This is the simplest and safest of the three surgical procedures and therefore would normally be the first for you to consider.
The band is placed at the very top of the stomach as shown below in figure 2. The port lies about 2 cm under the skin near the navel. By injecting saline into the access port the balloon of the band gently and steadily squeezes the top of the stomach.
We add fluid until we are in the Green Zone where there is minimal hunger, good weight loss and no unpleasant symptoms. If we leave the band too loose, we are in the Yellow Zone where you are hungry and tend to eat too much and you are not losing enough weight. If we make the band too tight, we are in the Red Zone where you are getting symptoms such as heartburn, reflux and vomiting after eating and you may be putting on weight as you tend to eat the wrong foods.
Placing the band is just the first step in a continuous follow up process. With the band in place we are able to control your appetite, take away the hunger and enable you to eat small amounts of food and be happy. The adjustments and advice during the follow up process are very important in achieving a good result.
A few worry beforehand about having an adjustment, but it is so minor a procedure and so powerful an effect that this should not be. Just a quick, almost pain-free injection and the appetite is turned off. With more squeezing by the band of the top of the stomach, nerves in the stomach wall send signals to the appetite centre in the brain and take away the hunger sensations. It is a wonderful exhibition of how our nervous system works. No one worries about the adjustment after having it done. It is so simple and yet gives such a powerful effect, they look forward to it.
The Lap-Band has a number of important strengths.