How laparoscopic surgery works
A small incision (less than 1/2 inch) is made near the belly button. Carbon dioxide (a gas that occurs naturally in the body) is introduced into the abdomen to create a work space for the surgeon. Then a small laparoscopic camera is placed through the incision into the abdomen.
The camera sends a picture of the stomach and abdominal cavity to a video monitor. It gives the surgeon a good view of the key structures in the abdominal cavity. A few additional, small incisions are made in the abdomen. The surgeon watches the video monitor and works through these small incisions using instruments with long handles to complete the procedure. The surgeon creates a small, circular tunnel behind the stomach, inserts the gastric band through the tunnel, and locks the band around the stomach.
If the thought of surgery makes you anxious, we encourage you to attend a bariatric information seminar, hosted by a REALIZE Band trained surgeon. There's no better way to have your questions answered and to get all the information you need about a healthy lifestyle. You'll learn what happens on the day of bariatric surgery, what expectations you should have for recovery, and more.
The low-profile REALIZE Port
During the REALIZE Band procedure, a port made from an implant-grade medical plastic and silicone is fastened usually about 2 inches below the rib cage on the left or right side. (The exact location will depend upon your body shape and your surgeon's decision.) The port is used to deliver saline into the balloon via thin, flexible tubing.
The REALIZE Port, which is completely enclosed inside the body, has the lowest profile of any injection port to minimize its appearance under the skin, even as you lose weight. You may be able to feel the port by gently pressing on your abdomen, but you probably won't notice it at all. The port design also allows your surgeon to locate it easily for band adjustments.
Band adjustments help you meet your weight loss goals
The REALIZE Band is adjustable, which allows your bariatric surgeon to personalize your band fit over time. After an adjustment, you'll be satisfied with less food, so you can keep losing weight gradually (1 to 2 pounds per week).
As you lose weight, your REALIZE Band fit will change. Periodic band adjustments ensure that the amount of saline in your band (often called a "fill level") is comfortable for you and keeps you on track to meet your weight loss goals. Fast and easy band adjustments take place at your surgeon's office, clinic, or hospital.
Intended for long-term use
The REALIZE Band is intended for long-term use. Because adjustable gastric banding surgery does not permanently change the anatomy of the stomach and intestines, the REALIZE Band can be removed, if necessary. Please keep in mind that surgery reversal is not simple, and weight gain is usually observed in people who have had their bands removed and do not continue a healthy eating regimen.
Information seminars: an important step to learn more about the REALIZE Band
If you're considering the REALIZE Band, we encourage you to attend an information seminar hosted by a REALIZE trained surgeon at a bariatric surgery clinic that offers gastric banding, gastric bypass, or sleeve gastrectomy. You'll learn about surgical options, you'll meet bariatric team members who will support you before and long after your surgery, and you may also hear from patients who have had weight loss surgery. There's no pressure to make a commitment—and no better way to get the answers you're looking for. Of course, family and friends are welcome, too.
Use our seminar finder to locate a seminar in your area, and register to ensure that you have a seat because seminars often fill up.
Want to talk it over? We're ready to help. Call us at 1-855-2-REALIZE if you have questions or concerns or want help finding a seminar near you.