Obesity is a growing concern for many people. By definition, obesity means having a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30 kg/m2. If not dealt with appropriately, obesity can lead to lifetime health issues such as cancer, heart disease and/or stroke. Those with excessive weight problems are turning to surgical options when other weight loss methods, such as lifestyle modification, medication and supplementation have failed.
It can be a source of great distress when you have seemed to have tried every weight loss solution that exists all without any success. This is when speaking with a medical professional to learn more about weight loss surgery options may be beneficial for your case. Gastric banding, or commonly known as lap band surgery, is a surgical procedure carried out using laparoscopic or keyhole surgery to implant an adjustable silicone belt around the upper part of the stomach. The lap band system reduces the stomach’s capacity for the amount of food one can ingest in a short amount of time. With a smaller stomach size, this leads to you consuming smaller meals, resulting in reduced calorie intake and continually to weight loss.
A Simple Procedure with Long-Lasting Effects
The procedure is done by inserting a tiny camera, called laparoscope, to allow lap band surgeons to see inside the body while performing the surgery. A few incisions, measuring about 1.5 – 2.5 cm each, are made in the abdomen. Using long, thin instruments, a silicone band is placed around the stomach.
The band is connected to a port discretely located beneath the abdominal skin. This port serves as an entry point to introduce saline when there is the desire to tighten the band, or to remove saline if some loosening is needed. By restricting the size of the stomach, it reduces the amount of food it can contain and slows down the passage of food that goes to the intestine. A small pouch created by the band in the upper stomach sends a sensation of fullness and satiety to the brain despite less food consumption. The same message was received by the brain previously when the entire stomach was filled to full capacity.
A lap band surgery is minimally invasive and disruptive. The procedure is typically completed in less than an hour and the patient is encouraged to rest afterwards. If done on an inpatient basis, the hospital stay usually takes less than a day.
Before, During and After the Lap Band Surgery
Preparation for the surgery varies from surgeon to surgeon and depends on the program. Many centers require their patients to commit to sticking to a healthy lifestyle change before going through surgery. Part of the preparation may be the consumption of five to six small meals a day, or a liquid diet. Patients may likewise be advised to wean away from high calorie foods such as some popular high calorie dairy products.
Lap band surgeons should discuss the necessity of medical risk reduction for patients whose BMI is over 50 kg/m2, or with other medical issues. It is the goal of some surgeons in different cases to have their obese patients achieve a weight loss of five to 10 percent before going through surgery as this has been proven to improve post-operation outcomes.
The procedure is a major surgery, thus patients are placed under full general anesthesia. The time frame ranges from 30 to 60 minutes to perform. The surgeon makes three to five small incisions, one for inserting the laparoscope and the others for the surgical instruments and the gastric band. After placement of the band, the port is positioned on the wall of the abdomen and secured with sutures.
Expect some pain or at least a bit of discomfort immediately after surgery. The reason for that can be the air trapped from the abdominal insufflation process, or muscular pain in the diaphragm. While recovering from anesthesia, you will be assisted by a trained staff to monitor your vital signs.
Weight loss with lap band surgery is a gradual process, depending on the food choices you make. Initially, weight loss may register at two to three pounds a week then may slows down to a pound every week. This will eventually slow down and reach a stable level usually by the second year because the body’s metabolism has already adjusted to the reduced calorie level, resulting in a regulated weight. During this time period, patients are usually required to regularly stay in contact with their surgeon, or another fill center if adjustments are needed, or just to check in with a nutritionist to help determine if there is the need to adjust the band or adjust the diet plan.
The Benefits to Gain
Overweight people can attest to the fact that obesity can negatively impact the quality of health and the length of life. Obesity has been linked to life-threatening diseases and may cause a person to suffer from psychological conditions, such as depression and insomnia. Lap band surgery has been proven as an effective treatment option to improve the quality of life in patients by at least 29 to 89 percent.
Apart from weight loss, gastric banding offers several benefits not available in some other weight loss programs or procedures like:
- A shorter and faster recovery period from the procedure
- No need to take nutritional supplements
- Improvement, control or resolution of obesity-related illnesses, such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cancer, sleep apnea, arthritis, heart disease, and fertility problems
- Improvement of overall mood and psychological health
Like any other form of surgery, gastric banding carries its own set of risks. Considering that no surgical procedure is completely safe and without risk, chances of things going wrong with lap band surgery are possible.
Some patients, may experience infection and bleeding, especially when the band slips or erodes in the stomach. Abdominal pain may also be felt in case of mechanical malfunction. This rarely happens, but cases of port breakage or puncture have occurred. Several types of repair procedures may be necessary and are not covered in the original price, such as lap band slippage whereby the lap band itself may need to be repositioned, lap band port revision (you need a new port due to port failure for some reason or another), lap band port reposition if the port moves from where it should be anchored, and other possible failures that may require surgical intervention, a new part of the device, or even the device to be removed altogether putting you back at square 1. These are all possible risks, and its why many patients instead opt for a surgical weight loss option that does not require an implanted device. You'll have to weigh the risks with your medical team and decide what you prefer is best for your situation.
Some known common side effects of the procedure include items such as nausea (bad reaction to anesthesia is also something to be wary of when it comes to nausea), vomiting and constipation. To many, there's a misconception that undergoing a lap band procedure means instant weight loss, but often the band is not filled right away due to post-op swelling and risk for it to be overtightened if filled too soon. Gastric banding has may success stories, but unfortunately, there are cases of failure as well. One of the most common reasons why the lap band procedure does not work for patients is simply because some individuals are not always willing to change their lifestyle along with the procedure. Some patients continue to eat the wrong kinds of food, fail to exercise or are negligent to attend the aftercare sessions. It must be clear that the lap band is merely a tool for losing weight. If you do not tighten the band, you can avoid and circumvent the very restrictions it's designed to provide for you. This ability to not always be accountable is seen as a flaw by many in the core concept. To learn about other risks click here
Lose Weight with Help from the Pro
Being overweight can increase your risk for long term, chronic conditions, endangering or lowering the quality of your life. You may have also noticed that being overweight can significantly affect your movements, self-confidence, and relationships. You may experience problems such as constantly feeling out of breath or have difficulty with mobility. There may be a range of activities you’re unable to enjoy because of your excessive weight.
If you have been struggling with obesity and been unsuccessfully losing weight with other methods, lap band surgery may be the right treatment option for you. Knowing not all weight loss centers are created equal, it is important that you educate yourself about the procedure and choose a lap band facility you feel confident will be the best choice for your health and body.
If you would like to take the next step in your educational process we recommend you reach out and get in contact with one of our surgery coordinators here at Weight Loss Agents by calling us at 1-855-Sleeved or (855) 753-3833. Weight Loss Agents is a Medical Tourism Agency brand that has helped over 16,000 patients successfully complete a weight loss operation with extremely high success rates and a track record of low complications. Our goal is to ensure that you are treated with the highest level of care and receive the best support so your surgery can result in a positive outcome for improvements to your life. If you are seeking a well sought after surgeon you can count on for your own surgery contact us today and we look forward to helping you take a positive step to help you shed excess pounds.
Weight Loss Agents is a weight loss agency that offers various different packages so that you are ensured one is best suited to match your precise needs and help result in you receiving maximum benefit. From the moment you make an inquiry, the friendly staff will guide you through the process and help you make a well-informed decision.
The best way to find out if lap band surgery is right for you is to begin a live chat with one of our agents today. You may also call (855) 753-3833 and be connected to a WLA coordinator to help you decide and create an individualized treatment plan that meets your weight loss goals.