patients, but especially for very obese patients for whom dieting and other weight-loss plans have failed to produce adequate weight loss. Generally speaking, LAGB is recommended for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 40, or for patients with a BMI between 35 and 40 who also have weight-related medical issues like high blood pressure, heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
The procedure uses a laparoscopic technique, a minimally-invasive approach to surgery that relies on small incisions and uses special instruments designed to operate through these smaller openings. During the procedure, several small incisions will be made in the belly to enable the laparoscope and instruments to enter. The scope uses a very small camera to capture images during the procedure, sending them back to a monitor where they can be viewed by the surgeon. The gastric band will be placed over the stomach and secured to create the two sections, then the port will be placed under the skin. Most surgeries take an hour or less to complete.