Q:

What is lap band surgery?

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Quick Answer

Lap band, or gastric banding, is a weight loss surgery that involves the placement of a silicone band around the top of the stomach to restrict the amount of food that the stomach can hold. The purpose is to make a person eat less and eventually lose weight as a result.

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Full Answer

The LAP BAND brand name represents generic, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding and is one of several different brands available for the same form of surgery, explains MedicineNet. Because of the popularity of the name, people often use it to refer to laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, abbreviated as LAGB, even though they do not intend to reference LAP BAND specifically.

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is typically reserved for individuals who are morbidly obese, and it is not used for individuals with a body mass index below 40, unless an individual's health suffers enough to warrant the treatment. According to MedicineNet, it is common for an individual who wishes to undergo gastric banding to first meet with a clinical psychologist to assess the individual's understanding of the procedure and willingness to follow the lifestyle necessary to maintain the effectiveness of the procedure after surgery.

Doctors often do not consider patients for gastric banding if the patient has not first attempted several forms of weight loss without results. Many patients who are in poor health cannot qualify for the procedure, due to drug or alcohol dependencies, ulcers, weak lungs or heart disease.

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