Research shows that lap band surgery, also known as gastric banding, is effective in promoting significant weight loss over a long period of time, reports WebMD. However, many patients require follow-up surgery to handle complications or make adjustments. Because other forms of weight loss surgery have better results, most doctors and patients opt for other procedures.
Doctors perform surgery such as gastric banding when other forms of conventional weight loss fail, explains MedicineNet. A lap band is a hollow adjustable belt made of silicon that doctors position in the upper stomach to decrease the quantity of food the stomach can hold. Once the belt is in place, doctors add saline to inflate it. They can adjust the size of the belt by increasing or decreasing the amount of saline.
Doctors only perform lap band surgery on patients over 18 years old who commit to making lifestyle changes that must accompany the procedure, according to MedicineNet. Doctors typically do not perform the surgery on patients who are emotionally unstable, abuse alcohol or drugs, or have dangerous lung or heart conditions. Although the risk of complications is low, patients may experience bleeding, infection or stomach pain. Other side effects may include indigestion, nausea, vomiting, constipation and ulceration at the location of the band.