Is the Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band Procedure Right for You?
By now you’ve probably examined all the reasons why bariatric surgery is worth considering. It’s important to know that there are several different bariatric procedures and each one offers its own set of risks and rewards to consider. Is laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding the right choice for you? This guide will help you decide.
Do You Need the Type of Intervention the Lap-Band Procedure Provides?
Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery is not a small step to take in your weight loss journey. It’s not an option for someone looking to take off 10 or so stubborn pounds. This is a measure that should only be taken by people in extreme situations, such as the following:
- You have a BMI of 40 or greater and have been severely obese for many years.
- You have a BMI of 30 or greater and at least one additional condition associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or sleep apnea.
Can Your Body Handle Lap-Band Surgery?
Gastric banding is considered the safest form of bariatric surgery, with a rapid recovery time. It is also the least invasive operation of all the weight loss surgeries available, since there is no cutting or re-connecting of stomach or intestines. The average band patient loses and maintains long-term weight loss equal to 50-60% of their excess weight.
That said, you must also be healthy enough to have the surgery. Obesity-related conditions aside, you must be free of other infections that could impair healing, you must be able to tolerate pain associated with the device after implantation, and you must be free of certain, specific health conditions, including the following:
- Inflammatory disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Severe esophagitis
- Severe heart disease
- Severe lung disease
- Dilated veins
- Portal hypertension
- Abnormal esophagus, stomach, or intestine
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Alcohol or drug addiction
- Are receiving long-term steroid treatments
Certain exceptions to the above apply of course, depending on the severity of the obesity. You should discuss any and all health conditions with your doctor to ensure that lap-band surgery does not pose unnecessary risks to your health. For minor risks, you must weigh the potential benefits of surgery against the risks and decide, along with your doctor, if this is the right choice for you.
About half of the patients need additional surgeries to adjust the bands or deal with other complications, but only about 1 in 20 patients opted to have the bands removed.
Are Your Expectations Realistic?
The one thing you must remember is that weight loss surgery is not a cure for obesity. The pounds will not melt themselves away. You must continue to eat, but you must learn to eat differently.
It’s more important than ever to ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to function and heal – even though you can’t eat large meals like before. Now, you must choose the right foods when you do eat and eliminate empty calories.
You must also add exercise, when able, into the mix so that you can burn calories more easily. It’s the combination of cutting calories and burning calories that will net the most positive and promising results from your surgery.
Ultimately, if you are ready to kick those pounds to the curb for good, have tried so many other options to take the weight off without lasting success, and are willing to make the changes needed for real results, then the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band procedure may be the right choice for you.