During the gastric band procedure, the lap band is placed around the uppermost part of the stomach, dividing it into two parts: a small upper pouch and a lower stomach. The upper pouch can hold only about 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of food. As a result, you eat less food at one time, feel full sooner, and feel satisfied longer. The goal is to lose weight gradually, at a healthy rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week. No part of your stomach is stapled or removed during surgery, and your intestines are not rerouted, so you can continue to absorb nutrients from food. The lap band is made of biocompatible materials, so it can be placed inside your body without causing harm. The side of the band that fits against your stomach is lined with a soft balloon. After the gastric banding surgery, saline (a safe liquid) is delivered into the balloon to control the band tightness.
The degree of band tightness affects how much food you can eat during a meal and the length of time it takes for food to empty from the upper pouch. When the band is adjusted to the proper tightness, you’ll feel full sooner and stay fuller longer. As the band helps you eat less food, your body will stop storing excess calories and start using its fat supply for energy.
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