Brought to you by Saint Alphonsus Lap-Band Weight Loss Surgery, expert(s) at Lap-Band Weight Loss Surgery.

Lap-Band, providing an adjustable weight-loss option

There are more options than ever for those seeking significant weight loss.

Among the most recent is the Lap-Band System, an adjustable gastric band. It reduces the stomach capacity and restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at one time, but does not require stomach cutting and stapling or gastrointestinal re-routing to bypass normal digestion.

The Lap-Band System is the only adjustable, reversible weight-loss surgery available in the United States, and the only weight-loss surgery approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration. More than 200,000 Lap-Bands have been placed in patients around the world.

The name comes from the surgical technique used, laparoscopic, and the name of the implanted medical device, gastric band, which is a silicone ring placed around the upper part of the stomach and filled with saline on its inner surface.

The procedure

During the procedure, surgeons make tiny incisions and insert long-shafted instruments through ports, to wrap the band around the patientŐs stomach.

Like a wristwatch, the band is fastened around the upper stomach to create the new stomach pouch, and is then locked securely in a ring around the stomach.

The laparoscopic approach to the surgery reduces post-operative pain, shortens hospital stays and leads to a quicker recovery. If for any reason the Lap-Band System needs to be removed, the stomach generally returns to its original form.

Adjustable weight-loss

Once placed around the stomach, tubing connects the Lap-Band to an access port fixed beneath the skin of your abdomen. This allows the surgeon to change the stomach outlet size by adding or subtracting saline, or salt water, inside the inner balloon. This adjustment process helps determine the rate of weight loss.

Clear goals

The Lap-Band System is a tool that helps you achieve sustained weight loss by limiting food intake, reducing appetite and slowing digestion, but it will not solve your health problems nor ensure weight loss. The amount of weight loss achieved depends both on the band and on your motivation and commitment to a new lifestyle and healthy eating habits.

It is very important to set achievable weight-loss goals from the beginning.

A weight loss of one to three pounds a week in the first year after the operation is possible. Twelve to 18 months after the operation, weekly weight loss is usually less.

Remember that you should lose weight gradually. Losing weight too quickly creates a health risk and can lead to a number of problems.

Activity

Patients return to normal activity relatively quickly after surgery. The length of hospital stay is usually less than 24 hours, although it also takes most people about a week to return to work, and a month to six weeks to resume strenuous exercising. In the case of open surgery or if there are complications, recovery may take longer.

General risks

The Lap-Band System includes the same risks that come with all major surgeries. There are also added risks in any operation for patients who are seriously overweight.

You should know that death is one of the risks. It can occur any time during the operation or as a result of the operation despite of all precautions taken.

There is also a risk of gastric perforation (a tear in the stomach wall) during or after the procedure that might lead to the need for another surgery.

Your age can increase your risk from surgery, as can excess weight or certain diseases. There are also risks that come with the medications and the methods used in the surgical procedure.

You also have risks that come from how your body responds to any foreign object implanted in it.

Patients can experience complications after surgery. Most complications are not serious but some may require hospitalization. Most common side effects of the surgery include nausea and vomiting, gastroesophageal reflux, band slippage/pouch dilatation and stoma obstruction.

Removal

The Lap-Band System is a long-term implant, but it may have to be removed or replaced at any time.

Common questions

HereŐs the answer to some common questions held by many prospective patients.

How Much Weight will I Lose?

Weight-loss results vary from patient to patient, and the amount of weight you lose depends on several things. The Lap-Band needs to be in the right position, and you need to be committed to your new lifestyle and healthy eating habits.

Obesity surgery is not a miracle cure, and the pounds won't come off by themselves. It is very important to set achievable weight-loss goals from the beginning. A weight loss of two to three pounds a week in the first year after the operation is possible, but one pound a week is more likely. Twelve to 18 months after the operation, weekly weight loss is usually less. Remember that you should lose weight gradually. Losing weight too quickly creates a health risk and can lead to a number of problems. The main goal is to have weight loss that prevents, improves, or resolves health problems connected with severe obesity.

How do Weight-Loss Results with Lap-Band Compare to Gastric Bypass?

Many surgeons have reported that gastric bypass patients lose weight faster in the first year. At five years, however, many Lap-Band patients have achieved weight loss comparable to that of gastric bypass patients. Focus on long-term weight loss and remember that it is important to lose weight gradually while reducing obesity-related risks and improving your health.

Will I Feel Hungry or Deprived with the Lap-Band?

The Lap-Band makes you eat less and feel full by reducing the capacity of your stomach and by increasing the time it takes food to get through the digestive system. After a small meal, the amount of which varies from person to person, you should feel full. If you follow the nutrition guidelines when you choose your food and then chew it well, you should not feel hungry or deprived.

Does Lap-Band Limit any Physical Activity?

The Lap-Band does not hamper physical activity including aerobics, stretching and strenuous exercise.

How Long Will It Take to Recover After Surgery?

If surgery is performed laparoscopically, as it most frequently is, patients typically spend less than 24 hours in the hospital. It takes most patients about a week before they can return to work and a month to six weeks before they can resume exercising. In the case of open surgery or if there are complications, recovery may take longer.

Will I be Sick After the Operation?

The Lap-Band limits food intake. If you feel nauseated or sick on a regular basis, it may mean that you are not chewing your food well enough or that you are not following the diet rules properly.

However, it could also mean that there is a problem with the placement of the band, so contact your doctor if this problem persists. Vomiting should be avoided as much as possible as it can cause the small stomach pouch to stretch. It can also lead to slippage of part of the stomach through the band and thus reduce the success of the operation. In some cases, excessive vomiting can necessitate another operation.

Are Frequent Doctor Visits Required After Surgery?

Check-ups with your doctor are a normal and very important part of the follow-up. Many surgeons see their patients weekly or biweekly during the first month and every four to 12 weeks for the first year. Adjustments are performed during some of these visits. It is typical for follow-up visits to be scheduled every three to six months during the second and third year, depending on the individual case.

Will I Need Plastic Surgery for the Excess Skin When I Have Lost Weight?

That is not always the case. As a rule, plastic surgery should not be considered for at least a year or two after the operation since sometimes the skin will mold itself around the new body tissue. Give the skin the time it needs to adjust before you decide to have more surgery

Can I Eat Anything in Moderation?

You may eat most foods that donŐt cause you discomfort. However, because you can only eat a little at any given time, it is important to include foods rich in important vitamins and nutrients Ń foods such as those recommended by your surgeon and/or dietitian. If you eat foods that contain lots of sugar and fat or drink liquids full of empty calories, such as milkshakes, the effect of the procedure may be greatly reduced or even cancelled.

Information provided by Lap-Band System.