Al Roker made big news when he talked about his stomach bypass surgery. Now there is a new version of stomach surgery that uses a band around the stomach with minimal discomfort.
Lap-Band surgery is an inflatable belt that is cinched up around the top of your stomach. Only a little food can fill the top pouch making the patient feel full. Then like an hourglass, the food slowly passes through out the rest of your stomach.
The belt can be tightened or loosened with a solution that's injected into a port, that's right at the surface of the skin. Doctors are now performing the procedure with the use of robots. The doctor uses a remote control to move giant robot arms over the patient and the tiny robot hands can twist and turn far better than the standard instruments.
The operation takes less than half an hour and patients may go home the same day. Studies show the Lap-Band surgery may not cause as much weight loss as the older bypass stomach surgery, but it is less risky.
The Lap-Band surgery was approved by the FDA in June of 2001 after extensive use in Europe and Australia.