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Answers to Your Questions about Lap-Band Surgery

Author: Pedro Kuri
by Pedro Kuri
Posted: Apr 14, 2015

If you have been struggling with obesity for some time you may be looking into weight-Loss surgery as a viable option to regain a healthy weight.

The Lap-Band® Adjustable Gastric Banding System is a simple yet advanced technique that helps you gradually lose and control your weight with long term success

Overview of the Advantages of the Lap-Band over other Bariatric Procedures:

*Least invasive surgical approach - No stomach stapling, cutting, or intestinal re-routing

  • Adjustable - Can be adjusted to the needs of the patient.
  • Reversible - Can be removed at the request of the patient with no permanent changes to the anatomy.
  • Lowest operative complication rate
  • Lowest mortality rate

Lap-Band Q&A

Q: Is Lap-Band® surgery safe?

A: Yes. The Lap-Band® procedure is considered the least invasive Bariatric surgery available

  • Offering fewer complications, less pain, less scarring, and a quicker recovery than any other form of obesity surgery.

The Lap-Band® procedure is performed laparoscopic ally. The cameras and instruments our surgeon uses offer superior visibility and access. The operation is completed in a relatively short period of time (approximately 30 min.) and with minimal blood loss. The benefits of using these minimally invasive methods are that patients experience less pain, easier breathing, minimal scarring and a quicker recovery. However, any operation has associated risks, and unforeseen complications can occur.

Q: What are the risks and complications involved with the Lap-Band® procedure?

A: Any operation carries with it some amount of risk. And although the Lap-Band® procedure is minimally invasive surgery, it is not without its own risks (laparoscopic surgery risks include: spleen or liver damage, damage to major blood vessels, lung problems, blood

Clots, rupture of the wound, esophagus/stomach perforation). In rare cases, the Lap-Band® surgery cannot be performed using the less invasive laparoscopic approach. For example, if unforeseen problems arise while attempting to position the band, surgeons may have to switch to an open method. In addition, there can be serious complications that may warrant the removal of the Lap-Band® including:

  • Slippage of additional stomach tissue under the band
  • Erosion of the band into the stomach
  • Infection and/or breakage of the injection port (rare)
  • Gastric symptoms

While removal of the band can often be done laparoscopically, in some cases it may require open surgery. Serious problems such as peritonitis, infection, leaks, and long-term nutrition problems such as iron and vitamin deficiencies that are seen with gastric bypass surgery do not occur with the Lap-Band®. Re-operation rates for gastric bypass are significantly higher due to leaks, bowel blockages, outlet scarring, ulcers, and bleeding.

Q: Can the band be removed?

A: Although the Lap-Band® System is not meant to be removed, it can be removed at the patient's request if desired. The stomach generally returns to its original shape once the band is removed. After the removal, though, you may soon go back up to your original weight.

Q: What is the average excess weight loss and improvement of related health conditions for patients?

A: On average, Lap-Band® patients have lost about 50% of their excess weight within the first year after surgery. Most of patients' associated medical problems, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, arthropathy, or high blood pressure, have improved or disappeared completely after their Lap-Band® procedure. Potential results and weight loss expectations can be discussed in further detail with you during your initial consultation.

Q: How much weight should I expect to lose and how fast?

A: The amount of weight you lose and the rate at which you lose it are dependent on a number of factors in addition to the Lap-Band® itself, such as: your starting weight, your post-operative diet, the amount of exercise you do, etc. On average, however, patients have lost about 50% of their excess weight within the first year of surgery. Most patients find they are losing between 4-10 pounds a month, depending on their individual diet and exercise regimens. In general, it is not safe to lose weight too quickly; a weight loss of 1 ½ to 2 pounds a week in the first year after the procedure is ideal.

Q: How is the band adjusted?

A: Adjustments can be done in a hospital, medical clinic or outpatient office setting, and local anesthesia may or may not be needed. A fine needle is passed through the skin into the access port to add or subtract saline. Adjustments are preferably done with the use of fluoroscopy. Fluoroscopy is a movable X-Ray allowing the fill provider to see fluid go through the band after the fill is done to check for a good level of restriction. But can also be done without fluoroscopy. The process most often takes only a few minutes and most patients say it is painless.

Q: How many Lap-Band® adjustments will I need?

A: The number of adjustments (fills) you may need cannot be determined in advance of your surgery. Some patients need one adjustment, while others need two or three in the first year depending upon their individual response to the band and the degree of weight loss desired. Generally, adjustments are not performed until at least 6 weeks after your surgery.

Q: Will I be able to get pregnant after Lap-Band® surgery?

A: During the first year after Lap-Band Surgery: Many women find it easier to conceive following substantial weight loss. Your menstrual cycle may become more regular. Therefore, we recommend some form of contraception for women during the childbearing years to avoid pregnancy during the first year following surgery. If you become pregnant, however, during this first year, we will leave your Lap-Band® in place without saline in order to ensure adequate nutrition for the baby's growth. If you need to eat more while you are pregnant, the band can be loosened. After the pregnancy, the band can be made tighter again and you can go back to losing weight.

This is just a sampling of some of the top questions asked when considering Lap-Band surgery. If you would like to find out more about the Lap-Band Procedure or Dr. Kuri please contact us. A Medical Professional will be happy to go over all the details of the procedure and answer your questions.

About the Author

This article is written by Dr. Pedro Kuri, who is a pioneer of the a href=http://lapbandsurLap-Band System (Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery) in Latin America and has performed 5,500+ procedures in over 16 years.

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Author: Pedro Kuri

Pedro Kuri

Member since: Feb 18, 2015
Published articles: 5

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