If you’re among those struggling to lose a significant amount of weight in the Orange County area, one procedure worth considering is Lap-Band surgery. Also known as laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), the purpose of the operation is to limit how much food your stomach can handle at any given time to create a “full feeling” to curb your appetite. While the procedure isn’t for everyone, it’s a reliable surgical weight loss option that may be a long-term solution to ongoing weight loss struggles.
To learn more about Lap Band in Orange County, contact our office today and schedule a free consultation with Dr. Naim.
What You Need to Know about Lap-Band
Performed under general anesthesia, the Lap-Band placement usually takes 1 to 2 hours to complete. During the procedure, small incisions are made about an inch in length and a small camera is inserted with a tube to allow the surgeon to see where to place the band. The gastric band is then placed around the upper portion of the stomach and adjusted to the appropriate position.
The band itself is an inflatable silicone ring that can be removed or adjusted if necessary at a later time following the initial procedure. The band can also be tightened or loosened to adjust the size of the opening to the lower portion of the stomach. The procedure also bypasses part of the small intestine, to further reduce calorie absorption and facilitate weight loss. Preferred candidates for the procedure:
- Have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher*
- Are usually between 18 and 65 years of age
- At least 60 pounds above their ideal body weight
*The FDA recently approved the use of the Lap-Band procedure for patients with a BMI of 30 or above with at least one severe health condition related to their obesity, such as high blood pressure or sleep apnea.
Preparing for Lap-Band in Orange County
Preparation for Lap-Band surgery often starts with establishing your short-term and long-term weight loss goals and explaining the dietary and lifestyle changes you’ll need to make if you want to increase your odds of seeing long-term results. You may be encouraged to make some of these changes before the surgery takes place, especially when it comes to your diet. A common recommendation is for patients to eat 5 or 6 small meals per day to get used to smaller portion sizes. If you’re going to need some assistance around the house with cleaning and other daily tasks as you heal, consider making those arrangements ahead of time.
Your doctor will provide you with instructions for preparing for your Lap-Band in Orange County. These instructions are specific to your exact procedure and your current health. It is important to follow all of these instructions carefully. They are in place to keep you safe and to also help you see the best possible results.
Life after Lap-Band
Immediately after the procedure, you’ll be given medications to control any temporary discomfort. You may have an X-ray soon after the procedure is done to make sure everything is functioning correctly. For the first weeks, food will generally consist of liquids and small amounts of soft or solid food. You’ll slowly incorporate a mix of different foods back into your diet, with an emphasis on making healthy, nutritionally balanced choices.
Your doctor may recommend that you work with a dietitian to develop a meal plan that’s likely to work best for your specific needs. Weight loss experienced after the procedure is usually gradual and steady. The band may be adjusted if you’re not losing as much weight as you should be losing. Some people who have Lap-Band surgery report continuing to lose weight 2 to 3 years after the initial placement of the band.
You’ll be encouraged to continue making lifestyle adjustments after the placement of the band, starting with your diet. The U.S.D.A. defines a balanced diet as one that includes a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins found in pork, skinless chicken and other poultry, beans, nuts, and seafood, and low-fat dairy products such as yogurt and skin milk. Post Lap-Band lifestyle changes can also include:
- Getting 20-30 minutes of daily exercise
- Choosing healthy snacks between meals
- Drinking more water throughout the day
Long-term Lap-Band Benefits
A comprehensive study that followed patients up to 15 years after having a Lap-Band operation found that most maintained their weight loss. About half of the patients studied need to have the band adjusted with a subsequent procedure. After evaluating results of the study, researchers concluded that the Lap-Band is an effective, long-term solution for weight loss for patients who have good follow-up care.
The average weight loss experienced after the procedure is 40 percent of a patient’s excess body weight within the first year and an additional 10 to 30 percent during the following year. Potential long-term benefits also include:
- Better management of weight-related conditions such as diabetes
- Increased energy and an ability to be more productive
- A gradual improvement in overall health and well-being
When diet alone fails to produce lasting results, Lap-Band surgery, performed over 200,000 times annually throughout the United States, becomes a possible option. During your initial evaluation, a doctor will determine if you’re an ideal candidate for the procedure, a process that typically includes a review of your medical history and an assessment of other attempts you made at weight loss. The recovery period following Lap-Band varies, although most people are able to return to work within a week and resume normal activities after six weeks. Your doctor will also provide you with steps that you need to follow after your surgery, and it is important to follow these instructions carefully as well.
To learn more about Lap-Band in Orange County, as well as the other weight loss surgeries that we perform, contact our office today and schedule a free consultation with Dr. Naim. We can help you explore your options thoroughly and answer any questions you have.