LAP-BAND®, also called adjustable gastric banding surgery, is a weight-loss procedure. It is FDA-approved for teenagers and adults 18 years of age or older. If you are considering bariatric surgery and are at least 18 years old, LAP-BAND may be an option for you.
LAP-BAND Procedure: Before Surgery
Our weight-loss program is about more than just surgery. We provide intensive pre- and post-operative care. Before your surgery, you can expect:
- Candidacy evaluation. We need to determine if you are a good candidate for LAP-BAND. Your child needs to complete an evaluation and necessary diagnostic testing.
- Weight-loss clinic. Your child participates in a three-month course in our weight-loss clinic or another one outside of Children’s National. There, they learn about the behavioral modifications they will need to use after the surgery, such as choosing healthy foods and eating smaller portions. If you do not live locally, we can recommend hospitals in your area where you can complete this part of the process.
LAP-BAND Procedure at Children’s National: What to Expect
On the day of the surgery, this is a general idea of what you can expect. We will:
- Place your child under general anesthesia by a pediatric anesthesiologist. Your child will be asleep for the procedure and not feel any pain.
- Make a few small incisions on your child’s abdomen.
- Insert the laparoscope, a thin tube with a camera at the end, and the surgical instruments into the incisions.
- Place a band around the upper part of your child’s stomach, separating it from the lower part.
- Using the band, create a small pouch that leads into the lower part of your child’s stomach. We do not need to staple anything inside your child’s body.
- Remove the instruments and close the incisions with stitches. The surgery takes between 30-60 minutes.
The small pouch fills up quickly, so you feel full after eating a small amount of food. Eating less leads to weight loss.
LAP-BAND Procedure: Follow Up
Our care does not end when the surgery is over. Our bariatric program includes an intensive post-surgical support system. We follow up with our patients frequently, more often than in an adult bariatric surgery program. Generally, the schedule of follow-up visits is:
- Two to three weeks after the surgery
- Every three months during the first year
- Every six months during the second year
- Every year during the third year and beyond
For more information, call 202-476-2151.
Director, Bariatric Surgery Program
Co-Director, Obesity Program
Learn about bariatric (weight-loss) surgery for children and teens at our teen-centered Bariatric Surgery Program.