The adjustable gastric band, lap band, or LAGB is a silicone band placed around the upper portion of the stomach to restrict food intake and restrict the size of the stomach. An adjustable gastric band is a form of bariatric surgery, and is usually used to treat obesity when other methods of weight loss have proven ineffective.
Qualifying for an Adjustable Gastric Band
Anyone who is interested in getting an adjustable gastric band to help with weight loss should usually consult their physician. Usually the doctor will let you know whether or not you qualify for the program and what you have to do first. He should also recommend you to a qualified Bariatric surgeon or hospital. Common requirements for qualifying for a gastric band include that you have a BMI of 40 or higher or of 30 or higher if you have weight complicated comorbidity such as diabetes, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure. You will also most likely be asked to go on a weight loss program for about six months under medical supervision in order to attempt to lose the weight or some of it and prove that you are dedicated to weight loss. Most doctors will ensure that you haven’t had any success with other types of weight loss before even considering the surgery to install a gastric band.
How Gastric Bands Help With Weight Loss
A gastric band is a silicone band that is wrapped around the upper part of the stomach to create a small, sectioned off pouch. The pouch usually holds about one cup of food and is usually approximately 6x smaller than the stomach as a whole. The band will allow food to gradually slip through to be digested in the stomach, but because the small cup of food at the top is full, the stomach will think that it is full, making you less hungry. It also restricts the portions that you can eat, meaning that you will have to eat more frequently but in smaller portions.
Mortality & Complications
The gastric band, like other types of bariatric surgery, can result in complications and even mortality. Currently, about 1 in 2,000 patients could die of complications from the gastric band, however, rates are dropping as technology enhances and doctors become more experienced. Gastric bands currently have the lowest mortality rate of any bariatric surgery. Possible complications include pain, blood clots, cramping, rejection of the band, nausea and vomiting, scarring, displacement, tissue or liquid infection and death.
Effectiveness For Weight loss
Gastric bands are quite effective for weight loss, especially when combined with healthy eating habits and increased exercise. Studies show that patients who begin practicing healthy eating habits and exercise after the band is in place can lose on average, 22-45 kilo per year after surgery, with results slowing as they get thinner. If healthy eating habits are followed, most reach optimum weight within 36 months of getting the gastric band.
Pre and Post Surgery Preparation
While the gastric band will help you to lose weight, it’s important to prepare for the conditions before and after the surgery. First, you will have to participate in a weight loss program for a minimum of 6 months. You should also try to switch your food over to healthy options so that when you do have the gastric band in place, you will see better results. Most doctors recommend that you begin taking bariatric advantage nutritional supplements before the surgery and then continue to take them while the lap band is in place. This is because with a smaller stomach pouch, your body will be able to absorb fewer nutrients, meaning that you could easily become malnourished. While the symptoms are not as severe as with many other types of bariatric surgery, it’s still important to take bariatric advantage nutritional supplements in order to improve healing, weight loss and health.
Studies show that your results will be better if you start a healthy eating diet and light to moderate exercise. The first four to six weeks after your surgery might not show any results at all if you do not eat healthy, mainly because you will still be able to eat large meals, as the gastric band will be lose in order to allow your stomach to heal. After that period, you will visit the doctor and have your first adjustment in order to make your stomach smaller and begin weight loss.
Considering getting a gastric band? After you consult your doctor, you should stock up on bariatric advantage nutritional supplements to improve your nutrition.