Lap-Band® Glossary

Definitions of common terms used when discussing the Lap-Band® System and Weight loss in general.


Anesthesia is commonly used prior to having surgery so that a patient feels no pain or discomfort. Bariatrics Bariatrics is the type of medicine practiced that deals exclusively with the treatment and / or prevention of obesity.

Bariatric Surgeon

A physician or surgeon whose specialty is the treatment of obesity with weight loss surgery, like the Lap-Band®.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is the industry standard method of measurement for obesity. BMI uses a mathematical equation to approximate body mass using a ratio of weight and weight. Most health agencies regard a BMI of 30 or more to be a sign of obesity. Morbid Obesity would be defined as a person with a BMI of 40 or more. BMI can not make a determination between muscle and fat so it is possible to be very muscular and have a high BMI, which is why it is best for a physician to make an accurate determination of your BMI. Determine your BMI with this BMI Calculator


When talking about Bariatrics, a Co morbidity is any medical condition that may be caused or made worse by the fact that the patient is overweight. Many co morbidities such as type II diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea can be resolved with the weight loss associated with the use of the Lap-Band®.

Diabetes Type II

Type II diabetes is a disorder of the endocrine system that manifests itself by the inability to properly use glucose in the digestive system. This results in an increased level of glucose in the blood. The absence or decreased levels of insulin in the blood causes the body to not be able to breakdown carbohydrates. Over 70% of patients with Type II diabetes have resolved their need for insulin after they have had the Lap-Band® surgery.

Dumping Syndrome

Dumping syndrome is a physiological reaction seen in gastric bypass patients. Because the operation alters the way the stomach and intestines interact with foods some patients may experience symptoms such as light-headedness, flushing, sweating, and nausea. Lap-Band® patients do not suffer from this condition most likely because the surgery does not require the rerouting of intestines or the cutting of the stomach.

Gastric Bypass

A Gastric Bypass is a surgical procedure where the stomach is cut and the intestines are rerouted using staples that splits the stomach and reconnects the now smaller stomach pouch directly to the bowel and bypassing most of the stomach. The procedure limits how much food the patient can eat and thus results in weight loss. However the procedure can also result in dumping syndrome and malnutrition associated with the lack of vitamin intake due to the decreased size of the stomach.

Gastroesophageal Reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux also called GERD is the backflow of the contents of the stomach into the esophagus due to a problem with the closure at the end of the esophagus (also called the sphincter). GERD (also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease) can cause discomfort and heartburn. Too many occurrences of GERD can result in damage or scarring to the esophagus as well as other complications.


Hypertension or high blood pressure indicates a patient whose blood pressure is routinely over 140/90. The first number is called the systolic pressure and us the pressure the heart creates when it pumps blood out to the blood vessels, the second number is the diastolic number when the heart is at rest. Obesity is a condition that can increase the blood pressure and make it harder for the heart to sustain.


Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that allows access inside the body via multiple small incisions. Long, skinny tools fit through the incisions along with a small camera and light that allow the surgeon to perform a surgery with less scarring and much less pain than a typical "open" surgery. This method allows a shorter recovery time and in many cases allows the patient to go home the same day. Many Lap-Band® surgeries result in the patient going home the very same day.

Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass

Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass surgery is the same surgery as defined in the "Gastric Bypass" section but done laparoscopically as defined in the "laparoscopic surgery section"

Morbid Obesity

Defined as having a Body Mass Index over 40 or a BMI over 35 with significant co morbidities.


Obesity is a general condition that results from having a excessive amount of body weight due to the accumulation of fat in the body at a higher than normal amount. Usually obesity is defined as having a BMI over 30.


A disease that affects weight-bearing joints caused by undue stress. Pain is usually caused when cartilage between bones has worn down and bone surfaces come into contact and rub against each other. This condition usually occurs in the elderly and those who are obese.


Saline solution is a liquid similar in composition to that of human tears. It is comprised of water and salt. Saline solution is also used as the liquid to adjust the inside surface of the Lap-Band® thus allowing additional restriction of the flow of food and resulting in weight loss.


Satiety is the state of being satisfied, when used in the context of eating, it is the equivalent of "being full" or not able to eat anymore food. The Lap-Band® is designed to give you a feeling of "fullness" or Satiety.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is defined as a temporary stop or cessation of breathing while asleep. The sufferer will typically wake gasping for breath. Sleep apnea may result in a poor night's sleep and drowsiness during the day. Sleep Apnea is one of the comorbidities associated with obesity and can potentially be resolved with the Lap-Band®.


The stoma is the outlet to the stomach at the end of the esophagus around which a Lap-Band® is typically placed during surgery. Thus dividing the stomach into two smaller parts, the small upper portion results in the slow intake of food and slows the movement into the larger stomach compartment, giving a feeling or fullness allowing the patient to stop eating and fell satisfied. By adding saline solution to the Lap-Band® the restriction at the stoma can be adjusted thus assisting in continued weight loss.