Many forms of obesity operation including gastric band and gastrointestinal bypass treatment, are carried out through laparoscopic surgery. Indeed, the most common form of stomach banding procedure is the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band.
Laparoscopic surgery, also known keyhole surgery or minimally invasive surgery, is a surgical technique in which operations are performed through small incisions, as opposed to the much larger incisions used in open surgery. The key aspect of laparoscopic surgery is the use of a laparoscope which resembles a thin telescope with an attached light source. It is used to light up and magnify the structures inside the body, and therefore enable the surgeon to carry out procedures through another of the small incisions in the skin.
Laparoscopic surgery is commonly used in the removal of the gallbladder, removal of the appendix, female sterilization, and of course gastric bands. The benefits of a laparoscopic procedure are there are less risk of complications, less pain following the procedure, a quicker recovery, and less scarring. A shorter stay in hospital will also be required as the technique is considerably less invasive than open surgery.
In terms of a gastric band operation, a surgeon will make four or five small cuts in the patient's upper abdomen. Thin instruments will then be inserted into the body, guided by a laparoscope to place the band around the top of the stomach. The band is then connected to the access port, which is placed just below the skin. This allows for the easy adjustment or removal of the band. The band is locked in place, and the initial incisions are stitched or clipped.
The use of laparoscope technology allows a gastric band surgeon to perform a complex procedure in a relatively simple manner. Obesity surgery without the use of a laparoscope is harder, longer and riskier. Success rates have increased dramatically, and complications fallen significantly since laparoscopic gastric bands become the norm.
However, it's worth remembering that even a laparoscopic adjustable gastric band operation can have side effects. Mistakes can still be made, and the body can sill react in an undesirable way. Although increasingly rare, a handful of patients still die from lap band surgery each year.
Common Bariatrics Questions
What are the side effects of a gastrointestinal bypass operation?
How much pain will I experience during or after a stomach banding procedure?