Q:

How does outpatient LAP-BAND surgery work?

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In outpatient LAP-BAND surgery, the doctor places an adjustable band around the upper part of the patient's stomach, according to UC San Diego Health. This creates a pouch that is much smaller than the rest of the stomach and restricts how much food the patient can eat. It also causes an increase in the time it takes for the stomach to empty.

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During the surgery, the doctor makes small incisions in the patient’s abdomen and uses a laparoscope to insert the band, says UC San Diego Health. The band is made of silicone, and the surgeon attaches it to a tube that is in turn attached to a port the surgeon places just below the patient’s skin. This allows the band to be adjusted.

The procedure takes about 40 minutes, and the patient can go home after a period of rest and monitoring, says UC San Diego Health. She can usually return to normal activities after about four days to a week. Because the operation takes place laparoscopically, there is less trauma, risk of infection and other complications.

Most patients can expect to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week after lap-band surgery, claims UC San Diego Health. Some patients lose more than this. The average weight loss after a year is around 100 pounds.

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