LAP-BAND® Surgery

At SmartShape™, we have successfully helped thousands of Canadians achieve significant and sustained weight loss with modern weight loss procedures like LAP-BAND surgery at our Toronto, Ontario, facility. The team at SmartShape specializes in treating obesity and welcomes the opportunity to help you make a life-changing commitment.

Before you decide to have LAP-BAND surgery, it is important to understand how the LAP-BAND works to help you achieve sustained weight loss. Your surgeon will help you weigh all your bariatric surgery options.

The LAP-BAND Procedure

Our surgeons perform the LAP-BAND procedure laparoscopically using only small incisions. During the surgery, which takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete, the surgeon places the following three components:

  • A gastric band around the top of the stomach
  • An adjustment port under the abdominal skin and fat secured to the abdominal muscles
  • Tubing that allows saline to flow between the band and the port
lap band device image
Lap Band Device

How the LAP-BAND Works

The LAP-BAND is placed about an inch down from the top of the stomach, creating a space called “the pouch.” Each time you swallow a bite of food, it gets temporarily held up by the LAP-BAND in the pouch. The pouch is unique because it is richly supplied with sensors and receptors that signal the brain that when this part of the stomach fills with food, it’s full. Patients feel full from eating smaller portions of food.

The LAP-BAND Benefits

Studies have shown that, on average, patients who have the LAP-BAND procedure will lose up to 50 to 55% of their excess weight and that most of that loss will occur in the first year.

How Long Is Recovery After LAP-BAND Surgery?

After an overnight stay in the hospital, patients are allowed to return home to recover. Patients are typically ready to return to work and normal daily activities a week after LAP-BAND surgery. Most gradually resume strenuous activities in approximately 3 to 4 weeks.

Post-Surgical Care Schedule

Patients have access to 24/7 after-hours support and a follow-up consultation with their surgeon if needed. Here is a general schedule for post-op care:

  • Day 1 – stay in the hospital overnight
  • Weeks 1-2 – meet with your nurse and dietitian
  • Weeks 2-4 – band adjustments are scheduled as needed with the nursing team
  • Month 1 – attend post-weight loss webinar
  • Months 1-3 – meet with your dietitian
  • Month 6 – meet with your nurse for follow-up tests
  • Months 6-9 – continue meeting with your dietitian
  • Year 1 – meet with your nurse for follow-up blood work—additional band adjustments are included at no cost
  • Years 2-5 – continue meeting with your nurse and dietitian and have follow-up blood work—additional band adjustments are included at no cost
  • Years 5+ – blood work will be completed with your family physician—additional band adjustments involve a nominal cost

LAP-BAND Adjustments

LAP-BAND adjustments (called fills or de-fills) are an important part of the program to ensure the band is working effectively. Adjustments are made by adding or removing saline via the adjustment port, making the band a little tighter or looser, as needed.

It is important to work with the team at SmartShape to decide when adjustments are required. Together we will monitor your weight loss and hunger to help determine when it’s time for an adjustment. Our nurse specialist will adjust the band in our clinic—a simple, relatively painless procedure that usually takes only minutes. The goal is to reach the “sweet spot,” and that’s different for every person.

The frequency of band adjustments varies from person to person and is customized to your progress. Although each person is different, in the first year, you can expect anywhere from 4 to 6 adjustments, but some people have as few as one. Approximately 10% of people are able to lose weight at the desired pace without any adjustment at all. LAP-BAND adjustments are much less common once you have achieved your weight loss goals.

For clients that do not live close to our clinics, over 40 affiliated healthcare professionals across Canada can work with our team to ensure you are getting your LAP-BAND adjustments as needed.

FAQs About The LAP-BAND Procedure at SmartShape

Am I a candidate for the SmartShape LAP-BAND procedure?

The LAP-BAND procedure may be the right solution if you:

  • Have a BMI of 30 and above, especially if you have a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes (calculate your BMI)
  • Are prepared to make changes in your eating habits and lifestyle
  • Prefer a procedure that requires minimal ongoing intervention or adjustments
  • Do not drink alcohol in excess and are not addicted to illicit drugs

Will I feel pain after the procedure?

Our surgeons perform LAP-BAND surgery laparoscopically through small incisions. Laparoscopic surgery is a low-risk, minimally invasive technique with many benefits, including smaller surgical scars, less pain, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, and reduced risks of infection.

During the first week after the procedure, expect to feel some pain. The discomfort is usually restricted to the laparoscopic port sites and can be managed with oral pain medication. You may also experience mild “gas pain” that settles in a couple of days. Your doctor will give you instructions regarding pain management.

Will I be able to see the port from outside the skin?

No, the port is not visible. The port is placed under the skin and fat and anchored to the abdominal wall muscles. 

How will I know if I need an adjustment?

One of the important features of the SmartShape program is working with our team to decide when LAP-BAND adjustments are indicated. Here are a few questions that can help decide if an adjustment is needed:

  • Has your weight loss slowed down?
  • Are you feeling hungry after a small meal?
  • Are you able to eat more than you feel you should?

If the answer to these questions is yes, it may be time for an adjustment. You should call the clinic and speak to one of our nurses about having an assessment.

Is the SmartShape LAP-BAND procedure available for out-of-province/out-of-town clients?

Yes, SmartShape welcomes out-of-town and out-of-province patients. The LAP-BAND procedure is performed at our Clearpoint Surgical Toronto. After surgery, you will be monitored overnight in our facility and will be discharged the next day. Once you leave the facility, most patients are able to return to their normal activities in about 7 to 10 days.

Out-of-province patients may be eligible for funding from your home province’s health plan. Please contact your home province health department to see if you qualify, and if so, for what amount/elements of your procedure. (Coverage varies by province.)

Home province health departments:

If I am out-of-province/out-of-town, how can I get the LAP-BAND adjusted?

In an effort to reduce the need to travel, we have adapted our follow-up programs to meet the needs of our out-of-province and long-distance LAP-BAND clients. We have an extensive network of affiliated physicians and nurses in over 50 cities and towns across Canada and are continuing to train affiliates to meet our clients’ needs. These healthcare professionals have been trained by our surgeons to perform LAP-BAND adjustments for our patients. Adjustments are performed after a consultation with our nurses. Our nurses will confirm the timing and fill volume required for the adjustment.

Can I resume physical activity after the LAP-BAND procedure?

We recommend that you start walking up to 30 minutes per day as soon as you are able. However, strenuous exercise is not recommended until 3 to 4 weeks after your procedure. We recommend that you do not lift more than 10 to 15 pounds for at least two weeks.

Can the LAP-BAND be removed?

Although the LAP-BAND is meant to be permanent, it can be safely and easily removed if necessary. If the LAP-BAND is removed, it is possible that the weight loss may not be sustained. If you choose to have the LAP-BAND removed, it is possible to have the gastric sleeve or mini gastric bypass as a revision procedure.

Does the LAP-BAND ever have to be replaced?

The LAP-BAND System has been proven to be a safe and permanent implanted device that does not deteriorate or break down with time. This is one of the reasons that SmartShape Weight Loss Centre uses only the genuine LAP-BAND System. There is no reason to expect that the LAP-BAND would ever need to be replaced.

How does the LAP-BAND affect type 2 diabetes?

Bariatric surgery has emerged as an innovative alternative option in the management of type 2 diabetes. Many 5-year studies are showing that the LAP-BAND, as well as other bariatric surgeries, leads to a profound and durable resolution of type 2 diabetes.

These procedures can result in sustained body weight loss and significant improvement in obesity-related comorbidities. Surgical weight loss procedures are recognized by Diabetes Canada to lead to significant and sustained weight loss and remission of Type 2 diabetes.

Is it safe to get pregnant once you have a LAP-BAND?

Yes, it is safe to become pregnant after LAP-BAND surgery, although it is wise to wait a number of months. In addition, losing weight improves your fertility and makes pregnancy safer for both you and the baby.

What is the cost for the SmartShape LAP-BAND procedure?

Please visit our Cost & Financing page to learn more about the cost of a LAP-BAND procedure at SmartShape.

Do you offer the LAP-BAND program to residents outside Canada?

Yes, SmartShape is able to accommodate international clients through our dedicated International Patient program. Please contact SmartShape directly for more details by calling  (888) 278-7952 to speak with one of our Program Advisors in this area.

For more information about SmartShape Weight Loss Centre and weight loss surgery, visit our FAQs page. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make a confident decision.

We encourage you to connect with us by requesting a free consultation so we can address any further questions you may have and discuss whether LAP-BAND surgery is right for you.

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