The LAP-BAND® Procedure
The LAP-BAND® System is usually placed laparoscopically. Laparoscopic surgery requires general anesthesia. First, Dr. Fore will make a few small incisions in the abdominal wall and insert narrow, hollow tubes. Thin surgical instruments are then passed through the tubes along with a small camera that allows Dr. Fore to see inside the abdomen (the picture the camera takes is shown on a monitor in the operating room). This technique is called “laparoscopy” and is considered “minimally invasive.”
A small tunnel is made behind the top of the stomach. Then the LAP-BAND® System is pulled around the stomach to form a ring. The LAP-BAND® System has a locking part which securely holds the band in a circle around the stomach. Using this technique, Dr. Fore is able to wrap the LAP-BAND® System around the patient’s stomach, with no stomach cutting, stapling or intestinal re-routing.
There are clear advantages to this kind of surgery. In an “open” surgery, a larger incision is made. After a laparoscopic surgery, most people feel much less pain, have fewer wound complications, recover faster and are able to resume normal activities sooner.
LAP-BAND® System Maintenance
Once the band is around the stomach, tubing connects the LAP-BAND® System to an access port fixed beneath the skin of the abdomen. This allows Dr. Fore to change the stoma size by adding or removing sterile saline, or salt water, inside the inner balloon through the access port with a thin needle. This adjustment process helps determine the rate of weight loss.
The diameter of the band can be adjusted to meet individual needs and change as a patient loses weight or needs to gain weight for medical reasons such as pregnancy. If the band is too loose and weight loss is inadequate, adding more saline can reduce the size of the stoma and further restrict the amount of food intake. If the band is too tight, saline can be removed to loosen the band and reduce the amount of restriction.
After the Surgery
After two to four visits during the first month, Dr. Fore usually see patients every four to twelve weeks during the first year to determine if adjustments need to be made. Adjustments can be performed in our office without additional surgery.
Dr. Fore has been trained and certified on the LAP-BAND AP® System — meeting rigid standards for qualification. These standards include:
- Demonstrated surgical and advanced laparoscopic skills.
- Completed an Allergan LAP-BAND® System training course (mandatory by the FDA).
- Performed several surgeries under the observation of an experienced LAP-BAND® System surgeon approved to “Proctor” the case.