Everything You Wanted to Know About Lap Band Surgery but Didn't Know to Ask

Published: 09th April 2009
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Approximately one-third of the U.S. population is obese and a staggering two-thirds is overweight. With statistics like this, it is not surprising that more people are turning to bariatric surgery for weight loss. One of the most popular weight loss surgeries is Lap Band surgery. If you are considering getting the Lap Band procedure, you may have questions. Below are the answers to some questions that you may have or don't even realize that you have.

What is Lap Band surgery?

The Lap Band is an FDA-approved advanced gastric banding system, which places a band around the stomach, reducing the amount of food that can be consumed. Unlike gastric bypass surgery, the Lap Band system does not reroute the intestine, it only reduces the stomach.

Who can perform Lap Band placement?

It is important to find a bariatric surgeon who is not only well qualified and experienced in Lap Band surgery, but also is someone with whom you are comfortable. Be sure to ask questions of your prospective weight loss surgeon, including how many Lap Band procedures has he or she performed, is he or she certified by the American Board of Surgery or the American Osteopathic Board, and what type of support the surgeon offers after the procedure.

What is involved in the Lap Band procedure?

The Lap Band surgery is performed laparoscopically, which means there are no major incisions made during the surgery. During the procedure, the bariatric surgeon places a silicone band around the patient's stomach, creating a smaller pouch above the larger part of the stomach.

How does the procedure work?

The smaller stomach pouch created during the surgery restricts the amount of food that a person can consume. The food slowly funnels into the larger stomach, creating a feeling of fullness for a longer period of time.

Will lap band surgery give me instant results?

Lap Band surgery is not the removal of weight; it is a procedure that helps you take the weight off. You will feel different immediately and will not be able to eat the same amount of food. You will begin to lose weight, but the full amount of weight will not be seen immediately.

Once I have the Lap Band procedure do I have to do any work?

The Lap Band procedure is not a miracle cure. In order to fully benefit from the surgery and to lose the most weight possible, you will need to eat a healthy diet and exercise.

Does the Lap Band come off?

The Lap Band is not meant to be removed; however, if there is a need, a surgeon can remove the band. Once the band is removed, you will not have the benefit of the Lap Band and may regain weight.

Will the weight stay off forever?

Like any other form of weight loss, if you do not work to maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise, you could regain the weight that you lost. In fact, there are some people who "eat through" the surgery and regain all of the weight they lost and sometimes more.

Are support groups really necessary?

There are many issues that arise after Lap Band surgery, including what type of food to eat, what to expect from a changing body, and how to deal with the reactions of others to your weight loss. Many patients find that support groups not only help them learn how to deal with these issues, but also provide a support system, helping patients know they are not going through this alone. Studies also show that support groups help patients to deal with the underlying issues that caused the initial weight gain. Because of this, participation in bariatric surgery support groups both before and after Lap Band surgery is recommended.

Interested in LAP BAND surgery? Contact a New Jersey LAP BAND
center to find out more about the procedure. An experienced LAP BAND surgeon can help you decide if the surgery is right for you.

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