The primary purpose of gastric band surgery is to help patients lose weight. The procedure may be recommended for obese patients with severe health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, type II diabetes, and sleep apnea. People who are 80 to 100 pounds overweight may significantly benefit from his procedure.
Although gastric band surgery has been shown to help patients lose excess weight, the procedure is not a substitute for regular exercise and healthy eating. However, this type of weight loss surgery may be a great option for those who have difficulty shredding pounds through diet and physical activity.
Since the band is designed to limit the amount of food that can be consumed, the main benefit of gastric band surgery is that patients feel full after eating small meals and snacks. The procedure also promotes optimal mobility; therefore, patients can easily participate in everyday activities.
Many patients who undergo gastric band surgery will continue to lose weight at least three years after the procedure. Throughout these three years, some medical conditions like sleep apnea, type II diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and gastroesophageal reflux disease can be significantly improved. As compared to other weight loss surgeries, the gastric band surgery will encourage more gradual and sustained weight loss.
Many people also appreciate that the gastric band surgery does not require any substantial cutting or stapling inside the stomach. In fact, gastric band surgery is considered to be one of the least invasive and safest weight loss surgeries. Unlike many other weight loss surgeries, this procedure can be reversed if necessary. After about three years, the stomach may return to its normal size.
As another added benefit, vitamin deficiencies are rarely associated with gastric band surgery.
To best determine if you are a candidate for this weight loss procedure, contact our office for a consultation. There are many different types of weight loss surgery, and all have different benefits. After evaluating your current medical situation, medical history, family history, and weight loss goals, your doctor will be able to help you determine if gastric band surgery would be a good fit for you, or if there is another variation of weight loss surgery that would likely work better.
People who choose to undergo gastric band surgery should be mentally stable and otherwise healthy. After performing an evaluation of a patient’s mental and physical condition, most health care providers will also recommend nutritional and emotional counseling, gallbladder ultrasounds, blood tests, and informational classes. The doctor will also ensure that patients’ medical conditions like heart or lung problems, high blood pressure, and diabetes are under control.
During one of the many regular appointments, patients should inform the doctor of any current medications such as prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbs, vitamins, and other supplements that they may be taking. The provider should also know if a patient is expecting to get pregnant in the future. Since smoking should be avoided before and after the gastric band surgery, patients should tell the provider if they need help quitting, as this activity can slow recovery and encourage future complications.
About one week before the surgery, the patient may be advised to stop taking certain drugs. On the day of the surgery, avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight and arrive to the hospital early.
The exact steps that you need to take to prepare for your surgery will be provided to you by your doctor. It is very important to follow these instructions carefully in order to have a safe procedure.
Once the patient is asleep and pain-free with the help of general anesthesia, the surgery can be performed laparoscopically by placing a tiny camera in the belly. Commonly referred to as a laparoscope, the camera enables surgeons to view the inside of the stomach throughout the procedure. After creating one to five small surgical cuts in the abdomen, the surgeon will place a band around the upper part of the stomach to separate the belly into two separate parts. The result is a small pouch with a narrow opening that connects to the larger and lower portion of the belly. The pouch can hold about an ounce of food. The patient may consume enough food to fill the top portion of the stomach. The duration of the entire gastric band surgery is approximately 30 to 60 minutes, but this can vary.
Because many weight loss surgeries may increase the risk for gallstones, the experienced doctor may also advise patients to undergo a cholecystectomy to remove the gallbladder before or during the gastric band surgery.
Following the gastric band surgery, most people will be able to return home the same day as the procedure. While many patients request one week off from work, they can usually resume their daily activities one to two days after arriving home.
For the first two to three weeks after surgery, the doctor will strongly encourage patients to consume puree foods and liquids. As time progresses, patients can gradually incorporate soft and solid foods into their diets. By the sixth week, most people will be able to consume regular and everyday foods. Your doctor will provide you with a diet plan to follow after your surgery.
Since the band is made of a special rubber, the surgeon will be able to adjust the band if patients would like to consume more or less food. Some common reasons to tighten or loosen the band include vomiting after meals, losing insufficient weight, and eating problems.
In order to promote optimal weight loss and reduce the risk of post-surgical complications, patients will need to follow the suggested exercise and meal guidelines from the expert provider and registered dietitian. Positive lifestyle changes will support a successful recovery and weight loss. The support of a local group or counselor may encourage patients to stay on track.
To learn more about gastric band surgery, contact our office today to schedule a consultation to discuss this and other weight loss procedures.
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