Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is a candidate for the LAP-BAND® System procedure?
- Why is the LAP-BAND® System procedure considered to be so much safer than other weight loss procedures?
- How effective is the LAP-BAND® System procedure compared to other surgical weight loss options?
- Is the weight loss that results from the LAP-BAND® System procedure permanent?
- What is the cost of the LAP-BAND® System procedure if I have no insurance or my insurance does not cover it?
- What is the LAP-BAND® System procedure?
- How does the LAP-BAND® System work?
- What generally happens to the complications of obesity such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis etc, after the LAP-BAND® System procedure is performed?
- After the LAP-BAND® System procedure is performed, what is required of the patient to assist in achieving the optimal weight loss results?
- How long has the LAP-BAND® System procedure been performed?
- What generally are the statistical results of various weight loss methods?
- What are the complications and risks of the LAP-BAND® System procedure?
- What weight loss results can be expected after having the LAP-BAND® System procedure performed?
- Should the LAP-BAND® System be removed after the desired weight loss occurs?
- Are any adjustments required to the LAP-BAND® System after the procedure?
- Will I need plastic surgery to remove excess skin after the LAP-BAND® System procedure?
- Where can I learn more about the LAP-BAND® System procedure?
- How long is the recovery period?
- Will I feel hungry and deprived after having the LAP-BAND® System procedure?
- What can I eat after the surgery?
- Can I get pregnant after having the LAP-BAND® System surgery?
- Do patients need to take vitamins after the LAP-BAND® System procedure?
Generally, patients with a BMI greater than 33 who have associated medical complications of obesity and who have failed with conservative weight loss methods would be candidates. In addition, patients must be at least 18 years old, a good surgical risk, not pregnant, not on chronic steroids, no history of prior stomach surgery, not addicted to alcohol or drugs and not have any medical condition which caused the obesity. And finally patients must be able and willing to abide by certain dietary and life style changes post-operatively. Also patients must not have any of the following medical conditions:
- Inflammatory disease of Gastrointestinal tract
- Cirrhosis of the liver (and portal hypertension)
- any Auto-immune Disease
- certain psychological illnesses
There are many reasons as follows:
- The LAP-BAND® System procedure has been statistically proven to have significantly less side effects and complications.
- The procedure is easily performed with minimal small incisions laparoscopically and can be performed as an outpatient with a quick recovery time.
- The procedure is reversible and adjustable.
The results after 5 years are almost equivalent to gastric bypass surgery with an average weight loss of 60% of excess weight. Some patients lose even more weight.
Yes, it can be permanent as long as the patient adheres to the necessary dietary restrictions and adopts a life style of regular exercise.
The LAP-BAND® System procedure is much less expensive than other weight loss procedures such as Gastric Bypass. Since our practice was established as a dedicated center of excellence for the LAP-BAND® System procedure, one of our goals was to make the procedure affordable and also available to all patients who could benefit from the surgery. See cost section of the website for further details). We want to help patients with an obesity problem achieve a healthier, happier and longer life. Financing is also available.
The procedure is done laparoscopically with small incisions and then a silicone, latex free, inflatable band is placed around the upper part of the stomach with an attached access port under the skin. This creates a new small upper stomach pouch with a narrow outlet which is adjustable.
The LAP-BAND® System limits the amount of food that can be eaten to smaller amounts and thus less calories are consumed and weight is lost. It also creates a longer feeling of fullness after eating. With the access port, the tightness of the band can be adjusted to achieve the optimal weight loss, yet still insure adequate nutrition.
Once the excess weight comes off, the medical complications of obesity are either reversed or are more easily controlled.
It is extremely important after the LAP-BAND® System is placed for the patient to be dedicated to exercise, eating a healthy diet and following certain behavior modifications. Those patients who follow the necessary life style changes will have the best results.
The LAP-BAND® System procedure has been performed for many years outside the United States and it has been done in the U.S. since 2001 when it was approved by the FDA.
Most people with a significant weight loss problem do not have long term weight loss success with conservative measures alone of diet, exercise, medication and behavior modification. However when a weight loss procedure such as the LAP-BAND® System system is performed in addition to the conservative treatment, long term weight loss success increases dramatically. The average weight loss after the LAP-BAND® System procedure is approximately 60% of excess weight after 5 years. Some patients have even better results.
The complications of the LAP-BAND® System procedure are much less than those with other weight loss procedures such as Gastric Bypass. Some complications are directly related to the skill and experience of the surgeons. Most LAP-BAND® System surgery complications are not serious and can be corrected with minimal difficulty (see Risks / Complications).
On average, patients can expect to loose approximately 60% of their excess weight by 5 years. Some patients have even better results. The weight loss can be permanent if the patient is compliant and follows the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes after the surgery. It is a gradual and not sudden weight loss. This is the safest way to lose weight. During the 1st year on average, patients will lose 2 pounds a week. Also many of the medical complications associated with obesity are reversed as a direct result of the weight loss.
No. The LAP-BAND® System should be viewed as a permanent medical device. It is the best way to insure long term weight control.
Yes. Patients will require some adjustments to the tightness of the LAP-BAND® System after surgery to assure optimal weight loss and adequate nutrition. This is usually done during an office visit. Adjustments do not require additional surgery. The frequency of the band adjustments varies from patient to patient.
Many patients do have plastic surgery after they have achieved their optimal weight loss. The most common procedure is an abdominoplasty (also called Tummy Tuck) which involves removal of excess skin and fat from the abdominal area. Our practice is also dedicated to providing our patients with any needed plastic surgery procedures. In most cases, any needed plastic surgery will be done at approximately 2 years after the LAP-BAND® System procedure.
You can review our website in detail. The website provides many educational materials such as reference articles from medical journals. We also provide free brochures and a DVD, plus you can attend one of our free monthly educational seminars to gain an in depth understanding of the procedure and interact with patients who have had the procedure and obtain answers to all your questions. You will also have the opportunity to ask any private questions at our seminars.
Since the procedure is done as an outpatient laparoscopically, patients go home the same day without overnight hospitalization and on average can return to work in one week. Some patients return to work in a few days.
Since your smaller stomach pouch fills more quickly after eating smaller amounts of food and also because the stomach empties more slowly, patients will feel full until the next meal and not have the desire to snack between meals.
You can eat most foods but in smaller amounts. You should try to avoid foods that are high in fiber, fat, and carbohydrates and try to eat primarily protein. You should also avoid high calorie liquids. If you drink alcohol (which is high in calories) it should be limited to smaller amounts and only occasionally.
Yes, but if you become pregnant, the LAP-BAND® System may need to be deflated temporarily to allow for adequate nutrition for the baby.
Yes, patients should take daily multi-vitamins. Your surgeon will advise you on the best type of vitamin.