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Considering Lap Band Surgery - Get The Facts First

Aug 27, 2007
Lap band surgery is an adjustable gastric band type of weight-loss procedure. A prosthetic band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, which creates a small pouch that limits the amount of food the patient eats. If a lap band surgeon approves you for lap band surgery after an extensive consultation, you'll be required to undergo pre-op exams and lab tests before you're medically cleared for surgery. There are approximately seven to eight types of adjustable gastric bands on the market today.

If a person has a dependency on alcohol or drugs, then they won't be eligible for adjustable band surgery. And in general, gastric banding, including the Lap Band procedure and weight loss system is indicated for people for whom the Body Mass Index is above 40 or are 100 pounds (45 kg) or more over their estimated ideal weight (according to the 1983 Metropolitan Life Insurance Tables) or between 30 and 40 with co-morbidities (high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, and arthritis), which may improve with weight loss. In order to be considered one must have total comprehension of the risks and the benefits of the gastric band procedure and a willingness to comply with the substantial lifelong dietary restrictions that are required for long term success.

Those people who are eligible are between ages 18 and 55 years, although there are doctors who will work outside these ages, some may be as young as 12. The lap band surgery is usually not performed if one has an untreated glandular disease like hypothyroidism, where other measures may bring about a resolution.

How it works: the adjustable gastric band or Lap Band is an inflatable silicone prosthetic device which is placed around the top portion of the stomach using keyhole laparoscopic surgery. The gastric band is inflated and adjusted by way of a small access port placed just beneath the skin subcutaneously. Then radiopaque isotonic solution or saline is introduced into the band via a port. The bariatric surgeon uses a specialized needle to avoid damage to the port membrane. If the adjustable gastric band post-surgical patient is thinking about having a baby, the deflation of the band may be required prior to the planned conception.

The gastric dumping syndrome problems cannot happen in lap band surgeries because none of the intestines are removed or re-routed. 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 weight loss surgeries. After surgery the patient should consider eating less, eating more slowly and chewing food more thoroughly. And during pregnancy, deflation should be considered if one is experiencing morning sickness. The lap band may remain deflated during pregnancy and once breast feeding or bottle-feeding is completed the band may gradually be re-inflated to help with postpartum weight loss if it's found to be necessary.

Some patients may find that before their first 'fill' they are still able to eat fairly large portions of food. The World Health Organization recommendation for monthly weight loss is approximately 1.1 to 2.2 pounds per week and the average gastric banded patient may possibly lose this amount, it varies from patient to patient.

One post-surgical complication that is a common occurrence for lap band patients is regurgitation of non-acidic swallowed food from the upper pouch, which is commonly known as productive burping. This is not normal. Some mechanical malfunctions that can occur are leakage from the port, cracking of the kink-resistant tubing or disruption of the tubing connection from the port to the band, port site pain and displacement of the port.

Occasionally, the narrow passage into the lower part of the stomach may become blocked by a large portion of food that hasn't been chewed. Some of the adjustable gastric band post-surgery digestive complications include nausea, vomiting, gastro-esophageal reflux, stoma obstruction, constipation, diarrhea, and abnormal stools.

Many factors can affect your total cost of the surgery, including which gastric or bariatric surgeon you decide on, where you choose to have the surgery performed, and what fees are included or not included. And please remember that lap band surgery or adjustable band surgery can have serious adverse effects and complications. Make sure if you're traveling out of the country for your surgery that you consider the travel time and related travel expenses for both the surgery and any necessary follow-up appointments.
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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