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How Long Does It Take to Recover From Lap Band Surgery?

What is laparoscopic gastric banding?

Laparoscopic Laparoscopic gastric banding surgery is done under general anesthesia. This procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete.

Laparoscopic gastric banding is a weight loss surgery in which the surgeon places a band around the upper part of the stomach. This creates a small pouch to hold food, limiting the amount an individual can eat by making them feel full faster. A doctor can later adjust the band to make food pass more slowly or quickly through the stomach.

Who is considered for laparoscopic gastric banding?

Laparoscopic gastric banding is not a quick solution for obesity; however, it greatly changes the individual’s lifestyle.

  • This weight-loss surgery may be an option if an individual is severely obese and has not been able to lose weight through diet and exercise.
  • The person seeking gastric banding should be mentally stable and not be dependent on alcohol or illegal drugs.

Doctors often use the following body mass index (BMI) measures to identify people who may be most likely to benefit from weight-loss surgery. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 25. This procedure may be recommended for the patients who have:

How laparoscopic gastric banding is performed?

Laparoscopic gastric banding surgery is done under general anesthesia. This procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete. 

  • The surgeon generally makes one to five small surgical cuts in the abdomen. 
  • Through these small cuts, the surgeon will place a camera and the instruments needed to perform the surgery. 
  • Then, a band, made of special rubber (Silastic rubber), is placed around the upper part of the stomach to separate it from the lower part. 
  • The inside of the band has an inflatable balloon. This allows the band to be adjusted. 
  • The band creates a small pouch with a narrow opening leading into the larger, lower part of the stomach. Patients or doctors can decide to loosen or tighten the band in the future. 
  • This surgery does not involve any cutting or stapling inside the belly. 

When an individual eats after having the surgery, the small pouch will fill up quickly. They will feel full after eating just a small amount of food. The food in the small upper pouch will slowly empty into the main part of the stomach. 

What are the complications of laparoscopic gastric banding?

The procedure involves the following risk factors:

  • The gastric band may gradually wear away through the stomach (if this happens, it must be removed)
  • Stomach may slip up through the band (if this happens, the patient may need urgent surgery)
  • Gastritis (inflamed stomach lining), heartburn or stomach ulcers
  • Infection at the surgical site, which may need antibiotics or surgery
  • Injury to the stomach, intestines or other organs during surgery
  • Poor nutrition
  • Scarring inside the belly that may lead to a blockage in the gastrointestinal tract
  • The surgeon may not be able to reach the access port to tighten or loosen the band. The patient would need minor surgery to fix this problem
  • The tubing near the access port can be accidentally punctured during needle access. If this happens, the band cannot be tightened. The patient would need minor surgery to fix this problem.
  • Vomiting from eating more than the stomach pouch can hold
  • Common anesthesia risk (headache, drowsiness, nausea.) 


What is weight loss surgery?
See Answer

How long does it take to recover from lap band surgery?

The patient can probably go home on the same day after the surgery. Many people can begin their normal activities a couple of days after going home. Most people take a week off from work. Patients are usually on liquids or mashed-up foods for two to three weeks after surgery. By six weeks after surgery, most can eat regular foods.

What are the results of gastric banding?

Gastric banding surgery is no longer commonly performed because of its high failure rate. This procedure usually leads to a loss of about 35 to 45 percent of excess weight. For example, someone who is 100 pounds overweight might expect to lose about 35 to 45 pounds after gastric banding. However, results vary widely. The procedure can be reversed if necessary, and in time, the stomach generally returns to its normal size.


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