Dr Govind Krishna is a General & Upper

Gastrointestinal Surgeon providing

consultative and surgical services to

patients in south West Sydney.



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Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding

What is a Lap Band Procedure and what are the advantages of this type of obesity surgery?

The Lap-Band is a safe and effective tool for weight loss. It is a silicone band – like a ring or belt – that is placed around the upper part of the stomach. The Lap-Band is designed to place a precise level of pressure on the nerves around the upper part of your stomach so
Robinson MK (July 2009). "Editorial: Surgical treatment of obesity—weighing the facts". N. Engl. J. Med. 361 (5): 520–1. doi:10.1056/NEJMe0904837. PMID 19641209.

they send signals to your brain that you are not hungry. Because the band also constricts the upper portion of your stomach, you will eat less food at one time and still feel satisfied.

Laparoscopic  or Keyhole surgery means less scarring or wound problems and and quicker recovery times than other weight loss procedures. Many patients have the procedure in the morning and are home by the afternoon.

Adjustable - The ability to adjust the Lap-Band is a great benefit. As patients lose weight, saline can be added or removed from the band to ensure continued weight loss success. The band can also be loosened to accommodate changes during pregnancy and tightened after delivery to help you return to your healthy goal weight

Reversible: By removing fluid or the band

Unlike other weight loss procedures, the Lap-Band procedure is reversible. It does not involve removing or stapling parts of the stomach and does not reroute the digestive tract.

Lower risk The Lap-Band procedure is safer than other weight loss procedures. It has a lower incidence of side effects and rarely results in nutritional deficiencies that are more common with gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries. Also, the procedure is less invasive and does not remove, reroute or staple significant parts of your stomach or digestive tract as do the gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries.

What are the disadvantages of a Lap Band Procedure?


Due to the constriction of the band, patients feel obstructed rather than full after eating with side effects such as pain on swallowing, regurgitation, heartburn and vomiting. This is seen even in patients who succeed in losing weight.

Lap Bands mean that patients have to follow a very restrictive diet. Most patients cannot eat many solid food types including rice, pasta, white bread, red meat and chicken (unless minced) and many types of fruit and vegetable. Unfortunately; soft sloppy food such as chocolate, milk shakes and ice cream readily passes through the band. Thus the band tends to teach patients to eat the wrong diet of food which are rich in sugar and fat, meaning the caloric intake is still high which prevents weight loss.

There is an ongoing failure rate due to band slip, band erosion, and tubing and access port troubles. On average 4-5% of bands need to be removed per year. When the band is removed for any reason patients often quickly regain back any weight they may have lost.

Regular visits and follow ups are required to adjust the amount of fluid in the band.

There is a variable weight loss. The average excess weight loss is around 45%. Many patients fail to lose half their excess leading to a higher rate of dissatisfaction.

The band has not proven to be effective for older and larger patients.

A failed band procedure compromises further weight loss operations. Although gastric banding does not involve removing or joining any part of the stomach or intestine, the band leaves scarring  and a folded stomach after removal.  This scaring interfere with the safety and success of other weight loss operations like sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass.

Because of the disadvantages associated with Lap Band procedures, it is not considered the gold standard surgical treatment option for obesity.

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