How Gastric Banding Works and Other Lap-Band FAQs

lap band procedureIf you and your doctor have discussed the option of bariatric surgery to aid in your weight loss, you may have some questions about the types of procedures that are available to you. Out of more than 200,000 weight loss surgeries performed in the U.S. each year, lap band procedures are considered to be one of the safest and least invasive types of weight loss surgery around. It’s both common and smart to have questions about your weight loss surgery options. We’ve compiled some of the most popular FAQs about lap band procedures to provide you with the answers you likely need:

  • What exactly does lap band surgery involve?
    Gastric banding, also known as lap band surgery, is a surgical procedure that places an adjustable band around the upper portion of a patient’s stomach. Essentially, this band creates a new, restricted stomach pouch that helps you control and limit the amount of food you can eat. The band can be tightened or loosened by adding or removing saline via a port placed under the skin of the patient’s abdomen. Not only does the band restrict how much food you can fit in your stomach, but it also slows down the speed in which food passes into the small intestine. This sends important fullness signals to the brain and allows the patient to feel satisfied while consuming less food.
  • Are there risks associated with this kind of surgery?
    With any type of surgery, there are always risks. However, because there is no stomach stapling, cutting, or gastrointestinal re-routing with this surgery, lap band complications are much rarer and less serious than with other procedures. Some patients experience abdominal pain, bleeding, or infection in rare cases, and the most common complication is lap band slippage. But in general, it’s considered to be the least invasive, least traumatic, and safest of the surgeries used for medical weight loss solutions.
  • Are there foods I will need to avoid?
    Although you will be able to enjoy normal, healthy foods after the recovery period has ended, there are some foods you’ll want to avoid. These foods tend to cause problems with the lap band and can be hard on the stomach. Such foods include popcorn, pasta, dried fruits, nuts, certain breads, and fried foods. Your weight loss doctors can explain the dos and don’ts of lap band procedures in greater detail, including what foods to incorporate into your diet and what foods to avoid.
  • How fast will I lose weight?
    How much weight you lose and the rate of weight loss depends on how closely you comply with lap band guidelines. These guidelines include eating only three small meals per day, no snacking between meals, getting 30 minutes of daily exercise, and total restriction of high-caloric beverages. Patients who follow these guidelines typically lose one to two pounds per week and lose about half of their excess weight within the first year of the procedure.

If you’re interested in learning more about medical weight loss programs and solutions like lap band procedures and other surgeries, contact us today to explore your options. We can help you gain control of your life and build a better, healthier future for yourself and your loved ones.

Study: Gastric Bypass Medical Weight Loss Programs Lead to Sustained Weight Loss

Weight loss conceptA new study has added to the growing evidence that specific medical weight loss programs and surgeries like gastric bypass can help patients sustain weight loss for substantial periods of time.

Although it’s a complicated type of surgery, gastric bypass has been performed for the past 50 years. The surgery is performed by stapling off a portion of the stomach to create a small pouch. The pouch is then connected to the small intestine. In basic terms, the surgery shrinks the stomach and then bypasses part of the small intestine to limit food digestion.

Although some patients express concern that they will gain back any lost weight after undergoing these types of weight loss surgery options, the study found that the majority of patients who receive these types of surgeries remain at a lower weight for 10 years or more. The results were a pleasant surprise even to clinicians.

The study compared data from patients who underwent different types of medical weight loss programs — from gastric bypass to lap bands — and found that the gastric bypass surgeries were by far the most successful for those in the data pool. The average bypass surgery patient lost 31% of their baseline weight, while those who chose a non-surgical option for weight reduction lost only 1% of their baseline weight on average.

Of course, there are many benefits of a gastric sleeve over gastric bypass. Gastric sleeve surgery is much less complex, and it’s become quite popular in recent years. According to this study, gastric sleeve patients lost an average of 18% of their baseline body weight at the four-year mark, which means that it’s very much a viable option for many folks. However, compared to the 28% body weight loss that gastric bypass patients experienced in the study within the same amount of time, gastric bypass may be a more attractive option for some.

Lap bands have also grown in popularity, but the results of lap band patients in this study showed that their weight loss — though measurable — was less impressive over time. At the four-year mark, patients displayed an average of 11% loss in body weight. In addition, there are a number of lap band complications associated with the surgery. Although there’s an incredibly low number of fatalities from these types of medical weight loss programs, up to half of patients require lap band removal at some point.

The overall good news from the study is that even when patients gain weight post-surgery, they can still experience increased health benefits. It’s been noted that any kind of weight loss surgery actually changes digestive system hormones, which signals a feeling of fullness to the brain. This is the change that can help sustain weight loss over time. In addition, these types of medical weight loss programs and surgeries can help improve physical health and quality of life — and, in many cases, emotional well-being as a result.

If you’re interested in finding out how you can improve your life with bariatric surgery, please contact us today to find out the option that would be best for you. Our skilled staff of weight loss doctors will identify your needs and desires, and will get you started on the journey to achieving your weight loss dreams.

Weight Loss Surgery: An Explanation of Your Options

weight loss surgery optionsThere are many reasons to try to lose weight. Some studies have shown that the loss of 5 to 10% of your body weight is proven to lower the risk of heart disease, while a Harvard study showed that obesity increased the risk of diabetes by 20 times. There are also other considerations — carrying around all that extra weight puts a strain on your skeletal frame, causing aches and pains and difficulty breathing.

And, of course, some people just want to feel pride in the way they look.

But for many people, traditional diets and medical weight loss programs simply don’t cut it, which is when weight loss surgery options come in. Check out an explanation of three types of surgery below to familiarize yourself with these options:

Gastric Bypass
In gastric bypass surgeries, a surgeon first creates a smaller stomach area. Then, the surgeon makes sure the new stomach bypasses part of the small intestine. Because patients both eat less and absorb less calories, patients can expect to lose up to 80% of excess weight within a year or a year and a half of the surgery. Not only that, but about 50% of that lost excess weight will still be lost five years after surgery.

Gastric Sleeve
In this form of restrictive weight loss surgery, the surgeon removes about 75% of the stomach, leaving a small, narrow sleeve connected to the intestines. This operation is good for people who are extremely obese, sick, or when other types of weight loss surgery might be too risky. And, since the surgery doesn’t affect the intestines, the gastric sleeve doesn’t affect how your body absorbs nutrients.

It is, however, irreversible.

Lap Band
This is a restrictive weight loss surgery in which a surgeon uses an inflatable band in order to squeeze the stomach into two sections: a small upper pouch and larger lower one. The sections remain connected by a small channel, which slows the emptying of the upper pouch. The result is that most people will only be able to eat 1/2 to 1 cup of food before feeling too full.

If you feel like one of these weight loss surgery options are right for you, contact weight loss doctors to find out more about lap band insurance, gastric sleeve qualifications, and more, so you can make an informed decision about the future of your weight and health.

The Huge Difference Between Lap Band and Gastric Sleeve Qualifications

Doctor and her patient during the medical exam.Lap band surgery and gastric sleeve operations both cause weight loss by restricting the size of the stomach, but when it comes to gastric sleeve qualifications, there are some very important differences patients need to understand.

While gastric bypass surgery has existed in one form or another for more than 50 years, many people are still learning about other weight loss surgery options for the first time. Perhaps that’s why so many people are confused about important differences between lap band and gastric sleeve surgery.

So what do potential patients need to know about gastric sleeve qualifications, especially if they want their insurance company to approve them for treatment?

Understanding the Difference Between Lap Band and Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Let’s start with the similarities between these two types of weight loss surgery. In both operations, a bariatric surgeon changes the size of the stomach so that it will hold less food. This can lead to rapid weight loss and better overall health.

Two Types of Restriction-Based Weight Loss Surgery
In lap band surgery, an adjustable band is wrapped around the top portion of the stomach, leaving only a small section that can hold food. In gastric sleeve surgery, weight loss doctors remove up to 80% of the stomach, creating a smaller, sleeve-shaped stomach.

While the concept and desired end goal is the same, only certain patients will qualify for gastric sleeve surgeries.

Can Weight Loss Surgery Be Reversed?
Most importantly, lap band surgery is reversible, while gastric sleeve surgery is not. Once a portion of the stomach is removed, it can never be replaced. When extreme weight loss is desired, gastric sleeve surgery can also be combined with a gastric bypass. Gastric bypass surgery alone has been shown to provide huge success, including an 80% resolution in diabetes and more than 90% resolution of sleep apnea. Combined with gastric sleeve surgery, the positive effects can be huge.

Gastric Sleeve Qualifications Are More Intensive
Weight loss surgery isn’t just a cosmetic procedure designed to remove excess fat. It’s a serious operation offered by physicians at medical weight loss programs. These surgeries are designed to fight the potentially fatal effects of obesity, which can increase the risk of diabetes 20 times, as well as increase the risk of high blood pressure, gallstones, heart disease, and stroke.

Patients with a Body Mass Index of 30 or higher can be approved for lap band surgery. On the other hand, in order to qualify for gastric sleeve surgery, patients must be diagnosed as “morbidly obese.” To meet these more intensive gastric sleeve qualifications, patients must have a BMI of at least 40 and also suffer from one serious obesity-related health problem.

In both cases, these medical weight loss solutions are recommended for patients whose health is at risk from obesity, but only after other weight loss methods have failed. When patients need to lose large amounts of weight to alleviate serious health conditions, doctors may recommend gastric sleeve surgery rather than the alternatives.

If you still have specific questions about whether you qualify for gastric sleeve surgery, contact weight loss doctors near you. And if you live in the Alabama region, contact our weight loss surgery center ASAP.

Bariatric Surgery Side Effects: What You Need To Know

WEIGHT LOSS word cloud, fitness, sport, health conceptWhen considering medical weight loss solutions like bariatric surgery, it’s important to gather as much information as you can. If you have specific questions about bariatric surgery side effects, then you should always consult your physician about what is best for your body, your health, and your weight loss goals.

But if you’re looking for background information on the most common bariatric surgery side effects, then here’s what you need to know.

Bariatric Surgery Side Effects: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
To understand why new types of weight loss surgery are so popular, we have to look back.

The modern weight loss industry traces its roots back to the 1950s, when doctors peddled speed pills to American housewives. For decades, scams and weak science have dominated the industry, but in the past decade America has given rise to a new medical weight loss industry, and not a moment too soon.

With obesity at epidemic levels, more doctors are creating medical weight loss programs, which offer science-based solutions to obesity. That’s why weight loss surgery has suddenly become so popular across the United States, with more than 200,000 weight loss surgeries performed every year (and counting). The average American dieter will make four weight loss attempts this year, with little to show for it, but gastric bypass, lap band surgery, and other surgical options offer hope for a permanent solution.

However, like every type of surgery, it’s important for patients to understand the side effects of bariatric surgery. So what are the most common bariatric surgery side effects?

  • Infection following surgery
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding ulcers
  • Gallstones
  • Nausea and vomiting when patients eat too much
  • Abdominal scarring
  • Malnutrition
  • Hernia
  • Gastrointestinal hemorrhage

Additionally, any surgery carries risks, such as allergic reactions, blood loss, and pain during the recovery period. Fortunately, according to data from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the risk of fatal complications within 30 days following bariatric surgery is 0.13%, far lower than common operations like hip replacement surgery.

If you think these negative bariatric surgery side effects sound severe, then you need to balance these possible side effects against the benefits of weight loss surgery, too.

The Positive Side Effects of Bariatric Surgery
While these side effects may not be justified when other weight loss methods are still on the table, chronic obesity may justify drastic gastric options. While millions of Americans are overweight, obesity is a medical term that signifies a person weights 20% or more above the “normal” weight for a given height.

Obviously, the most immediate result of weight loss surgery is, well, weight loss. And because obesity drastically increases the risks of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, impotence, erectile dysfunction, and a host of other serious illnesses, weight loss surgery helps obese Americans find a new lease on life. New research even indicates that weight loss surgery cures about half of all diabetes cases!

So if you’re scared of the way obesity is affecting your health, then consider how your weight loss surgery options could change your life for the better.

About Surgical Associates
of Marshall County

Destination Weight Loss is a comprehensive medical weight loss practice that uses the most advanced technology to help patients meet their weight loss goals through bariatric surgery and non-surgical methods. Our team of trained professionals includes licensed physicians and specially trained nurses that can provide emotional and practical support.

Together, we combine a small town, customer-friendly atmosphere with expertise in sophisticated bariatric surgery technology. We take pride in providing the personal attention you need and will walk with you every step of the journey toward your weight loss goals.

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133 Wall St.
Albertville, AL 35951
7938 Hwy 69 Ste. 120
Guntersville, AL 35976