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Lap Band Surgery - Know Your Options

Aug 21, 2007
Did you know that unlike gastric bypass surgery, the adjustable gastric band or lap band surgery procedure is reversible? The LAP-BAND System received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States back in June 2001. Another type of gastric band, the Swedish adjustable gastric band, differs from the LAP-BAND because it's not designed for use with keyhole laparoscopic surgery.

In general, gastric banding, including the Lap Band procedure and weight loss system is indicated for people for whom: Body Mass Index is above 40, or for those who are 100 pounds (45 kg) or more over their estimated ideal weight according to the 1983 Metropolitan Life Insurance Tables or for those between 30 to 40 with co-morbidities, which may improve with weight loss (high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, and arthritis). Mentally disabled or emotionally unstable people won't be considered for lap band surgery. The lap band surgery is usually not performed if one has an untreated glandular disease like hypothyroidism, where other solutions may still be sought.

In order to be considered for surgery one must have the comprehension of the risks and benefits of the gastric band procedure and willingness to comply with the substantial lifelong dietary restrictions required for long term success. Failure of dietary or weight-loss drug therapy for more than one year can also make one eligible for the adjustable gastric band procedure.

Gastric dumping syndrome problems that occur in other types of surgeries do not occur in lap band surgeries because no intestines are removed or re-routed. Unlike those who have procedures such as Roux -en -y gastric bypass surgery, duodenal switch or biliopancreatic diversion, it's unusual for gastric band patients to experience nutritional deficiencies or malabsorption of any micronutrients. Another plus is the surgeon uses a specialized needle to avoid damage to the port membrane.

Lap band or gastric band placement, unlike the traditional malabsorptive weight loss surgeries does not cut or remove any part of the digestive system. The placement of the adjustable gastric band creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach, which holds approximately 50 ml. This pouch 'fills' with food quickly and the passage of food from the top to the bottom of the stomach is slowed down. Calcium supplements and Vitamin B12 injections are not usually required following gastric banding as they are with Roux-en--y gastric bypass surgery and other surgeries.

The amount of weight that is lost following the months after surgery will depend on the individual and their personal circumstances, motivation, and mobility. Some patients may find that before their first 'fill' appointment they are still able to eat fairly large portions. Post surgery the patient should consider eating less, eating slowly and chewing food thoroughly.

Following surgery, adjustments, which are also called 'fills', may be performed using a fluoroscope so the radiologist may evaluate the placement of the band, the port and the tubing, which runs between the port and the band. Initial weight loss in gastric banding is slower than with Roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery but statistics indicate that over a five year period the weight loss outcome is usually similar.

Complications of gastric band surgery include ulceration and irritated stomach tissue. Some of the mechanical malfunctions that can occur post-surgery are port leakage, cracking of the kink-resistant tubing or disruption of the tubing connection from the port to the band, port site pain and port displacement.

Some of the adjustable gastric band surgery complications involving the band itself and port can include band slippage, pouch dilation, esophageal dilatation or dysmotility and erosion of the band into the gastric lumen. Erosion can occur where the band may wear a small area on the outside of the stomach which can lead to migration of the band to the inside of the stomach.

Many factors can affect the total cost of surgery, including the gastric surgeon you choose, where you choose to have the surgery performed, and what fees are included or not included in the price and if you're traveling out of the country. Some post-surgical weight loss surgery teams offer support groups, but some of them mix gastric bypass surgery patients with gastric banding patients, so it's important to try to find a support group for gastric banding only. The adjustable gastric band surgery is fully reversible, has a short hospital stay and there is usually a quick recovery, but be fully aware of the complications that can occur.
About the Author
For more information on lap band weight loss surgery and lap band surgery complications visit http://www.Lap-Band-Surgery-Info.com a nurse's website offering tips and information on lap band surgery, adjustable gastric band surgery, medical travel for low cost lap band surgery and cost of lap band surgery
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