Who is a candidate for adjustable gastric banding surgery?
- You must be 18 years of age or older
- Your Body Mass Index (BMI) must be greater than 35 Kg/m2, (approximately 80 pounds over ideal body weight), with medical conditions associated with obesity or 40 BMI or greater with no medical conditions associated with obesity.
- You have been morbidly obese for at least 5 years
- You have tried and failed medically supervised diets
- You are prepared to make substantial changes in your eating habits
- You are willing to commit to regular follow-up visits with your surgeon
How long will I be out of work after the surgery?
Patients typically return to work in approximately 1 to 2 weeks.
How do the weight loss results compare to those that have had gastric bypass?
Although patients who have had gastric bypass lose weight faster initially, 3 to 5 years post operatively, total weight loss is very similar.
How much weight will I lose?
Weight loss results vary with each patient. The amount of weight you lose depends on how committed you are to your new lifestyle changes and eating habits and how closely you follow-up with your surgeon. On average patients lose approximately 60% of their excess weight.
Does Lap Band surgery require frequent visits to my surgeon after the surgery?
Yes. Check-ups with your surgeon are a normal and very important part of Lap Band follow-up. You will be seen approximately 10-14 days post-operatively and every 4-12 weeks for the first year. Adjustments are performed at some of these visits. It is typical for follow-up visits to be scheduled every 3-6 months during the second and third year, depending upon your progress.
How is the Lap Band adjusted?
Adjustments are most often performed in the office, however, in some cases it is necessary to do this in the x-ray department at JFK Medical Center. A fine needle is passed through the skin into the access port to tighten or loosen the band. The process usually takes only a few minutes and is nearly painless. Local anesthesia can be used if desired.
Do I have to be careful with the access port just underneath my skin?
There are no restrictions with the access port. It is placed under the skin in the abdominal wall and once the incisions have healed, it should not cause any discomfort or limit any physical exercise. If you feel persistent discomfort around the port area, contact the surgeon as this is not normal.
Will I be sick a lot after the surgery?
The Lap Band limits your food intake. If you feel nauseated or sick on a regular basis, it may mean that you are not chewing your food well enough or that you are not following your new diet properly. However, it could also mean there is a problem with the placement of your band. You should contact your surgeon if this problem persists. Vomiting should be avoided as much as possible as it can cause the small stomach pouch above your band and reduce the effectiveness of your surgery.
Is it true that the Lap Band seems "tighter" in the morning?
Yes, this is a fairly common feeling especially for people with bands that are tight and just after an adjustment. Over the course of the day the water content in your body changes and this may cause your band to feel "tighter" or "looser". Some women have noticed the band feels tighter during menstruation.
What will happen if I become ill and my illness requires me to eat more?
One of the major advantages of the Lap Band system is that should you be required to eat more, the band can be loosened by removing saline. When you have recovered from your illness and it is alright to lose weight, the band can be "tightened" again.
What about pregnancy?
Becoming pregnant may become easier after successful weight loss surgery. Your menstrual cycle may become more regular as well. Should you become pregnant, your band can be loosened. After pregnancy it may be made tighter again so that you can resume losing weight.
Will I need to take vitamins?
We recommend that all of our patients take a daily multivitamin.
What about other medications?
You will be able to take prescribed medication, though you may need to break big tablets in half or dissolve them in water. Always ask the doctor who prescribes your medications before you break tablets in half as some medications are time released and must taken in their original form.
Can I eat anything in moderation?
After your stomach has healed, you may eat most foods. Because you can only eat a small amount at a time, it is essential to include foods full of important vitamins and nutrients as advised by your nutritionist and surgeon. If you eat foods that contain a lot of sugar or drink liquids that are full of empty calories such as milkshakes, the effects of Lap Band surgery will be greatly reduced.
Will I feel hungry or deprived with the Lap Band?
The Lap Band makes you feel full, despite eating less by reducing the size of your stomach and increasing the time it takes for the food to get through the digestive system. If you follow our nutrition guidelines and chew your food properly, you should not feel hungry or deprived.