Lap Band surgery is used to help patients lose weight; however, it is only used for those who have a BMI of at least 40 or an individual with a BMI of at least 30 with at least one obesity related condition, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.. In order to qualify for this elective surgery, individuals must commit to making a variety of significant changes in their lifestyle, including dietary restrictions and moderate exercise.
This surgery is only approved for adults who are healthy enough to undergo surgery in Houston. Those with gastrointestinal disorders, autoimmune diseases or cardiopulmonary diseases should not undergo this operation. Additionally, those who are unwilling to follow strict dietary restrictions, are addicted to drug or alcohol or women who are pregnant or might become pregnant should not undergo this surgery.
This outpatient surgery involves implanting an inflatable silicone device near the top of the stomach to decrease the amount of food a patient can eat. because the band creates a smaller stomach, it is important that patients follow a strict diet to avoid stretching the stomach or dislodging the band. Additionally, anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, should be avoided as they can contribute to band erosion.
Lap band surgery patients may require additional surgeries to deflate the bands, replace the bands or remove the bands. However, because of medical advances, the surgery may be able to be performed laparoscopically, which results in less pain and faster recovery times.
One of the main benefits of lap band surgery is the ability to remove the bands laparoscopically once the patient’s weight loss goals have been reached. Because the surgery can be done laparoscopically, minimal scarring occurs. Once the band is removed, the patient’s stomach returns to normal size, which can cause weight gain if the patient is not careful. However, with proper exercise and a sensible diet, the patient can maintain their weight loss.
Because this surgery does not remove any of the digestive tract, patients normally do not experience the nutritional deficiencies often experienced with more drastic weight loss surgeries. As long as the patient follows a sensible diet, no deficiencies should occur.
On average patients lose between 50 and 100 pounds during their first year. During this year, patients will learn how to eat properly to encourage weight loss and avoid weight gain once the lap band is removed.