If you are overweight and struggling to get to a healthy size, contact our office today to ask about how weight loss surgery, such as the gastric band procedure, can be effective in helping you to change your lifestyle.
Gastric band surgery is a type of bariatric surgery. In this type of surgery, a gastroenterologist places an inflatable flexible silicone band around the upper portion of a patient’s stomach. When the band is secured, it has the effect of slowing down a person’s consumption of food. The gastric band is adjustable and can be adjusted by the surgeon as needed, based upon the individual needs of the patient.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved gastric band surgery for people who have a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 40, which for men means about 100 pounds overweight and for women means around 80 pounds overweight. In addition to this recommendation, the FDA has also approved the procedure for people who have a BMI of 35 to 40 and at least one other comorbid condition that would improve with a significant weight loss. Some of these conditions include sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, severe arthritis, and high blood pressure. In most cases, a doctor will only perform a gastric band surgery after a patient has already tried and failed other methods of weight loss, such as dietary modifications and following a specific physical fitness program.
After reviewing your current health, medical history, and other factors, your doctor will be able to tell you if weight loss surgery could be helpful for your situation. You will be able to understand the process and learn about how the gastric band procedure compares to other weight loss surgery options.
Reasons Why Gastric Band Surgery Is Performed
Some doctors recommend a gastric band surgery in order to improve a patient’s quality of life and to decrease the risk of chronic diseases. The weight loss that typically occurs after gastric band surgery is performed may help to reduce ongoing problems such as joint pain and difficulty breathing. The surgery may also help people to experience less pain with physical activity, which can further aid in the weight loss process. Obesity is known to shorten the lifespan, decrease quality of life, and increase a person’s risk of developing a broad array of chronic diseases. Gastric band surgery may be able to prevent many of these problems so that patients can go on to enjoy a happier and healthier life.
Many patients repeatedly try to lose weight through diet and exercise and become frustrated when the results are not what they had expected. The procedure can help to provide a jump start for the weight loss process. As the person sees the excess weight coming off, they may feel more motivated to make the ongoing lifestyle changes needed to continue the weight loss and maintain a healthy body weight.
The Benefits of Having Gastric Band Surgery
Patients who experience weight loss after having gastric band surgery often experience a boost in self-esteem and self-confidence. This can improve the patient’s moods, reduce stress, and increase social activity. As weight loss continues, the patient may find it easier to enjoy activities or start up new leisure pursuits, such as going for hikes or visiting the beach. The decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, joint damage, and diabetes can help to lower a patient’s medical costs. Those chronic diseases also decrease a person’s quality of life, but preventing these diseases from developing can help a person to live a full life.
Before gastric band surgery is performed, a patient will undergo a period of dietary and lifestyle counseling. This is done to make sure that the patient is ready to commit to the lifelong changes necessary to maintain a healthy weight and BMI. The patient will also be counseled about what to expect from the procedure.
In the weeks before the surgery, patients may be asked to stop smoking, as smoking may cause complications to the recovery process. Patients may also be counseled to stop the use of certain medications in order to lessen the risk of any complications during or after the surgery. For example, patients may be instructed to stop the use of blood thinners, hormone treatments or steroids, which can cause unwanted side effects like increased risk of infection at the surgical site. Patients will usually be advised to stop eating at midnight the night before the procedure and to stop drinking water 2 to 4 hours before the surgery so that their stomachs are empty.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions to follow leading up to your surgery. It is very important to follow these instructions carefully to properly prepare for your procedure.
What to Expect After Gastric Band Surgery Is Performed
After gastric band surgery is performed, patients will spend 2 to 4 days in the hospital. During the first 24 hours after surgery, patients will be given liquids through an intravenous line. Most patients will need to adhere to a strict, liquids-only diet for a few weeks after the surgery.
By about 6 weeks after the gastric band is placed, patients will be ready to start eating soft foods and to begin a light exercise program. About 12 weeks after the surgery, most patients are able to resume eating their usual foods but in much smaller amounts. Patients can also increase their level of physical activity according to the doctor’s recommendations. Continued exercise and following a healthy diet can help to ensure the surgery’s success rate.
Your doctor will give you post-surgery instructions that are tailored to your situation. Following these instructions are very important when it comes to staying healthy. Weight loss surgery requires a commitment to the process, so be sure to ask questions if you are not sure about any aspect of your recovery.
For more information about gastric band surgery or other types of weight loss surgery, contact our office today for your free consultation.