Your Lap Band surgeon will play an important role throughout your weight loss journey if the gastric band is the right solution for you. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery (LAGB) is the second most common type of weight loss surgery, just behind gastric bypass. It’s a less-invasive procedure with a relatively high success rate as long as patients follow the recommended dietary guidelines and make the necessary lifestyle changes. Your surgeon will give you the information you need to make a well-informed decision and continue to guide you through the rest of the process if it’s the right option for you.
During your initial consultation, your Lap Band surgeon will review your medical history, ask about previous attempts at losing weight and the subsequent results, and perform other tests and examinations to determine if you’re a suitable candidate for a gastric band operation. According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration and medical guidelines, qualifying patients for Lap Band surgery should:
*BMI can be between 35 and 39 for patients with at least one weight-related health condition, such as sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.
Make sure you fully understand everything that’s involved with the procedure. If you have any lingering questions, your surgeon will provide answers or clarifications. Prepare your family by explaining what to expect after surgery. Solicit any help you may need with household chores and transportation. You’ll also want to have the things you’ll need during your recovery on hand, including:
The gastric band procedure is performed through several small incisions in your stomach area. Your surgeon will then use small surgical tools plus a camera to properly wrap the gastric band around the upper portion of your stomach. The device is then connected to a tube that will go to an access port that will remain under your skin.
It’s through this access port that your surgeon will be able to add or take away saline to achieve an appropriate fit once the band is in place. After you recover from the surgery, which usually takes 4-6 weeks, the band will be adjusted for weight loss. An X-ray may be taken to ensure everything is functioning.
Following your Lap Band surgery, your surgeon will recommend a liquid diet as you heal from the procedure, which usually continues for about five days post-surgery. If you tolerate a liquid diet well, you will then transition to a normal diet. During your follow-up visits, your eating behavior will be evaluated and your weight loss will be measured to determine if the band needs to be adjusted. Band adjustments are rare and usually only done if weight loss is less than 25 percent of a change from your pre-surgery weight within the first 2-3 months.
After the procedure, your stomach will hold about a cup of food instead of the usual six cups. You will reach a point where you recognize signals that you’re full. The average weight loss per week is about 1-2 pounds, which is considered a safe rate of weight reduction for most people. This rate of weight loss will also give you time to get used to required dietary changes. Your surgeon will continue to evaluate your progress to ensure you’re on the right track. It is important to remember that results vary from one patient to the next, so you will need to ask your doctor about the results that you are most likely to experience.
What you will need to do after the procedure is just as important as the procedure itself when it comes to achieving weight loss. Your surgeon will provide several dietary recommendations that you will need to follow if you want to see results. You may be referred to a dietitian for further assistance with putting together a diet plan that includes appropriate foods matching your preferences and nutritional requirements.
It’s best to adopt a diet that you can actually stick with since it’s more of a comprehensive change in the foods you eat and the ingredients you use while cooking and preparing meals. Regular exercise will also be recommended to help you sustain your results beyond the initial weight loss.
Your doctor will provide you with suggestions and instructions following your procedure. Following these carefully will help to encourage success and can also help to minimize complications.
Weight loss surgery may result in a reduction of anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of your pre-operation weight over a six month period, although these results may vary and are based on your commitment to lifestyle changes. It is a big decision that will require a lifelong commitment if you want to see sustained results. Along-term study on gastric banding to safe and efficient for weight loss when performed by an experienced Lap Band surgeon. Researchers also note the importance of careful follow-up beyond the procedure itself to make the experience as rewarding as possible for patients. Your Lap Band surgeon will talk you through your available options, discuss what’s involved with a gastric band procedure, answer your questions, and help you make a confident decision.
To schedule a free consultation with Dr. Naim and learn more about the Lap Band and other weight loss surgery options, contact our office today. We are happy to help you get started on a path toward a healthier lifestyle and answer any questions that you might have about the entire process
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