How the gastric banding weight loss surgery works
The gastric banding (Lap-Band) surgery is the most preferred weight loss surgery today. It offers many advantages over other surgeries such as less healing time, less pain after the surgery and the ability to resume normal activities more quickly after the surgery. The Lap-Band surgery is the newest, the least invasive and also the only weight loss surgery that is considered to be reversible.
How is the gastric banding surgery performed?
Before the surgery, a doctor will carefully look into your health history, check your weight and BMI as well as your willingness to change your life. After determining that you are a good candidate for the Lap-Band surgery, your doctor will carefully go over the surgery guidelines and expectations, because those patients who have the Lap-Band weight loss surgery have to make the commitment to change not only their eating habits, but also must be willing to undergo an exercise regimen.
The doctor will also discuss with you other specialists you will eventually need to see including a dietitian, a therapist, a psychologist and other medical specialists.
When it is time for your Lap-Band surgery, you will be admitted to the hospital the day before your surgery. This is so that the doctors and nurses can asses your health and make sure that no foods are eaten before the surgery is performed. The surgeries are performed under general anesthesia and most of them laparoscopically, which means that the incisions are smaller and the surgeon uses a small camera to guide the surgery.
This is the preferred method for both doctors and patients because it causes less pain and the healing time is much faster than with an open procedure. In addition, there are less wound complications when the Lap-Band surgery is performed this way.
During the gastric banding surgery, an adjustable elastomer ring made of silicone is placed around the upper part of your stomach. The ring is hollow and can later be filled with saline. This band creates a smaller upper pouch that serves as the new stomach.
How do I lose weight with the Lap-Band?
Because the upper pouch of your stomach is much smaller, you will not only be able to eat smaller quantities of food at a time but you will also feel satisfied with less food. Due to the reduced calorie intake over time, your body will start to burn fat and as a result you will lose weight.
After the band is in place, it is connected to a tube and an access port placed beneath the skin during surgery. This is the area where the doctor can add or reduce the saline to the ring. If the band is too loose, the weight will not be lost as quickly. The doctor can then add more saline to adjust the ring accordingly. If weight loss is too fast or if other circumstances require that you eat more, then the doctor will take some of the saline out of the ring.
The possibility to adjust the band is a feature unique to the Lap-Band. This feature combined with the other advantages of gastric banding over other surgeries makes gastric banding with the Lap-Band the most popular weight loss surgery today.
How much weight can I expect to lose?
Most patients who have the Lap-Band weight loss surgery can expect to lose around 36 percent of their excess weight, however it does take time. This weight loss is usually over a two to three year period.
Losing weight with the help of a Lap-Band still envolves physical exercises and other adjustments in your lifestyle to make the surgery work to your advantage. It┤s critical that you change your eating habits. For at least five weeks after the surgery, there are strict dietary guidelines that must be followed. A good dietician can show you how to prepare healthier, well-balanced meals and how to eat in the right way.
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