The Lap-Band is a weight loss tool used to help patients and is secured during a minimally-invasive surgical procedure. The system shrinks a patient’s stomach capacity, which in term lessens the amount of food an individual is able to eat in a single sitting. This helps patients to feel full faster and stay full for longer bouts of time. The tool is created to help patients slowly lose weight over time and to assist them to sustain the weight loss.
A Lap Band® adjustment, often called a fill, is when the doctor uses a needle, inserted into the port, which is located slightly beneath the skin on the abdominal wall. Once the needle makes its way into the port, saline is injected inside. The saline goes down a tube attached to the port and into the Lap Band®. The band fills up and puts pressure on the top of the stomach. When patients eat the food sits in the pouch until it begins to break down and fit through the small opening to the remainder of the stomach. Filling the band makes this opening smaller and that makes it more difficult for food to pass through. This tighter band creates a smaller opening to the stomach so that it will take longer for the food to make it into the stomach, helping people to not eat too much. The goal of a Lap Band® fill is to find the correct amount of fluid which allows the patient to eat enough for proper nutrition but avoid gaining weight.
In most cases, in the first year patients will go to the doctor three to five times. After the first year, most surgeons see patients twice a year to make slight adjustments. To correctly adjust the band, the surgeon will ask:
The patient’s weight will also be a key factor. At each appointment, the doctor will weigh patients and ask similar questions. The doctor will use this information to add or remove saline from the band.
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