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Thinking About Lap Band Surgery For Weight Loss? Know The Pros and Cons

Nov 28, 2007
Adjustable gastric banding, including Lap Band surgery, is a form of restrictive weight loss surgery designed for obesity patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater or between 35 and 40 for those patients who have conditions that are reportedly known to improve with weight loss. The Swedish adjustable gastric band system differs from the LAP-BAND because it wasn't designed to be used with keyhole laparoscopic surgery. One important difference in the early days between the LAP BAND system and the Swedish adjustable lap band is SAGB didn't have a self-closing mechanism and had to be closed with sutures.

Lap band surgery is usually not performed if the patient has an untreated glandular disease such as hypothyroidism, where other measures may still be sought out. Any prospective surgical patient must be an acceptable operative risk. If someone is alcohol or drug-dependent they won't be eligible for any type of weight loss or adjustable band surgery.

In general terms, gastric banding, including the Lap Band procedure and weight loss system is indicated for people for whom their 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 still-used-today 1983 Metropolitan Life Insurance Tables or for those between 30 to 40 who have co-morbidities that may improve with weight loss (high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, and arthritis). The surgery cannot be performed on patients when severe cardiopulmonary diseases or other conditions are present which make them poor surgical candidates in general.

The adjustable gastric band or Lap Band is an inflatable silicone prosthetic device which is placed around the top portion of the stomach using the minimal incision keyhole laparoscopic surgery. Then when fluid is introduced into the stomach the lap band expands, placing pressure around the outside of the stomach which in turn decreases the size of the passage in the stomach and restricts the movement of food.

As the upper part of the stomach detects fullness the message to the brain is that the stomach is full and this sensation helps the patient eat smaller portions and lose weight over time. Removal of the adjustable gastric band would also require a keyhole procedure and the stomach then usually returns to its normal pre-banded state. The placement of the adjustable gastric band creates a small pouch at the top portion of the stomach which holds approximately 50 ml. This pouch then fills with food quickly and the passage of food from the top to the bottom of the stomach is slowed down.

Post-surgery weight regain can happen with any this and any surgical weight loss procedure including the more radical procedures that initially result in rapid weight loss. Following surgery the patient should consider eating less, eating more slowly and chewing food thoroughly.

The doctor must use the proper and sensitive adjustment of the gastric band because it's imperative to weight loss and the long term success of the lap band procedure. The amount of weight that is lost in the months after surgery will depend on the individual and their personal circumstances, motivation, and mobility.

Other complications of gastric band surgery can include the ulceration and irritated stomach tissue. And erosion can occur where the band wears a small area on the outside of the stomach which can lead to migration of the band to the inside of the stomach.

Some of the adjustable gastric band surgery complications that involve the band itself and the port include: band slippage, pouch dilation, esophageal dilatation or dysmotility and erosion of the band into the gastric lumen. It's not common but slippage can occur, which is an unusual occurrence where the lower part of the stomach may prolapse over the band and cause an obstruction. It's not a pleasant thought but be aware that some people have died while undergoing adjustable gastric band surgery.

If you decide to go ahead, it's important to find a weight loss team with a good post-surgical plan because recommendations can vary dramatically. The amount you have to pay for your surgery will vary, there isn't one set price for lap band surgery. Some people travel to other countries, such as Mexico, where it's cheaper if they have to pay for the cost of adjustable gastric banding surgery themselves. Post-surgical visits will be necessary but it's possible that can be arranged in your local area.
About the Author
For information on lap band weight loss surgery and lap band surgery complications go to http://www.Lap-Band-Surgery-Info.com a nurse's website for tips 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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