If you’ve had difficulty with traditional approaches to weight loss, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding may be recommended. Your journey is likely to start at a Lap-Band clinic with an initial consultation to determine if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Referring to a specific device made by Allergan, Inc., Lap-Band is a specific device that’s used to reduce the size of your stomach with the placement of a soft, adjustable band. The procedure itself is just the first step in what will be an ongoing effort to make permanent dietary and lifestyle changes.
To learn more, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with Dr. H. Joseph Naim, a highly acclaimed bariatric surgeon in the southern California area.
While obesity is medically defined as having a body mass index of 30 or more, the requirement for gastric banding is a BMI of 40 or more, although the procedure may be performed on patients just below that level if they have at least one weight-related medical condition. During your initial visit to a Lap-Band clinic, you’ll likely be asked about previous attempts to lose weight and your short-term and long-term results with such efforts.
According to medical guidelines for gastric banding, patients must be at least 18 years of age and demonstrate an understanding of the procedure. At the Lap-Band clinic, you’ll receive a comprehensive assessment along with all the information you need to make a well-informed decision. The process of determining whether you’re a suitable candidate for Lap-Band often includes:
You will receive general guidelines prior to your Lap-Band surgery so you can make the necessary preparations. According to one study, patients who lost at least 10 percent of their weight before their weight loss surgery had a better post-operative experience. If your BMI is 50 or above, your surgeon may recommend that you lose some weight in advance of your procedure.
While the procedure may be performed if you have weight-related conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, you’ll be encouraged to take steps to keep those conditions under control prior to surgery. Your surgeon will likely want to see some commitment to the changes that will be necessary after the procedure in advance of the surgery. It may be suggested that you:
Your doctor will provide you with the instructions that you need to follow in order to best prepare for your procedure. These instructions can vary slightly from one patient to the next and are based on many factors, including your current health. Make sure you follow these steps to prepare very closely. They are in place in order to help you have the smoothest possible recovery.
Lap-Band surgery is performed under general anesthesia in supervised clinical setting. Gastric banding is performed as a minimally invasive procedure with several small incisions and a tiny camera attached to a tube. The camera allows the surgeon to view the operation on a screen to see where to place the band. The band will be placed around the upper portion of your stomach and a discrete port, or access point, will be placed in your abdomen. This port will be used to properly adjust the band after you’ve healed from the surgery. The entire procedure takes about 1-2 hours to complete.
The point where the band is adjusted is often referred to as a “Lap-Band fill,” which usually takes place about 6-8 weeks after the initial surgery and placement of the band. A fill is done by injecting saline into the accessible port that’s connected to the gastric band. You’re not likely to notice any significant changes in your appetite until the band is filled and properly adjusted. Saline can also be removed if the band needs to be adjusted the other way.
The first step in recovering from gastric band surgery is the initial healing from the procedure itself. Most patients return to work about a week after surgery as long as their job doesn’t involve heavy lifting or other activities that may pose a risk. Beyond your initial recovery period, this support typically includes follow-up visits to monitor progress. Normal activities can usually be resumed in about six weeks. Of course, all of these timelines can vary. Only your doctor can tell you what to expect in terms of recovery, based on your exact procedure and health.
You will continue to receive support from your surgeon and the staff at the Lap-Band clinic following your procedure. Weight loss following the filling and adjusting of the band is usually gradual, averaging two to three pounds per week, but these results vary. The average weight loss from the Lap-Band procedure is approximately 40 percent of a patient’s excess body weight within the first year. Weight loss during the second year can sometimes average an additional 10-20 percent of a patient’s body weight. Life after Lap-Band should also include:
More than 200,000 weight loss surgeries are performed each year in the United States, with gastric banding being one of the most common procedures. A long-term study involving a review of outcomes 15 years post-surgery found that patients maintained their weight loss results. If it’s a procedure that’s right for you, odds of seeing long-term results will be significantly increased with attentive follow-up care at a Lap-Band clinic and a firm commitment to making meaningful changes.
To learn more about the Lap-Band procedure and to find out if it could be a good fit for you, contact our office today and schedule a free consultation.
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