Bariatric Surgery

Gastric Band Surgery FAQs

Gastric Banding Surgery, also known as The LAP BAND procedure, is minimally invasive bariatric surgery to help promote weight loss. This minimally invasive surgery does not remove any portion of your stomach, so recovery time is shorter than for most other weight loss procedures that permanently alter the anatomy of your stomach and intestines. Below are the some of the most frequently asked questions our patients ask of our board-certified bariatric surgeons at Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics of New Jersey about Gastric Bypass Surgery. 

How much weight can I expect lose with lap band surgery?

Patients who average at 35- 40 BMI (minimum number required for gastric band surgery) can expect to lose weight a bit faster than those with higher BMIs. It is possible to lose one to three pounds per week after the first year of surgery. That rate decreases gradually 12 – 18 months after surgery.

How dangerous is lap band surgery?

All surgery has risks, including gastric band surgery. Almost all patients will survive the surgery, but the risks increase after surgery. We know that patients have died as a result of gastric bands, including some patients who were not so overweight that their obesity would have killed them. We don’t know exactly how often that happens, but it is important for patients and their families to understand that there are serious risks that may be greater than the likely benefits for patients who are not dangerously obese.

One of the risks of gastric band surgery is that weight loss after surgery can increase the risk of sudden death from cardiac arrhythmias. Research also shows that the Lap-Band can deteriorate or causes a perforation in the gastro-intestinal tract, where acids and fecal matter can leak into the abdomen. It can take less than 30 minutes of surgery to get a Lap-Band, but patients can end up undergoing emergency surgery and staying in the hospital for days when something goes wrong.

How long does a gastric band last?

Gastric bands do not last forever. A gastric band that deteriorates can kill or seriously harm a patient if it is not removed. Researchers at the European School of Laparoscopic Surgery studied patients with gastric banding devices for 12 years. They found that more than one-fourth of patients had their bands wear out, and half of the patients had their bands removed. Each additional surgery, whether to take a band out or replace it, is an added risk. Even patients with good experiences will eventually need it removed (and replaced, if the patient wants it to be).

Is gastric banding reversible?

Not permanent — the gastric band can be removed at any time, unlike other weight loss surgeries, such as sleeve gastrectomy, which permanently change the digestive tract. Proven safe — most weight loss surgeries are safe and have low mortality rates, but the gastric band’s .1% mortality rate is compelling for patients.

Can I drink alcohol after lap band surgery?

Avoid alcohol for the first six months after bariatric surgery. Remember that after surgery, even small amounts of alcohol can cause intoxication and low blood sugar. Never drink and drive, even after consuming only minimal alcohol. Only drink with meals or while eating to help slow absorption of alcohol.

What happens if I eat too much after lap band surgery?

If you eat more than this at a time, you may become nauseated and vomit. If you eat too much on a regular basis the small pouch may stretch. Frequent vomiting can cause certain complications such as stomach slippage.

This page was modified on Aug 13, 2020 by Dr. Sadek (Surgeon) of Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics
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