Preparation for Laparoscopic Gastric Banding
You weight loss surgeon will request that you visit other health professionals. You will need a complete physical including blood tests, ultrasound, and lab tests. Your doctor will document that you are healthy enough for surgery.
You will participate in classes to learn more about the laparoscopic gastric banding procedure and healthy eating. By attending classes about gastric banding, you will gain an understanding of the preparation process before surgery, the surgical procedure, what to expect during recovery, realistic outcomes, and risks. You will learn about healthy eating and healthy living before and after your weight loss surgery.
You will meet with a mental health provider. The decision to have weight loss surgery is a very individualized and personal. A mental health provider can help determine if you are ready for such a dramatic lifestyle change.
Lap-Band Gastric Surgery
Laparoscopic lap-band gastric surgery is a short procedure, usually one hour or less. You may stay overnight in the hospital, although some people go home the same day as the surgery. You will receive general anesthesia for the lap-band surgery.
To begin, your surgeon will make a few small incisions in your abdomen. She will insert a laparoscope through the incisions during your surgery. A laparoscope is a thin tube with a viewing device. The laparoscope transmits images to a monitor. The images allow the surgeon to view the inside of the body during the procedure.
The surgeon performs the procedure by passing thin surgical instruments through the other small incisions during the lap band procedure. Your surgeon will create a small pouch in your stomach by placing a band around the upper stomach. The band divides the stomach into two sections, the pouch is in the upper smaller section and the other portion of the stomach is the lower larger section. The band constricts the stomach to create a narrow opening between the two sections.
The band is hollow and adjustable in size. Your surgeon can adjust the size of the opening by filling the band with saline solution through a port placed beneath the skin. The band size can be increased or decreased in the same manner following surgery.
Because lap-band stomach surgery uses small incisions, it is associated with a fast recovery time and minimal scarring. Most patients return to work one week after surgery.
Follow your doctor's instructions carefully following lap-band surgery. You will need to adopt a long-term plan for eating and exercise. You will begin on a liquid diet, then a pureed diet, and advance slowly to solid healthy foods. Most people eat small portions of solid healthy foods the third week after surgery.
The new pouch is substantially smaller than your stomach; about the size of an egg. The pouch will fill quickly when you eat and empty slowly. You will feel fuller sooner and less hungry. Eating too much food can cause vomiting or pain.
Your doctor will adjust the size of the band six weeks after your procedure. You will receive band adjustments periodically thereafter, depending on how much weight you lose and how much you can eat.
You can expect to lose 40% to 60% of your excess weight over the first three years. Your success depends directly on your ability to follow your diet and exercise plan. In many cases, medical conditions associated with obesity resolve or improve following weight loss.