One method of handling long term obesity and chronic fat and belly fat problems without resorting to liposuction is lap band surgery. Lap band surgery is an adjustable gastric band weight-loss procedure where a prosthetic band is placed around the upper part of the stomach. This creates a small pouch that limits the amount of food the patient eats. One difference in the early days between the LAP BAND system and the Swedish adjustable lap band is that it didn’t have a self-closing mechanism. It had to be closed with sutures.
Choosing to undergo weight loss surgery is not only an important medical decision but also a significant financial decision. Some people finally give up on diets – they want to lose belly fat or get rid of fat and cellulite forever. Diets and the best weight loss plans have not worked for some reason.
Emotionally unstable people or people with mental deficiencies are not considered for lap band surgery. Or if one is dependent on alcohol or drugs, they won’t be eligible for adjustable band surgery either. In any event it’s usually contraindicated if the surgery or treatment shows an unreasonable risk to the patient.
Any failure of dietary or weight-loss drug therapy for more than 12 months can make one eligible for the adjustable gastric band procedure. Other contraindications for lap band surgery are: an allergic reaction to materials found in the band and for anyone who has exhibited pain intolerance to any implanted devices.
The bariatric surgeon uses a special needle is to avoid any damage to the port membrane. The placement of the adjustable gastric band creates a very small pouch at the top of the stomach which holds about 50 ml; this pouch ‘fills’ with food fast and the passage of food from the top to the bottom of the stomach is slowed down considerably. When fluid is introduced into the stomach the lap band expands, which places pressure around the outside of the stomach. This expansion decreases the size of the passage in the stomach and restricts the movement of any food.
While the upper part of the stomach thinks it’s full the message to the brain is that the stomach is full and it is this sensation that helps the patient to eat smaller portions and lose weight over a period of time. The band is inflated and adjusted by way of a small access port which is placed subcutaneously – directly under the skin. Then radiopaque isotonic solution or saline solution is introduced into the band by way of the created port. Future removal of this adjustable gastric band would require a precise keyhole procedure. The stomach usually returns to its normal pre-banded state.
The amount of weight that is lost in the months following surgery depends on the individual and their personal preferences, circumstances, motivation, and their mobility. Using the precise, proper and most sensitive adjustment of the gastric band is imperative to any weight loss and the ultimate long term success of the lap band procedure. Many doctors make the first adjustment between about six to eight weeks after the surgery to allow time for the stomach time to heal properly; after that the fills are performed whenever they are needed.
Some of the banding patients may find that before they have their first fill they are still able to eat fairly large portions of food. The lap band may remain deflated throughout pregnancy. Once that breast feeding or bottle-feeding is completed the band may be gradually re-inflated to help with any postpartum weight loss if it’s needed.
Some of the adjustable gastric band post-surgery complications that can arise are abdominal pain, some loss of strength, hernia, pain, infection, chest pain, incisional infection, incision pain, fever and even death has occurred.
Some of the mechanical malfunctions that can happen after surgery are leaking from the port, some cracking of the kink-resistant tubing or a disruption of the tubing connection from the port to the band, port site pain and displacement of the port.
Erosion can happen, meaning the band may wear a small area on the outside of the stomach. This can lead to migration of the band to the inside of the stomach. Sometimes slippage can occur. This is an unusual occurrence where the lower part of the stomach may prolapse over the gastric band and cause an obstruction.
Some weight loss surgery post-surgical teams offer support groups. However some of them mix gastric bypass surgery patients with gastric banding patients. It’s better to find a support group for gastric banding patients only. It’s also important to find a weight loss team that has a good post-surgical plan because after surgery recommendations can vary dramatically.
It’s important to discuss post-surgical care and diet plans with your bariatric or weight loss doctor if you’re considering having adjustable gastric band or lap band surgery. The cost of lap band surgery may be an issue also. In any event make sure you understand all the pros and cons before you commit.